By DAVE MORRISON
WHEELIG - He was, simply put, a fixture on the Cameron sideline.
Jim Rogers, the good-guy coach from Cameron, announced this week that he is resigning as the Dragons long-time coach.
"When I got into this business, I had a role model, coach Bill Kerr, and he told my a long time ago, 'Jim, when it's not fun anymore, it's time to get out,'" Rogers said. "I just turned 66 a couple of weeks ago and my health isn't the best, but it's still good enough for the bucket list stuff I'd like to do.
"I'd like to go to Montana, I'd like to go to the Badlands, to Mount Rushmore. I just told someone the other day, there are a lot fish to be caught, and I'd like to do that."
The accomplishments are many for the coach who came out of the mines in the early 980s and was looking for a new challenge.
He started as a freshman assistant coach for one year at Fairmont Senior.
"Back then, I didn't even know you got paid to do this stuff," Rogers said.
A year later he was at Cameron where he served three years as a junior high coach, six years as an assistant and 22 years as the varsity head coach.
His Dragons won four Mason Dixon championships and one OVAC title.
In the 1998 the team went 9-0-1 and the next year went 10 for the school's only undefeated regular season.
The team had a 33-game win streak and went undefeated at home for four straight years.
The Dragons qualified for the playoffs six times and made it to the 2000 semifinals.
"We were fortunate to have kids who bought in to what we were talking about," Rogers said. "We had a lot of kids who went on to play college ball.
"That was just Cameron football. We always got the most out of the kids we had here, and we had a good bunch of kids who became good men. I always knew they were going to give it their all and that was the case for over 30 years."
Now, it's time to fish.
"I will miss it," Rogers said. "It's about the kids, that's why you get into coaching in the first place," Rogers said. "I'll mid the comraderie I had with my coaches, and also with the coaches I coached against. I was fortunate to meet a lot of guys across the Ohio Valley and really across the state."
Rogers won't be too far away on Friday nights.
"I joined the American Legion a few years ago, and it was the best decision I ever made," he said. "I will be there on Friday nights when we set the colors with American Legion Post 18."
Offensive Player of the Week
Defensive Player of the Week
Good Hands Team