Iowa Lakes wrestling standout Freddie Rodriguez has been awarded the David Rowlands Male Athlete of the Year Award. This award is presented annually to the most distinguished male athlete in the National Junior College Athletic Association. Rodriguez is the first Iowa Lakes athlete ever to win the prestigious award. It is also the first time in the history of the award that it has been presented to a wrestler.
Freddie Rodriguez wrapped up a highly successful career at Iowa Lakes this past February when he claimed his second national championship. Along with his two national championships, he was named three times as Outstanding Wrestler at tournaments including the 2015 NJCAA National Tournament. As a freshman, he posted a record of 33-8 while only losing 3 matches his sophomore campaign on the way to a 38-3 record. Amazingly, in two years, he only lost one match to another junior college wrestler. His other losses were all to NCAA opponents.
Iowa Lakes Head Wrestling Coach Cody Alesch reflects on the significance of Rodriguez winning the award.
“It is a great sense of pride for Freddie, the program and the entire institution,” commented Alesch. “So many people at Iowa Lakes have a part of this award so it really just makes you excited for the College as a whole. As far as being the first wrestler to be chosen is great. I know the type of sacrifices and lifestyles these young men have to live and so many are deserving of this award so it is a sense of pride for the sport to know others outside the sport saw the value in choosing to give the award to Freddie.”
Troy Larson, Athletic Director at Iowa Lakes, also had high praise for Rodriguez.
“Obviously this is an awesome award for Freddie,” remarked Larson. “To be named the David Rowlands Male Athlete of the Year in all of the NJCAA is the highest individual honor a male athlete can receive. Freddie trained unbelievably hard at Iowa Lakes while allowing himself to be coached. This work ethic and attitude led to two national championships.”
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