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Tigard's Rodrigues is semifinalist for soccer honor

TIGARD - Vincent Rodrigues, a Tigard High School senior, has been tabbed as one of 50 semifinalists from around the nation for the Inspireum Soccer Awards.

The Inspireum Soccer Awards honor and celebrate young athletes who embody the values of character, courage, contribution and commitment.

Rodrigues, who played in the midfield for the Tigard High School boys soccer team that reached the second round of the Class 6A state playoffs, grew up with divorced parents and was raised by his single teenaged father.

When he was in third grade, Rodrigues had the reading skill of a kindergartner. However, with hard work and determination, he now has a 3.2 grade-point average at Tigard High School, where he gives his teammates rides to practices and raises money to help them buy cleats.

Rodrigues also volunteers his time, coaching special education soccer and gift-wrapping for the elderly. He has also donated cleats to young soccer players in Bolivia.

Inspireum will announce the 12 finalists for the Inspireum Soccer Awards on Dec. 13. The winner will be announced on Jan. 3 and will be awarded $7,500 scholarship in a ceremony at the National Soccer Coaches Association of America's annual convention.

The Trusted Sports Foundation will award $25,000 in academic scholarships to the 12 finalists, with $7,500 awarded to the winner.

The public can vote for semifinalists at www.inspireumsoccerawards.com.