Rogers now leading Central Mountain from sideline
As a young player, Central Mountain Hall of Famer Lindsey Rogers never really envisioned a basketball future. The game was fun and she loved it. That was all that mattered.
As she continued becoming one of Pennsylvania’s best all-around players, however, Rogers began to see doors opening. Suddenly, she realized basketball could be a career, not just a passion. And that career now has transitioned from playing to coaching.
After becoming Central Mountain’s all-time best player and one of Bucknell’s most decorated players, Rogers has come home again. The 2003 Central Mountain graduate is in her second year coaching her alma mater. She also is teaching at Renovo Elementary, now combining her two loves. Roger is right where she wants to be.
“Honestly, I didn’t really even think about playing college basketball until about ninth or 10th grade. I just loved it and I realized oh, I can get my schooling paid for me and you realize what you can do,” Rogers said Thursday following a loss at Williamsport. “As a teacher and coach it kind of goes hand and hand sometimes so I knew I wanted to go into being a teacher and I went in to college knowing my major. I didn’t know I’d end up here coaching, but I love it.”
Rogers is the program’s all-time leading scorer and went on to become a four-year starter at Bucknell, earning Patriot League Rookie of the Year honors in 2004. She was the team’s captain in 2006 and 2007 and helped lead the Bison to Patriot League championship while becoming the program’s eighth all-time leading scorer. She also maintained a 4.0 grade-point average while student teaching her senior year.
Rogers started 100 of 102 games she played and is one of the few players in Bucknell history to top 1,000 career points and 500 rebounds. Because of her collegiate success, Rogers was a hot commodity overseas following her graduation. She had several playing options, but Rogers had other plans.
“I had the opportunity but I wanted to start my career and have a family,” Rogers said. “I love basketball and I like coaching, too. I didn’t think I could give it up all together with my background and now with coaching it’s a lot of fun.”
It also is challenging. Central Mountain is one of the state’s youngest varsity teams. Only one senior is on the roster and most of the starters and contributors are freshmen and sophomores. The Wildcats have been outmatched as a result and are 0-10. Still, progress is being made as the Wildcats are playing a lot better than they did early this season.
Central Mountain ran some good offenses against Williamsport and players often were in the right positions to score and finish. If that keeps happening, the Wildcats will start converting more. Combine that with the desire the team is showing and moral victories might soon become real ones.
“That’s what we’ve been talking about. When we played our first game this year we didn’t score any points until late in the second quarter,” Rogers said. “Coming from that to where we are, they have done a nice job. They are setting goals game by game and are working hard to reach goals.”
Rogers is, too. She led Central Mountain to its most successful season while playing, and is determined to help the program flourish again. It is not easy, but Rogers is doing what she loves.
Once upon a time, Rogers never thought basketball could carry her beyond high school. Now, basketball is a way of life.
Williamsport (6-5) is starting to feature one of the area’s best inside games. And really, the two post players have only scratched the surface of their potential so this could be a force in the making.
Sophomore Jaynell Robinson is a towering presence at more than 6-feet tall and junior Jahnae Hall-Gaddy is pushing 6-feet and looks like one of the area’s most physically impressive post players. Both nearly had double-doubles against Central Mountain and both have had big games this season. Robinson scored a career-high 34 points in last Monday’s loss to Danville, the most by a Millionaire player in three seasons. She added 23 points in Saturday’s 52-51 loss at St. Mary’s.
“When they (Robinson and Hall-Gaddy) are seniors they will be great,” guard Amy Southard said. “They are going to be amazing.”
Both players are still raw but if both keep progressing and meshing the results could be tremendous. That is especially true since Williamsport has a versatile and solid backcourt that can open things up in the middle.
“Cleary that’s going to be our strength when we have Jaynell and Jahnae inside. The first part should be go inside at least once and then go outside,” Williamsport coach Derek Slaughter. “Jaynell and Jahnae have always been the biggest players on their team so it’s just a matter of them getting used to each other. Sometimes they running into each other and are figuring out where to be on the court, but hopefully we’ll keep getting better every day.”
North Penn’s Mariah Berguson scored a career-high 28 points in Saturday’s 61-49 win over Liberty. She has scored 17 or more points in four of her last five games … Chelsea Repard and Kelsey Harer are having big years for Liberty. Harer has scored 20 points in three consecutive games and Repard had 22 points in Friday’s 59-53 loss to Mansfield … Cowanesque Valley (5-6) is heating up and has won three of its last four. Grace Earle scored a career-high 20 points in a 49-19 win over Canton … Galeton is streaking as well, winning three straight while improving to 5-4. Latascia Shadle averaged 17.3 points in three wins last week … Tiffany Werts scored a career-high 18 points and grabbed 11 rebounds in Bucktail’s 60-21 win over CMVT.
Masse may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him for more high school basketball information on Twitter at @docmasse