Rogers High School wrestler Jovanis Rodriguez was disappointed last year when he boarded the team bus following the regional tournament at Auburn High School.
Rodriguez, who finished third at the South Puget Sound League tournament, lost his first two matches at regionals and missed out on the Mat Classic at the Tacoma Dome.
Last year’s losses have eaten away at Rodriguez for the past nine months.
“I choked last year at regionals,” Rodriguez said. “This year I want to make it to state. We have great coaches. They make us work hard and push us to our limits.”
Rodriguez was elected as one of the Rams’ three team captains for this season. He began his wrestling career while he was a seventh-grader at McIlvaigh Middle School in Tacoma.
“This is my fifth year wrestling,” he said. “I started out doing judo, and my judo coach encouraged me to join the wrestling team. I found out really fast that I liked wrestling, too.”
The Herald recently asked Rodriguez a few questions about his life away from the mat.
The Herald: What is your biggest pet peeve?
JR: Squeaky noises and scratching noises.
TH: Who is your pick to win the Super Bowl?
JR: The Seattle Seahawks.
TH: Who was your idol as you grew up?
JR: My dad. He is always there for me. He is a strong and humble person. He respects everyone.
TH: What is something unique about you that nobody would know?
JR: I still watch Scooby Doo.
TH: What is your favorite movie of all time?
JR: “White Chicks.” It’s a hilarious movie.
TH: Where is your favorite place to eat in Puyallup?
JR: The New China Buffet. They have these ribs that I have only tasted in Puerto Rico, so it brings me back home. I moved to the United States from Puerto Rico when I was 7 years old.
TH: If you could pick one person to go to dinner with, who would it be?
JR: The Rogers High School wrestling coaches. It would be awesome.
TH: How many text messages do you send per day?
JR: I probably send 300 or more a day. At night time, I text everybody.