My Thai Athlete of the Week: Jesus Rodriguez, DMHS Soccer - Palm Springs News, Weather, Traffic, Breaking News

My Thai Athlete of the Week: Jesus Rodriguez, DMHS Soccer

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Thermal, CA -

The Desert Mirage boys soccer team enjoyed an historic season last year, as one of two teams in the entire nation to go undefeated. This year, they're 20-4 and despite early-season bumps, they're still the top-ranked team heading into playoffs. Some of that is thanks to this week's My Thai Athlete of the Week: Jesus Rodriguez.

While they've only lost 4 games in 2 years, losing top player Alex Pimentel at the start of the season was a challenge that head coach Peter Zamora says he appreciated because "...It forced others to step up and one of them was Jesus Rodriguez...He's exemplary of what we need in this program." 

Coach Zamora has reasons to brag about Rodriguez. Not only did he notch 6 goals in one game this season, he's ranked 68th in his class, carrying a 3.6 GPA. 

And while his favorite class is math, it doesn't take a math wiz to understand how important Rodriguez's goal was for the Rams against Division I power Santa Margarita. The final in that game: 1-0. 

"We made history that day," says Zamora.  "To beat a Division I school, it's remarkable... And forever, he's tied to the history of this school, the first time we ever beat a Division I program..." 

But talk to Rodriguez about that historic game? 

"It was the first time we were playing a Division I school," Rodriguez says. "It was a tough game and we won 1-0."

And then he had to be asked, who scored the winning goal?

After some thought, he answered, "Well, I did," he laughed.  

Rodriguez says he wants to own his own business one day and hopes his experiences with Desert Mirage soccer can translate beyond the soccer field. 

"This team you have to stay very committed and in that field you have to stay committed, so it'll teach me commitment."

The Rams host their first round opponent Friday at 3 pm. 

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