Ross Rogers brings fresh game against new opponents

Tuesday, September 25, 2012 at 4:00 pm

If anyone asked him who his hero was when he was a child, there was no question about it – it was his dad.

From the field house, he would watch his dad run play after play with his players in effort to win each game Friday night.

From the football stadium, he would watch his dad on the field rooting on his athletes, cheering them to victory, and winning yet another game.

Years later, Coach Ross Rogers realized he had fulfilled his hero’s dream of winning 200 games, after his father fell one game short. In that moment Rogers looked into the stands and saw his father cheering him on as he was recognized as a great coach and later inducted to the Texas High School Football Coach’s Hall of Fame.

But it was more than just having his father be a great high school football coach that motivated him. His dad won 199 games in his coaching career, but it was also about carrying on the respect he held from everyone who knew him.

Everywhere Rogers goes, people ask him how his dad is doing. Although everyone remembers him as a great football coach, they never forget how he embodied what they believed a man should be, like the time his father allowed his athletes to have long hair in the 70’s because he didn’t think long hair had anything to do with the type of person they were.

“I saw him treat people fairly, and I saw how people respected him,” Rogers said. “He emulated what I hoped I could be.”

Fresh Start

Rogers has had a lot of experience as a coach at several different schools including Hempstead, Waller, Harker Heights, A&M Consolidated, as well as Texas State University. He was also a graduate assistant at Baylor University while attending school there.

After 33 years of coaching, Rogers retired and moved to Bryan, where, for 5 years, he sold football equipment for Riddell. When Bryan High offered him the position of head coach, he was glad to accept it.

“I have high expectations, and the experiences I’ve had for the most part as a head football coach have been good,” Rogers said. “I certainly expect [to continue] that here at Bryan High.”

Off the Field

Hired in the spring of the 2011-2012 school year, Rogers began implementing several changes, including pushing academic success for all athletes because he believes if they don’t do well in the classroom, they won’t do well on the field.

“You’ve got to have a combination of both to be successful at life, so whatever you’re strength is, you’ve got to pull up your weakness there,” Rogers said. “You’ve got to find a balance in yourself.”

Coach Brett Page, a former BHS student, agreed with Rogers and said these academic changes will be beneficial for all athletes.

“Anytime you have a coach like Coach Rogers come in and really stress the importance of academics, it’s going to [bleed] over and will allow for more success on the field,” Page said.

Quarterback Chris Johnson believes that with Rogers as the head coach, the team will see many improvements this year, especially with the push of academic success for all his athletes.

“He’s making sure we’re keeping up with our schoolwork, because without academics, you can’t do anything,” Johnson said. “I think this football season, we’re going to come out with some pretty strong results.”

Other than academics, Rogers said he looks for consistency and a positive attitude in an athlete.

“People who have the right attitude are going to go a long way in life,” Rogers said. “If you’ve got a great attitude, that’ll help your academics, and it’ll help whatever you do in life.”

Along with stressing the importance of attitude, Rogers’ main goal is unity within the team.

“I want our guys to come together and play as one,” Rogers said. “If we do that, I think the winning will take care of itself.”

On the Field

With a new district comes new opponents, and each team must be taken seriously.

“Traditionally, the Woodlands is a tough school,” Rogers said. “Lufkin’s also been a traditional powerhouse. Those are the two that everyone’s talking about.”

To beat these competitive schools, Rogers stressed the importance of having his seniors as leaders on the field.

“We really try to make our seniors special since they’ve had the most experience,” Rogers said. “I think the older you get the tougher you get, so hopefully they’ll bring a toughness [to the game].”

Senior Zach Slaydon said that being a senior means not letting the team down.

“I just lead by example, no matter if it’s a tough situation,” Slaydon said. “[We] just keep going, and if things are going great, don’t stop, and don’t let anything affect you, no matter how good or bad the situation is.”

Rogers hopes to bring a fresh perspective this year with all the changes he’s implemented and is hoping for the best.

“I think I can bring something different to the plate,” Rogers said. “I’ve always been able to turn programs around and be successful, so hopefully that’ll happen here.”

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