After a pleasant 15-minute phone conversation with her son, Melanie Rodgers was told that 18-year-old Josh Rodgers sounds like a great kid.
“He’s an awesome kid,” she said with enthusiasm. “Very good-hearted.”
The super polite and informative Josh Rodgers had a very special moment Friday night. Rodgers is a member of the Honokaa football team, a left guard to be precise, and he scored a 65-yard touchdown in a 31-14 loss to Kealakehe.
What made it an important milestone for Rodgers is that he is a special education student, which is not a common occurrence. The idea for him to get the ball on a running play was concocted by a teammate who got the go-ahead from the coaches.
Dragons fan Dawn Cordeiro captured the moment on video.
Over the phone, Josh Rodgers said he struggles with math, geometry and biology, but his mom said that he did some online math training recently and much of it is coming easy to him now.
“He’s ahead of the whole (special-education) class,” Melanie said.
The touchdown was completely unexpected.
“I didn’t know I was going to be running the ball until the play came,” Josh Rodgers said. “And then the play came and I just started to go. I couldn’t believe that I was actually going to do it. After I scored I was like, ‘Wow did I just do that?’ Kilipaki Akau was the first one to come over to me. He said ‘Good job, Josh.’ I had good blockers.”
Rodgers played baseball and soccer in the past and wanted to try football as a senior.
“He wanted to try it out,” Melanie Rodgers said. “He’s never before been interested in that sport. It was all of a sudden. Kind of like he just wanted to check it out and see what all the hype was about.”
The mom said Josh has adopted the Oakland Raiders as his favorite NFL team.
Rodgers has applied to two colleges, including the American Academy of Dramatic Arts in Los Angeles, and wants to take up acting. Both he and his mom say he has a passion for that and for songwriting. He also plays the guitar.
“He does his own songwriting,” Melanie said. “And it doesn’t take him very long. He’s written poems to friends and given them songs.”
Josh made his mom very proud when he got the ball and then scored.
“I was very emotional,” she said. “I actually started to cry when I saw it happen.”