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It didn't take long for John Paul II's three-star recruit to decide that he liked what he saw after making an official visit to the University of Central Florida's campus. After visiting UCF on June 18th, Caden Kitler announced his commitment fo the Knights' program on Wednesday, June 23:
110% COMMITTED!!!! #ChargeOn pic.twitter.com/3Ndb3Unma9— Caden Kitler (@KitlerCaden) June 23, 2021
Standing 6-foot-3 at 290 pounds, Kitler is ranked as the number 66 overall interior lineman in the nation and the number 176 overall prospect in the state of Texas according to a 247Sports Composite.
When he's not on the football field, Kitler is a part of John Paul II's track and field program where he finished as the state runner-up in shotput and discus. Kitler broke the school record in both events.
Kitler chose UCF over the likes of Boise State, Arkansas State, Army, Dartmouth, Houston, Navy, Purdue, Texas State, Tulane, Yale, and more.
Emma Rodrigues poses at the 2021 VYPE DFW baseball/softball photoshoot presented by Whataburger
VYPE DFW checked in with John Paul II's dual-sport phenomenon Emma Rodrigues earlier this season as she pushed to be the best in softball and track. After a season of putting all of her effort into what she loves and her teams, Rodrigues is this week's Recruit of the Week!
Photo provided by Emma Rodrigues
Before last season was canceled due to COVID-19, Rodrigues was already out for a shoulder injury, so being able to take a season and use it to completely heal was a blessing in disguise for the two-sport athlete. "I saw quarantine as a blessing and a great opportunity for recovery and building strength," said Rodrigues in an interview with VYPE earlier this season. It's safe to say that the 2022 outfielder definitely built strength. Not only did Rodrigues finish the softball season as a state champion, but she finished the track season as a runner-up with a new personal record.
John Paul II softball and Rodrigues won the TAPPS Division 1 State Championships over San Antonio Antonian Prep by a 4-2 score. On top of the state title, Rodrigues finished the year with the honor of being named the Offensive Player of the Year for District 1-2 as well as being named First-Team All-State for TAPPS. Rodrigues finished the season with a .512 batting average, 13 home runs, 40 stolen bases, 50 runs scored, and 32 RBIs out of the lead-off spot.
Early this season, Rodrigues' goal was to compete at the highest level in high school track- the state tournament. Rodrigues was able to compete and finish as the runner-up in the 300m hurdles. As if finishing second wasn't great enough, Rodrigues set a new personal record of 45.28 seconds- second on JPII's all-time list. Rodrigues also competed in the 100m hurdles and finished fourth.
For Rodrigues, her success is no secret: hard work, drive, and determination. "This season in particular I felt like I really had something to prove," said Rodrigues. "I am more than just a baserunner or fast kid. I have the skills to come out and play and I worked hard to develop them even further. That drive to push myself to my limits is really what helped me develop into the player I am today and what will help me develop into a more skilled player later."
As far as the team goes, Rodrigues gives credit to the coaches and practice for the season's success. "On paper, JPII had all the pieces to become a great team, but the time and effort both Coach Baker and Coach Rome dedicated to us is the reason we developed into a great team on the field and created the chemistry that we have."
Photo Provided by Emma Rodrigues
Although Rodrigues is not yet committed to any colleges, she is open to competing after high school. "I am looking to play at a D1 level," said Rodrigues. "But most importantly I am looking for a competitive program that will push me to be the best player I can be."
She's still undecided on what she wants to major in, but knows that she wants to pursue something in sports or health- maybe even a combination of the two!