Rodriguez just keeps moving onPublished 8:08am Tuesday, February 11, 2014
Charlie Rodriguez’s wrestling record is deceiving.
The Brandywine High School junior improved his record to 27-11 after finishing fourth at the Division 4 Individual District Tournament Saturday.
That record could be much better as Rodriguez has lost five matches by a point. But Rodriguez hasn’t let those frustrating defeats affect his future matches.
“Next time I wrestle I focus on winning,” said Rodriguez. “I just move on. Whatever happens, happens.”
That approach has worked as Rodriguez has been a force at 189 and 215 pounds.
“He’s going out there now and dominating,” said Brandywine wrestling coach Rex Pomranka. “The guys that have beat him are physically stronger than him. He’s wrestling against guys that are men. He’s also beaten kids that you felt like he couldn’t beat. He keeps plugging away and attacking.”
That scrappy mentality was on display at the team districts where Rodriguez edged Cassopolis’ Tymari Brown, 4-3. Rodriguez took the lead for good at 4-2 after getting a takedown in the second period.
Last Thursday marked one of the few times this year that Rodriguez wrestled at 215 pounds.
“Charlie lost to Brown earlier in the year (3-2 at 189 pounds) and that’s why we wanted to flip him (to 215),” Pomranka said. “We wanted a rematch.
“We were also looking for seeding (at individual districts last Saturday). Charlie beat (Brown) at districts so Charlie is seeded ahead of him. Brown is a good wrestler and Charlie is too.”
“It was a good match,” Rodriguez said about facing Brown again. “He’s a good wrestler. I got the takedown (in the second period) and then rode him out and tried to get the W.”
Rodriguez’s improvement as a wrestler helped him prevail against Brown.
“My takedowns have gotten better,” the Brandywine standout wrestler said. “I’m better on my feet. I can’t get tired in the third period. I have to stay aggressive and use the moves that I know.”
Rodriguez credits his brothers (former Brandywine High School wrestlers Danny Eaglebarger and Sam Rodriguez) for helping him get started in wrestling in the seventh grade.
“My brothers did it and they kind of got me into it,” Rodgriguez said. “They said if I like it I should stick with it. I liked it and I’ve stuck with it since day one.”
Rodriguez, who was eliminated in the individual districts last year, has high expectations for the remainder of this season and next.
“Hopefully, I can make it to the Palace and go to state,” Rodriguez said. “It’s my junior year. This is the year to put it all together and try to go as far as I can.”
Pomranka has the same goal for Rodriguez.
“Charlie has turned the corner this year and we want him to keep turning the corner and make it to state,” Pomranka said. “It would be nice to get him that experience.”