ARLINGTON, Texas — Lena Rodriguez spoke to the Arlington Sam Houston Boys Soccer Team Tuesday, since her husband cannot. Her husband Joey is the head varsity soccer coach who is now in the ICU with COVID-19.
“I know he is incredibly proud of every single one of y’all,” Rodriguez said. “I know that he would want me to tell you to keep being resilient, to keep working hard, that this season, if you needed any motivation to do well, that he is your motivation.”
Joey is 43 years old and a father of three kids under the age of 10. He is vaccinated, but he has a compromised immune system.
“Joey was able to receive the vaccine when Arlington ISD provided it for all of their teachers, which we were really grateful for,” Rodriguez said. “Especially for him, having a compromised immune system, it was very important for him.”
“He did all the right things, he social distanced, he masked, but we’re both public school teachers, and how we’re able to protect ourselves right now is limited. And so, it almost felt like it was a matter of time," she said.
Now, his fellow coaches and former players are hoping for his recovery.
“He’s had a huge impact on me, not only as a player, but as a person. And I appreciate that from him a lot,” former Arlington Sam Houston player Jose Ortiz said. “I was just sad and overwhelmed that this had happened to him.”
Brandon Voss is the head coach at Keller Central and he started a fundraising effort to help Joey’s family during the difficult time.
“Knowing Joey’s personality and his impact in the high school soccer community, I knew there would be a Joey’s army, a small army of people, willing to come out and help,” said Voss.
If you are interested in learning more about the fundraising effort, click here.
Rodriguez is pulling for her husband, who has made a difference in countless lives.
“He is trustworthy, he’s a natural leader, he’s benevolent, he’s always looking to help other people,” Rodriguez said. “He’s not done fighting. He’s not going to quit.”