By JOE NAGY
Starting catcher for Boys Varsity Baseball, Kahi Rodrigues (Jr.) is one of the biggest keys to the new explosive baseball team on campus. Being known for his wall like defense, Rodrigues had the best fielding percentages in all of league last year with a percentage of .989. Although he is seen as a key defensive aspect, Rodrigues has been able to find his groove at the plate. In the first eight games of league, he has a .440 batting average and a .520 on base percentage.
The position of starting catcher calls for a leader and someone who is willing to put his mind and body to work. Whenever he has a chance Kahi puts in time and effort outside of school practices. You can catch Rodrigues with a couple of his teammates after hours in the batting cages, or at LA Fitness either lifting weights or working on flexibility doing yoga.
One person who has really noticed Rodrigues’ work ethic is Coach Kevin McCaffrey (Athletic Dept.). When asked what he thought about Kahi, Coach McCaffrey said, “Kahi is very responsible and works very hard both on and in the classroom. We are very lucky to have a guy like Kahi on our team.”
When Rodrigues is walking up to bat, the song playing on the speakers is “This is how you start a party” by Rae Sremmurd, and that’s exactly what he does. Although baseball is a huge part of his life, Rodrigues loves going to concerts and hanging with friends. Even though he loves baseball, sometimes he will go out with a few friends and play a few games of football to unwind and forget about the stress of high school.
Fellow teammate and close friend David Schlomovits (Jr.) believes Kahi is a “great captain and leader and we can always count on him to help this team.”
Growing up, baseball was the only thing Kahi knew, where he first started playing t-ball at age three and hasn’t put down a bat and ball since. When asked what he thinks about his love for baseball he said, “It’s just a passion. It’s just something you’re born with.”
Going into high school, Kahi could not wait to wear the UHS colors and represent his school on the diamond. Freshman year was full of excitement to the young catcher. Having been called up from time to time, Kahi was able to play a few games with the big boys on varsity.
Sophomore year came and he did not back down to the challenge. Rodrigues was able to beat out senior catcher Max Juang for the starting roll. Since then he has been able to prove time after time that he is trustworthy and hardworking, and truly an outstanding ballplayer.