Children can learn a lot from activities like sports that happen at school. They learn how to work as a team and be good sports. They have fun and make friends. They also learn something they can be proud of, and many of them can’t wait for friends and family to come watch them play their sport of choice.
Addie Rodriguez is a cheerleader at St. John Bosco Elementary School. She is 9 years old and in third grade. She loves it when her parents come to see her perform, but her dad can’t always be there. Addie’s dad, Abel Rodriguez, is a medevac tech who is 25 years old and has been in the Air Force for about 7 years. He has to miss some of Addie’s events when he has to go out of town.
Addie went to San Antonio, Texas’s Central Catholic High School one day. She was cheering with her team during a football game between her elementary school and St. Luke Catholic School, which is a rival. This wasn’t a normal show, though. It involved the parents of the cheerleaders.
At one point in the show, the cheerleaders and their moms did a dance routine together. Then it was the dads’ turn to take part. Except for Addie’s dad, all of the other dads lifted their daughters onto their shoulders.
Addie’s dad was getting training at Travis Air Force Base in California at the time. Addie was sad that her dad wasn’t there to carry her on his shoulders like all the other dads, so she started to cry. Someone in the stands helped Addie, which was a good thing.
Matthew Garcia is a senior at Central Catholic High School, which is where the game took place. He is 17 years old. He was there to watch his younger brother play football for St. Luke Catholic School. When he saw Addie crying and realized that her dad wasn’t there, he felt compelled to do something, and he did it quickly. He jumped over a fence and ran out onto the field to ask Addie if it was okay to carry her since her dad wasn’t there.
Alexis Perry-Rodriguez, Addie’s mom, started to cry happy tears when she saw what was going on. The 25-year-old mother told TODAY, “When I realized what he was doing, I just started crying.” I couldn’t say anything.” Alexis also said that her daughter was surprised and scared at first, but when he got down on one knee and told her, “I’ll pick you up, too,” she was very happy and grateful. She told her mother, “He saved my life!” She felt so good about herself because of him.”