Nate Rodriguez, a three-time state champion wrestler and member of the Neosho High School Class of 2013, is again grabbing the nation’s attention.
After helping lead the Wildcats to their third state title in four years, the senior has been named to the prestigious High School Academic Team by Wrestling USA Magazine, a national publication.
Rodriguez, the son of Robert and Gina Rodriguez, is one of only 13 high school wreslters nationwide selected for the elite squad.
His name will be published in the May 2013 issue of the magazine, alongside the other 12 selections.
The announcement, one of many honors for the Wildcats this season, comes one day after coach Jeremy Phillips was recognized nationally as Missouri Coach of the Year by the National Wrestling Coaches Association.
“Nate Rodriguez is a great example of positive character, a strong work ethic, unparalleled discipline and 100-percent commitment to what he is involved in on and off the mat,” Phillips said in an email. “Very excited to see him continue his wrestling career at Ouachita Baptist University and also pursue his goal of becoming a doctor.
“I have no doubts that Nate will continue to leave his trademark of excellence no matter the path he ultimately takes, and that he will continue to make our program, school and community proud,” he continued.
Rodriguez, who turned down several Division I offers to attend Ouachita Baptist — the same school former teammate Dallas Smith attends — was the first four-time state finalist for the Wildcats, as well as a three-time individual and team state champion. He was a highly sought recruit from schools across the country.
He entered his senior campaign ranked in the top-20 nationally, and backed that up with a 59-1 record. He punctuated his adieu by defeating Kearney’s Blake Clevenger 6-3 to win the Class 3, 132-pound championship in Columbia, Mo.