PORT CHESTER, N.Y. – Kevin Rodriguez had a break-out junior year for the Port Chester wrestling team, capped by a second-place finish at 99 pounds in the Section 1 Division I Wrestling Championships.
The senior has resumed where he concluded his 2011-12 season with an excellent first month, capped by winning the 106-pound title at the Mid-Hudson Tournament.
The impressive start has made Rodriguez the Port Chester Daily Voice December Athlete of the Month.
Once the 2011-12 wrestling season finished, Rodriguez and Port Chester coach Greg Domestico discussed an off-season plan.
“Coach wanted me to do some wrestling in the offseason to get better and he also wanted me to get stronger so I started lifting,” Rodriguez said. “I also joined a wrestling club.
“After last year, it made me realize I was good at wrestling so if I worked hard during the off-season there would be a possibility of going to states if all worked out well.”
Domestico was impressed Rodriguez listened to his advice.
“I told Kevin he needed to get stronger and wrestle a lot in the off-season and he did both,” Domestico said. “He was one of the first people in the weight room every morning over the summer.
“Kevin has gotten better on his feet this year. Last year, he dove a lot and got away with it wrestling younger kids. He is also much more patient and is setting things up better.”
Rodriguez went into the Mid-Hudson tournament well-prepared, not wanting a repeat of last year.
“Last year, I ate a little too much over the break and went into the Mid-Hudson a pound and half over so I had to run that morning on the first day,” Rodriguez said. “By the semis I was not feeling well and lost. This year, I made sure I watched what I ate and how much I ate.”
Domestico said Rodriguez wrestled a complete tournament at Mid Hudson.
“Kevin was very aggressive and took it to people right away at Mid Hudson and that is when he is at his best,” Domestico said.
Along with winning the tournament, Rodriguez reached a milestone in the final.
“My win in the final was my 100th win,” Rodriguez said. “It was my first tournament title of the year and a great way to end the day.”