article posted in 11-27-18 Herald News….
SERVICE WITH A SMILE
Jon Gordon, an American author and speaker on the topics of leadership, culture, sales and teamwork said “You don’t have to be great to serve, but you have to serve to be great.” Lady Hawks Senior basketball player Bailey Rogers epitomizes what it means to have a servant’s heart.
Rogers has been involved with basketball for twelve years, along with volleyball for the last five years. Perhaps her biggest contribution has occurred off the court. She has accumulated a lengthy list of extra-curricular activities along with community and church involvement including sixteen school activities/clubs, along with fifteen community/church activities over the years.
Rogers admits, “I am involved in many clubs and community activities. My parents taught me from a very young age to always help others and to be involved in as many things as you can. It’s a great way to get to know people and just put a smile on someone’s face.”
During Rogers’ junior year she suffered a setback that would keep her from playing basketball. Rogers recalls, “Last year during the last scrimmage game, I tore my ACL. I was playing in a JV game and when I went for a rebound, one of the players from the other team collided with me. We both hit knees and I dropped to the ground. I could walk normal but I couldn’t run or walk up or down stairs. The doctors thought it was just a deep bruise but the MRI showed a complete tear of my ACL.”
Rogers continues, “Sitting out a whole year was really hard on me because I don’t like sitting still. My injury didn’t let me get up and play the game I love. I couldn’t do anything physical like practice or play. So I eventually found stuff I could do like keep clock, get waters, and just help out with little things.”
Head Volleyball Coach Ben Schell was afraid that he would be without Rogers to start the season, but through extensive physical therapy and a great attitude she was cleared just before the season started. Schell speaks highly of Rogers, “Occasionally a coach is blessed with a player who just gets it. A player who gets what it takes to be successful on the court, in the classroom, and in the community. A player who truly understands what it takes to be an effective role model for her peers. A player who gives all that they have in everything they do, no matter the circumstances. Bailey Rogers is one of these special players.”
The same sentiments hold true for Head Basketball Coach James Slaven, and his happy to have her back playing on the team. “Losing Bailey last year hurt our depth in the post position. We essentially went from two players who could play and contribute to just one (Sophie Akin). We missed her physicality and her willingness to do the jobs that some kids don’t want to do. We know this year’s team is young and inexperienced this year and having Bailey returning helps us in that area.
Slaven continues, “I think Bailey has been rejuvenated to be back in practice. Having to sit through a season like she did last year makes you realize how much you miss the game when it isn’t there anymore. She has been very positive and she has been working hard on getting better. I am happy to have her back with us and I am excited for her in that she gets to return to doing something she loves.”
Assistant Coach Danielle Brown has seen the positive maturation in Rogers, “Bailey is a kid who since her freshman has known her role on the team, she knows we don’t expect her to go out and get 20 points and 10 rebounds. Not only does she know her role, she accepts it and does it to the very best of her ability. She’s our “garbage” player, the things she does aren’t always reflected on the stats and the newspaper. She’s our screener, our enforcer on defense, gets the garbage buckets, and does it all with a smile.”
Rogers is looking forward to the season and the opportunities that are ahead of her. Perhaps her biggest fan and supporter will be just a few feet away as her Dad, Todd Rogers assists the Lady Hawks Basketball team. “My dad has always been my biggest influencer and supporter in basketball,” says Rogers (Bailey). “He has always been there to help me with any part of the game on and off the court.”
Rogers (Todd) says, “When Bailey is on the floor I’m coach, off the floor I’m Dad. We get to spend a lot of time together and at times more than she probably wants. Last year was a difficult year with her season ending injury. It was extremely hard on her not being able to play basketball. She was so excited going into the season and how she could help the team be successful. Then during a preseason scrimmage game she and another player collided and just like that she’s done for the season. For the next ten months I became a different coach, a recovery coach. She worked very hard to come back for her senior year in volleyball and basketball! As a coach/dad I am most proud of the caring loving person that she is off the court.”
Look for Rogers to provide quality service with a smile this season. The Lady Hawks are in action Thursday and Saturday at home.