Rogers Decides To Hang It Up
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
- The senior had an opening-round playoff game to remember, with 35 carries for 241 yards and three touchdowns in the Blue Eagles’ 42-16 victory against No. 3 Valley-Fayette Saturday at Charleston’s Laidley Field.
Defensive Player of the Week
- The 6-foot-1, 250-pound junior had a huge game in the Bishops’ 21-16 win over No. 5 Man, with 18 tackles and three sacks.
- Wheeling Park’s Savion Johnson rushed 35 times for 193 yards and three touchdowns in Wheeling Park’s 5-34 victory against South Charleston Friday night in the first round of the Class AAA playoffs.
- Wheeling Central’s C.J. Burch ran for 158 yards and two scores in the Maroon Knight’s loss to Williamstown in the first round of the Class A playoffs.
- Shadyside’s Eric Howell carried 33 times for 148 yards and three touchdowns in the Tigers’ 30-6 win over Caldwell.
- In addition to Keller’s big day, Magnolia’s Eric Smith ran for 120 yards and a touchdown in the Blue Eagles’ 42-16 victory against Valley Saturday.
- Bishop Donahue’s Jesse Padlow completed 17 of 27 passes for 353 yards and three touchdowns in a 21-16 win against Man in the Class A playoffs.
- Wheeling Park’s Zach Phillips completed 8 of 11 passes for 172 yards and two touchdowns in a 55-34 victory against South Charleston.
- Curtis Nixon completed 20 of 33 passes for 166 yards and a touchdown in the Seminoles’ 45-14 loss t o Bishop Ready.
- Isaac Rine completed 10 of 15 passes for 116 yards and two touchdowns in Wheeling Central’s 27-25 loss to Williamstown.
Good Hands Team
- Bishop Donahue’s Eric Yates hauled in five passes for 188 yards and a pair of touchdowns in the Bishops first-round playoff victory.
- Bishop Donahue’s Chaice Truex had seven catches for 123 yards in the Bishops win over Man in the first round of the playoffs Saturday.
- Magnolia’s Kage Rodhe had nine tackles and a fumble recovery and Kyle Ritz added three sacks and a fumble recovery in the Blue Eagles’ victory against Valley.
- Wheeling Central’s Christian Zane had seven tackles and forced a fumble in the Maroon Knights’ 27-25 loss to Williamstown.
- Monroe Central’s Jake Sherman had seven tackles, including one for a loss, in the Seminoles’ 45-14 loss to Bishop Ready.
- Wheeling Park’s Geremy Page had 13 tackles and three sacks and 12 carries for 148 yards and two touchdowns in the Patriots’ 55-34 victory against South Charleston.
- Magnolia’s Jacob Brill had 78 yards rushing and two touchdowns and nine tackles and a sack on defense in a 42-16 victory against Valley.
- Austin Dorris ran for 106 yards and a score and completed 2 of 5 passes for eight yards in the Tigers victory against Cladwell in the second round of the Ohio playoffs.