Ketchum’s Bella Rodriguez – Character Counts Presented by Oklahoma AgCredit Vinita

By Derrick Smith

One of the keys to being a character athlete is being an upstanding person both on and off the field. But for Bella Rodriguez, there are a few other important requirements.

“I believe being a character athlete is having the ability to have the inner desire to succeed, being a natural leader, and being coachable.”

Bella is a sophomore at Ketchum High School, where she is a member of the fast-pitch and slow-pitch teams, as well as a cheerleader. She plays centerfield for fast-pitch and can play pitcher or outfield in slow-pitch. She is a flyer on the cheerleading squad.

She says she has seen growth over last season on both of her softball teams, while the cheer squad had a great year.

“In fast-pitch we didn’t win a lot of games but we had a lot of fun,” Rodriguez said. “In slow-pitch we won a few more games and our young team got a lot better. In cheer we were regional runner-up and we placed 4th in state.”

And she is excited about the upcoming fast-pitch season.

“I am looking forward to fast-pitch starting up,” Bella said. “I think it is going to be a great season.”

Rondey Cutsinger and Maddawg Lindsey are two people in Bella’s life that she looks up to for softball and cheer.

“Rondey always helped me out in softball,” she said. “She always knew where to be and when to be there even in pressured situations. She was the leader of our team and always had an amazing attitude. Maddawg has the biggest heart out there. She always helped me out because freshman year was very hard, especially being a flyer. She was always supportive and was an uplifting person on our team.”

Coach Mark Knoten is the teacher that Bella said is her favorite.

“Coach Knoten has taught me leadership, commitment, and how to have a hard work ethic these qualities can be used in the classroom or on the field.”

The way to be successful in sports takes work and giving it your all, according to Bella.

“It takes mental toughness, being a good teammate, and showing up everyday doing your best.”

Outside of athletics, Rodriguez is also involved in Student Council, National Honor Society, and SAFE Committee.