Rudy Rauls has a way about him that has attracted the attention of a lot of people.
You don’t get elected senior class president at a big school like Mountain Pointe High without having a bit of that “it factor.”
It’s the smile, the attitude and the approachability.
Even at football practice, when someone outside the program approaches the team, he has been known to introduce himself as the class president and welcome the visitor.
“He has a very outgoing personality,” Pride offensive line and assistant head coach Aaron Frana said, “and always has a smile on his face.”
That type of personality — or being the class president for that matter — isn’t always associated with being a football player. But Rudy pulls it off as the Pride’s starting right guard on the offensive line while playing in the defensive line rotation.
When pressed, Rauls couldn’t decide whether he was more proud to be the class president or a starting offensive lineman for the Pride, who are in a bye week.
“That’s a good question,” he said. “I take pride in being myself, and representing the school as much as I can. Being a Mountain Pointe football player means a lot to me. It’s huge. I’ve been in student council for over 10 years from elementary school all the way up.”
The 6-foot-1, 260-pounder has been a pleasant surprise thus far, considering he was on junior varsity last year as a junior after he missed some time dealing with family issues.
Scouts started noticing him down the stretch last year, and he ended up getting to play in the first round of the playoff of another player’s injury.
“He got his shot and has run with it since,” Frana said. “When he straps on the pads he gets after it.”
Rauls, who is the strongest linemen in the weight room, lives with his uncle, Leon Savage, a bus driver in the Kyrene School District for more than 20 years.
He feels it has helped him mature and open up to possibilities.
“God has gotten me through all my trial and tribulations,” he said. “I have had great guidance. My Uncle Leon, the coaches, teammates and Mountain Pointe have been there for me.”
Pride Senior Noah Grover said, “Rudy is a great kid whether that being in the classroom or on the field. He is very outgoing and positive and is always trying to help others around him.
“In the locker room, Rudy is one person that everyone can always count on to either pump up the team and hype us up or even give an emotional inspirational speech.”
Rauls was reflective during the Pride’s trip to California last week after missing last year’s road trip to California.
“It’s been amazing. It’s great,” he said. “I’m surprised I’m not crying yet…. I am so thankful to be part of this.
“All my coaches are like fathers to me, especially Coach Frana.”
It is pretty clear in listening to Rauls’ words, and seeing his eyes when talking about his school that the senior class made the right choice in April in voting for Rauls as their representative.
“I told my school I love Mountain Pointe and I want to be the voice of the Pride,” he said. “Mountain Pointe has been there to help me and support me, push me all the way.
“I try to always be where I want to be and that is Mountain Pointe.”
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