The Bulldog of the Year Award was initiated when Ramona High was not winning many games in any sports. The purpose of the award was to honor the student/athlete who made coaching a joy. Criteria for the award is leadership, character and athletic ability. The Bulldog of the Year exemplifies what being a Ramona athlete is all about.
Trae Rodriguez is dedicated. He is a leader, a scholar, a winner and the male Bulldog of the Year.
In an age when too many high school athletes specialize in one sport, Rodriguez participated in three sports. Rodriguez lettered in football and wrestling, and participated in track to improve his speed and footwork for football and wrestling. It worked.
Rodriguez was in the ASB Leadership Class and put the lessons learned in that class to good use in the athletic arena. He was captain of the football team and captain of the wrestling team. He was all league in wrestling twice and in football once, and won a CIF championship in wrestling his senior year. He was All Academic in both sports his junior and senior seasons.
Rodriguez is a 3.8 student in college prep and honors classes and will attend Texas State University in the fall. He plans on walking on in football and participating in intramural wrestling.
“Since it is Texas, Trae might also try steer wrestling,” suggested lifelong friend and Texan Dave Lohman. Both have a sense of humor.
Rodriguez is planning on majoring in kinesiology and chemistry in order to pursue a career in teaching and coaching.
“Nobody worked harder than Trae — nobody. He led from the front and did everything that he could to help us win. He was a pleasure to coach,” said RHS football coach Damon Baldwin.
“Trae won as a heavyweight on athletic ability and pure guts," said wrestling Coach David Tomaino. "He dropped a weight class because of the needs of the team and won at the 220 level and became a CIF champion. He is the epitome of a team player.”
Rodriguez knows how to use humor to get players to loosen up when needed. One knows when Rodriguez is at the bottom of a prank. His signature smile always gives him away.
Jonna and Jacob are Rodriguez’s twin brother and sister. Both earned varsity letters as freshmen.
When asked what it would be like going to a school where his mom was not the vice principal and his dad was not a coach, Rodriguez just answered with his signature smile.