HHS’s Rogers continuing in game he loves

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, August 15, 2000

MICHAEL KIRAL / L’Observateur / August 15, 2000

BOUTTE – Kade Rogers had a spring to remember this year.

First there was a victory over cross-parish rival Destrehan that gave Hahnville the District 7-5A championship. Then a 1-0 win over Catholic ofBaton Rouge that sent the Tigers to the state tournament in New Iberia. Andin the midst of all that, he got the opportunity to continue his baseball career on the next level, signing with Nicholls State.

Rogers had a couple of other schools call his as well but he liked the way Nicholls State ran the recruiting process.

“The way I was treated amazed me,” Rogers said. “They have a new coachingstaff, new ideas. They were enthusiastic about it. They offered me a chanceto do something I love. I could have a chance at being one of the fouroutfielders but I have to work my way to a position and go from there.”Rogers has played the sport for over 14 years, since he, his dad and his older brother played catch in their backyard. He would go on to playrecreation T-ball in the St. Charles Parish Recreation leagues.”I’ve loved it every since,” Rogers, who was coached by his dad, Marlin Rogers, said. “My dad showed me how the game should be played and how torespect the game. How to love the game.”Rogers started three years in the outfield at Hahnville, playing left field his sophomore season before moving to center for his junior and senior years.

“My sophomore year was a learning experience,” Rogers said. “It was toughbeing a sophomore and a starter and playing against the big boys on campus.”Rogers got used to the adjustment for his junior year, helping the Tigers to the Class 5A regionals. And as a senior, he would make both the all-District7-5A and all-River Parishes teams after batting .360 with four home runsand 28 runs batted in.

The team’s five seniors who had started since they were sophomores – Rogers, pitchers Erik Donnaud and Brian Risinger, catcher Chris Hawkins and infielder Brandon Kelly, led the Tigers to the District title, defeating Destrehan, 28-9, in a one-game playoff. Hahnville then defeated Mandeville,7-5, in the bi-district playoffs as Rogers had a home run and two RBIs.

That victory sent Hahnville to the regionals against Catholic. In the firstinning, Rogers walked, went to second on a single by Hawkins and scored on Tim Sirmon’s two-out single to give the Tigers a 1-0 lead. Risinger and thedefense made that run stand up, sending the Tigers to the quarterfinals.

“It was undescribable, that feeling,” Rogers said of the last out of that game. “The anticipation going into that final out. There were two balls andtwo strikes on the batter and Brian threw one over and the batter swung and miss. I get goosebumps every time I think about it.”Hahnville advanced to the state tournament in New Iberia to face Covington.

This time, it was the Lions who got the shutout, blanking the Tigers, 5-0.

“I really thought we were better than them but as coach (Mark) Sims said, that’s baseball,” Rogers said. “Against Catholic, we caught everything theyhit. Against Covington, they caught everything we hit. Some days the ballbounces your way and some days it doesn’t.”Rogers credited Sims, in his first year as head coach of the Tigers, for getting the team to New Iberia.

“Coach Sims was great,” Rogers said. “He came in and said what hisexpectations were for us and we produced for him. He said for us to get tothe point we were at last year and he would get us to the state tournament.”Rogers has been working this summer to prepare for the next level. TheColonels begin fall practice Aug. 21, the same that classes begin.”I’ve just been hitting and throwing and working out,” Rogers said. “I’m realanxious.”And as for the Tigers’ team he is leaving, he sees it continuing to have success next season.

“I think they will be alright,” Rogers said. “They are losing five starters.They will have to make that up but we’ll see what happens. I’ll support themno matter what.”

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