In each of the past six years of the "Friends of Cameron Football" event several individuals have been honored each year, however, this year the new committee decided that only one person should gain the spotlight. That person is Jim Rogers who has been associated with the sports programs at Cameron High for 31 years.
Rogers resigned shortly after the 2013 football season. He had retired from teaching six years ago.
He started as a junior high football coach for three years, then served six years as varsity assistant coach under Jim Potts, and then when Potts retired he was chosen to succeed him. The Dragon football teams under Rogers made the state playoffs six times, advancing to the semi-finals in 2000. The Dragons had two unbeaten seasons, 1998 and 1999, the latter team being the only unbeaten squad in school history.
The Dragons compiled a 124-104-1 record during the 22 years.
Rogers has also served as a coach in wrestling and track, and was the strength coach for a number of years.
The highlight of this year's FOCF came when the Dragons new head football coach Scott Holt announced that a building which has been known as "The Dressing Room" since its completion in the mid-1980s, would finally have an official name, that being "Jim Rogers Fieldhouse."
The building has been utilized by at least three different sports over the years, namely wrestling, football and track. Of course, it served as the dressing facility for the teams and officials. Also, the building has a concession stand on one end.
Rogers was one of the volunteers who help build it, stating that when he first arrived in Cameron and went to Dragon Stadium, someone handed him a jack hammer and told to "get busy."
Rogers also received a Legislative Citation presented by Del. Mike Ferro for not only his coaching, but for his teaching, as 10 of his students over the years were Golden Horseshoe recipients. A teacher with 10 Golden Horseshoe winners attains Golden Horseshoe Knight status.
Two scholarships are also presented annually at the event. They go to CHS seniors, a male and a female. They receive the Mike Faulkiner Scholarships. The recipients are judged on academics, community service, sports, and they must each write an essay.
This year's $1,000 scholarship winners were Natalie Trowbridge and Zachary Hall.
The theme of Hall's essay was, "Never Say Never ..."
It pretty much says, in part, what other Cameron High students have said over the years that I have been covering events at the school.
His essay reads as follows:
"Looking back on my achievements and roadblocks over the past four years at Cameron High School has certainly been a learning experience for me. My proudest memory was playing football for Coach Rogers my freshman year. There were only 19 of us that season. We were so anxious to play varsity football, but we experienced so much more. We lost all but one game, but we won the respect of our teammates, families and our community. We forged friendships that will last a lifetime. We learned never to give up and that fighting for what you believe in can be a gift of inner strength and confidence that most people never receive.
"Making it to the states in track my freshman year in the shuttle hurdle relay was a goal that I didn't expect to achieve. It was certainly a team effort and I strived for that team approach often no matter which sport I am playing. Relying on your teammates and working together towards the same outcome builds security and faith in your fellow man.
"When I tore my ACL and Meniscus during a basketball game my sophomore year, I originally was convinced that my athletics were over. My doctor was realistic in his prognosis with many restrictions and possible limitations. Playing sports and the lessons I have experienced through athletics at Cameron, gave me the strength to rehab and get back to playing.
"And yes, I did suffer a stroke in the middle of football season this year. I am proud to say by God's grace that I am able to continue on. I have the privilege of playing in the OVAC All-Star basketball game this year, and represent our great state of West Virginia.
"In conclusion, I overhead a nurse trying to console my father by telling him, 'It's okay, sports aren't everything, and your son doesn't need football, he is smart.' I have heard that conversation over in my mind a thousand times. I realize that I will never be able to play football, but I did NEED football, and the many life lessons it taught me.
"I have enjoyed my high school athletic career and have been invited to run track at West Liberty University while pursuing a degree in sports medicine.
"I hope to remain strong, and continue to apply the values that Cameron sports have given me.
"Thank You for this opportunity and support of my hopes and dreams.
"Never Say Never."
Dr. Robert Kreisberg, dean of the College of Sciences at West Liberty University, will be the speaker for the monthly WLU-Marshall County Breakfast, which will meet at 7:30 a.m. Wednesday at Perkins Restaurant in Moundsville.
He will be discussing the new health science building, Campbell Hall, and early acceptance programs in dentistry and osteopathic medicine.
Those panning to attend may RSVP to jknierim@westliberty. edu, or by calling 304-336-8301.
Breafkfast will be "Dutch Treat," with walk-ins welcome. All alumni and friends of WLU are invited to attend.
The monthly Marshall County Chamber of Commerce Business After Hours event will be held beginning at 5 p.m. on Thursday at the Training Center within the walls of the former West Virginia Penitentiary, Moundsville.
The event, sponsored by the Moundsville Economic Development Council, will have a Hawaiian Luau theme with grass skirts and flowered shirts required!
Alexander's on 7th will be the caterer.
Also, the Chamber-sponsored monthly breakfast will be at 7:30 a.m. Wednesday at Perkins Restaurant and Bakery in Moundsville.
The second annual Redneck Monster 5K Run will be an event of May 31 at the Marshall County Fairgrounds in Moundsville.
The course will consist of a minimum of 10 obstacles including climbing, crawling, mud and more.
The deadline for registering for the 15th annual Marshall County Chamber of Commerce Golf Scramble is June 3.
Registration forms are available at the Chamber office, 609 Jefferson Ave., Moundsville, or by phone at 304-845-2773.
The event will be held June 9 at the Moundsville Country Club.
Sponsorship levels include individuals, silver, gold, platinum, lunch and dinner and event.