Home Features Exit Interview: Calderon ready for new academic, athletic journey at Rice

Exit Interview: Calderon ready for new academic, athletic journey at Rice

Photo by sophomore Kalei Engleman.

Sometime tonight at Strahan Coliseum in San Marcos, Prudy Calderon will move the tassel on his graduation cap from the right side to the left side, effectively ending one journey, and signaling the start of another.

Calderon will go from San Marcos High School senior, who quarterbacked his team to a district championship and to the area round of the 2017 UIL State Playoffs. After he moves that tassel, he will go from current to former Rattlers athlete.

I talked to Calderon as he reflected on his last four years and looked forward to what was coming next, as he transitions from Rattler to Owl, where he has an athletic scholarship to Rice University in Houston.

You’ll be crossing the stage on Friday night, which will officially signal an end to your high school career. What goes through your mind as you prepare for graduation – both in terms of academics and athletics?

A lot is going through my mind but above all is a crazy amount of thankfulness. To be able to say I’ve graduated here is insane, I’ve been with my friends and my family for 17 years now and for it all to come to an end is bittersweet. Reflecting back on it I think it’s been a crazy journey and to think it’s only the beginning is something else.

Your high school football career has been filled with so much year-to-year transition, from watching older players graduate and move on to college, to switching positions and making three straight playoff runs. If you could choose one or two memories that highlight your time as a Rattler, what would they be?

My THSFB career was even more insane. The fact that these past few years were a trademark in history is wild. Everybody who’s come through the program has made an impact on my life. The first moment I can think of that was significant above all others way against Lockhart my sophomore year. That was when I first felt was true brotherhood and joy was, to change the culture and feel the rush of excitement making the playoffs after a drought was incredible.

The second time that sticks out is Westwood my senior year. To have a grit like we did in the scenario given is near impossible, you knew we were down the whole game but somehow you just had the feeling that we weren’t going out like this. That was the most insane I’ve ever seen the stadium interaction.

Your graduation will bring even more transition as you move to attend and play for Rice. Even though you’ll still be a couple of hours away, what will you miss most about San Marcos when you’re in Houston?

I’m grateful to go to such a university and extend my education and career, but leaving it all behind in SM is surreal. To think all of my friends and I will never have it like we did in high school is sad but it’s life. We’re all moving on to our individual lives and I’m proud to see everyone make it to this point. What I’ll miss most is the love this city showed through everything.

My friends, family, coaching staff, faculty, community, etc… it made me feel a worth like none other and can’t be replicated

Getting used to a new town, teammates and coaches is obviously part of moving from high school to college, but how excited are you and what are you looking forward to the most as you take the next step in your journey?

I’m excited for this next journey in Houston. It’ll be a difficult one but it’ll be my biggest move yet. I’m excited to meet new people and build a new bond. As well as changing the culture at Rice with this amazing new coaching staff and attitude. I’m looking forward to living out my dream of playing collegiate ball.

What advice would you give the underclassmen that are about to step into bigger roles for the team and incoming freshmen?

The advice I’d give to the underclassmen is to never take a day for granted because you’re building an attitude and legacy. You’re making yourself as a young man and a person with your everyday actions. No matter who they face or what the stats say shouldn’t dictate their attitude, it should be to come in and get a job done every day. And adversity shouldn’t be a roadblock, it should be something you thrive in. When that unexpected situation hits have that mindset that you’re controlling this situation and it’s insignificant to the bigger picture.

What would you say you are most proud of and most thankful for?

I’m most proud and thankful for the experience of it all. To be able to come in and play any role my team gives me is a blessing on its own. For people to trust you in multiple situations is a blessing. San Marcos wasn’t a big football school coming up into high school but I hope that it could be looked at differently now.

Also for all the teams at your school to put a dent in the district and region is incredibly cool too. Throughout the 4 years I’ve been here I’ve never felt out of place. I’m most thankful for the process and most proud of the people who stuck it out with me.

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Stephen Michael 26, is a journalist, social media coordinator, host, and entertainment reporter. Michael graduated in 2017 with a bachelor’s degree in Communication Arts and earned a Master's Degree in Digital Media in 2020 from the University of the Incarnate Word. He has worked covering the San Antonio Rampage, Stars, and San Antonio Futbol Club. He was the host of the Project Spurs Roundtable on NBC affiliate News 4 San Antonio from 2015-17.


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