SAN DIEGO — When Luis Rodriguez showed up for the first day of football practice at Montgomery High School last month, Coach Steve Summers was disappointed.
Summers hoped that Rodriguez, a junior linebacker, had spent the summer lifting weights. He didn't.
"He's a real physical specimen anyway," Summers said, "and if he'd only worked out over the summer he'd be something."
However, the 5-foot 11-inch, 210-pound Rodriguez has since dispelled doubts that he can pack a punch. After a strong showing in Montgomery's season-opening loss to Santana, Rodriguez was a key factor in last Friday's 20-14 victory over Mount Miguel. He made two sacks and recovered two fumbles.
"Anytime somebody's involved in that many key plays, he's a key factor in the game," said Mount Miguel Coach Gary Cooper. "He's really a good young player."
And Rodriguez's plays had an effect on the game.
"They were all important," Summers said. "All of them put us in pretty good field position."
However, Rodriguez said field position was not on his mind at the time.
"I was too hyper to think about that," he said. "I was just executing."
Said Summers: "He came out against Santana and sort of unleashed himself against those guys. Santana, I think, was in a state of shock. A couple of times, their running backs looked like they got hit by some kind of train."