Monthly Awards

Athlete of the Month - April 2013 Jessica Rodriguez - SET Water Polo Club

The winner of the S & R Sport Athlete of the Month for April 2013 is Jessica Rodriguez of SET Water Polo. For winning athlete of the month Jessica receives a $50 gift certificate to SRSport.com. Here is his nomination from her mom. To nominate an athlete you think is worthy email media@usawaterpolo.org.

I would like to nominate my daughter Jessica Rodriguez for Athlete of the Month. She is from Mission Viejo CA and has been part of SET Water Polo Club for the past seven years. She is 13 years old and has quite a list of accomplishments under her belt. She is a prime example of what hard work and dedication can accomplish.

She started out as a club swimmer at the tender age of five but quickly wanted to play polo like her brothers. She has been competing in Junior Olympics since the very first 10 and under age group was allowed to participate. And even then, she would play on two age groups (10's and 12's)! She started playing at seven years old, which means she has been playing polo over half her life! Jessica was Team Captain for her 12 & under team and received the "All- American Award" in 2011 at JO's. She is leading the way now with her 14 and under team. She is a leader in every way. She helps with the demonstrations, directs the plays in the water, and helps the new girls with basic understanding of the game and drills.

She is considered an attacker but she is always one of the first to be back on defense. She is an intricate part of every offensive play. It's not about "her" scoring the goal, but about whom has the best shot at the moment. That is something most don't understand yet at that age. She is the true definition of a "team player" in and out of the water.

She also knows the importance of good grades. She works hard at school to maintain a high GPA. She has high hopes of attending college at Stanford. She is one of the most dedicated athletes I know. She passes on many activities to be at practice. In seven years of playing year-round, I don't think she has missed more than a total of 10 days of practice. She takes every opportunity to improve her skills with any age group whether it's high school level or the boy's teams. She gives it her all!!!

Recently, she was nominated and selected to attend the Holiday Camp this month. She is very excited about the camp, held at the Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs! I can't wait to hear all about her experience there. She is also an active member of ODP (Olympic Development Program). Her idol is Brenda Villa from the USA Olympic Team. That is another one of her dreams...to be part of the USA Olympic Team! She may not be the biggest girl in the water, but she definitely has the biggest heart and love for the game. "You don't have to be the biggest player in the pool, just the smartest player," says Jessica.

So whether she is surfing, swimming, playing polo, or just goofing around, she can always be found in or near the water!

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