Ray Rodriguez is not only a 2008 alumni of Colton High School (CHS), he is also a former center on its football team…and today he is head coach of the Colton Yellowjackets.
After Rodriguez graduated from high school, he attended San Bernardino Valley College, where he played right tackle for the Wolverines. He then attended Texas Southern University and majored in social sciences and started right tackle for its football team.
About 11 years later, Rodriguez is back, working with the community that helped forge who he is today.
“I’m excited to be back at Colton High School. When you bring back coaches who are alumni, it means something more to us,” said Rodriguez.
Previously, he was the offensive line and assistant head coach at Grand Terrace High School for six consecutive football seasons.
“When I got hired at Colton High School, I stressed about restoring its glory. Colton has a glorified past, with many athletes getting drafted to the NFL and getting accepted into these big universities. I told the principal and everyone who interviewed me that I want to bring the football program back to where it was,” continued Rodriguez.
Some of those notable athletes include Anthony Hamilton of the Chivas USA, Rich Dauer of the Baltimore Orioles, Kevinn Pinkney of the Boston Celtics, Allen Bradford of the Seattle Seahawks, Daniel Sorensen of the Kansas City Chiefs, Shareece Wright of the Baltimore Ravens, Nat Berhe of the New York Giants and Jimmy Smith of the Baltimore Ravens.
“It’s my goal to prepare these students to do great things after high school, whether that’s football, college, the armed forces, or going straight to work,” Rodriguez said.
The day after he got hired, Rodriguez set up a meeting with the football team and got straight to work.
“We’ve been working Monday through Friday since I started in March. We’re really trying to change the culture and instill a competitive spirit into these athletes,” continued Rodriguez.
The team has been on a weightlifting schedule Monday through Thursday, and on Friday’s each athlete has the opportunity to choose which muscle groups they want to focus on; and Tuesday through Thursday the athletes are on the field running drills.
“I told the boys that this is not going to be seen as a rebuilding year, the goal is to win. The goal is to win league and compete every week and make it into the playoffs. The biggest point that I preach to these kids is competition,” said Rodriguez.
“We have a great group of kids; freshman, sophomores and juniors. I told them if they didn’t get the opportunity to play last year, it doesn’t matter, they just need to be here everyday, put in the hard work and compete,” Rodriguez said.
The team’s first scrimmage game of the 2019-2020 school year is scheduled for August 16th and the first official home game is scheduled for August 23rd; at this point, it is currently unknown who the team will face on those dates.
“We hope the community comes out to support our team during the upcoming season. We’re all excited to see what happens,” concluded Rodriguez. To keep up with Colton High School Yellowjackets, follow them @Colton_HS_Football on Instagram.