Franklin Co. linebacker enjoys first pass theft

Published 5:00 am Wednesday, October 26, 2005

MEADVILLE — Last Friday’s homecoming game with Columbia broughtout the best in Franklin County junior middle linebacker GaryRogers.

Rogers helped the Bulldogs to a 27-18 Region 7-3A win over thevisiting Wildcats with 10 tackles and a pass interception in histeam’s homecoming victory.

For his accomplishments, Rogers has been named The DAILYLEADER’S Defensive Player of the Week. With the win, Franklinimproved to 3-1 in the region and 4-3 on the season.

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Rogers was pleased to be selected Defensive Player of theWeek.

“It feels good,” said Rogers. “It’s my first time.”

Rogers runs a 40-yard dash in 4.9 seconds. In the weight room,he dead lifts 325 pounds, squats 500 and power cleans 315.

“Rogers is a pretty good ball player,” said Franklin Countyfirst-year head coach Grady McCluskey. “He is a 3-year starter. Heis just a good football player. He’s one of the leaders on ourdefense. He is real strong,”

Rogers says he is enjoying playing middle linebacker. “It feltgood,” said Rogers about winning homecoming and beating Columbialast Friday.

Recalling the interception, Rogers described how he interceptedhis first career pass. The interception also prevented a possiblescore for Columbia with 4:15 remaining in the game.

“Marcus Tillman hit the guy throwing the ball,” smiled Rogers.”I returned it a few yards.”

Rogers named his defensive line, including Marcus Tillman atend, Bo Tillman at left tackle, Andrew Williams at right tackle andBrandon Collins at end. Rogers said some players alternate in andout at the positions.

“I’d like to thank the line for doing what they did,” addedRogers.

Assistant football coach Tony Gibbs works a lot with Rogers ondefense and said he appreciates his efforts. “Rogers is a hardhitter. He shows leadership ability.”

Rogers returned the kind words when questioned about Gibbs. “Heis a great coach. He has helped me get my reads down.”

The Bulldogs are 4-3 overall and 3-1 in Region 7-3A. They havewon 3 straight games are are looking forward to a state playoffrun.

Rogers says he enjoys playing for McCluskey. “He pushes me tostrive harder at what I do,” stated Rogers.

Rogers said his Uncle Grant (Rogers) played basketball atFranklin.

In 2006, Rogers said he will try baseball this spring. He playedbasketball last year but decided not to play this season.

In his spare time, Rogers plays softball and is an outfielder.”I’m average,” said Rogers.