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Rogers High School Football: Never surrender, never retreat Part III

Related story: Despite winless season, Rogers High football team’s brotherhood is unbreakable


Dan Pelle - The Spokesman-Review

The Rogers Pirates captains, from left, Dalton Waggy, Cody Risinger, Jacob Meusy, Dom Sanders and James Welty, lead the team onto the field in a game against University High, Oct. 4 at Joe Albi Stadium.


Dan Pelle - The Spokesman-Review

Rogers coach Matt Miethe shares a moment with his son Carter before the University High game Oct. 4 at Joe Albi Stadium. Carter and Miethe’s other son, Cooper, are ball boys for the Pirates.


Dan Pelle - The Spokesman-Review

Rogers coaches Bob Sharp, Tony Moser, Nick Fross and Steve Burns pause for the national anthem before the University High game, Oct. 4 at Joe Albi Stadium.


Dan Pelle - The Spokesman-Review

University linebacker Isaiah Watkins (32) and Rogers running back James Welty watch a fumbled handoff bounce into the air in their Oct. 4 game.


Dan Pelle - The Spokesman-Review

Rogers player Jacob Meusy’s helmet shows a season of battle scars from the trenches for the Pirates.


Dan Pelle - The Spokesman-Review

Rogers quarterback Cole Shafer fires down field under pressure from University’s Mitch Millhouse on Oct. 4.


Dan Pelle - The Spokesman-Review

Rogers’ Cody Risinger, center, and teammates listen during a halftime gathering in the locker room during the Oct. 4 game against University.


Dan Pelle - The Spokesman-Review

Rogers special teams coach Dave Casteal, wearing a Superman tie, demonstrates to the team how Muhammad Ali took all the body shots from George Foreman during a championship boxing fight in 1974. Ali roared back to knock out Foreman in the eighth round. Casteal said the Pirates can do the same against Lewis and Clark on Oct. 11 at Joe Albi Stadium.


Dan Pelle - The Spokesman-Review

Rogers wide receiver Khalil Winfrey eyeballs a pass reception into his hands for a touchdown against Lewis and Clark’s Coleton Fitzgerald on Oct. 11.


Dan Pelle - The Spokesman-Review

Rogers quarterback Dom Sanders retreats to the floor in the locker room at halftime against Gonzaga Prep.


Dan Pelle - The Spokesman-Review

Rogers coach Matt Miethe urges his team to give everything they got in the second half against Lewis and Clark on Oct 11. Miethe wanted to write “The Win” on the game ball, then place it in the school’s trophy case, but the Pirates lost the game.


Dan Pelle - The Spokesman-Review

Rogers guarterback Dom Sanders sits fatigued on the locker room floor during halftime against Lewis and Clark at Joe Albi Stadium.


Dan Pelle - The Spokesman-Review

Rogers coach Matt Miethe gathers his thoughts as players enter the locker room at halftime against Lewis and Clark.


Dan Pelle - The Spokesman-Review

Rogers Pirates burst onto the field for the second half of the game against Lewis and Clark on Oct. 11.


Dan Pelle - The Spokesman-Review

Rogers High School field goal kicker Mads Tranberg celebrates a successful extra point against Lewis and Clark. Tranberg is an exchange student from Denmark.


Dan Pelle - The Spokesman-Review

Rogers players and coaches gather on the field as running back James Welty is attended to by medical personnel at Joe Albi Stadium. Welty absorbed a punishing hit by the Lewis and Clark defense and was taken by ambulance to a hospital. As Welty was carted off on a stretcher, teammates shouted, “We love you, Welty!” He recovered and was able to play in the next game.


Dan Pelle - The Spokesman-Review

Rogers High School special teams coach and Cooper Elementary School sixth-grade teacher Dave Casteal and his “learners” participate in catching footballs kicked by Mads Tranberg on Oct. 16 on the Cooper playground. Casteal invited the Danish exchange student to visit the sixth-graders and teach them about Denmark.


Dan Pelle - The Spokesman-Review

Rogers defensive coordinator Ben Cochran roars with delight after his Pirates recover a Gonzaga Prep fumble in the first quarter of an Oct. 17 game at Joe Albi Stadium.


Dan Pelle - The Spokesman-Review

Rogers running back James Welty bobbles a pass but gains yards against Gonzaga Prep.


Dan Pelle - The Spokesman-Review

Rogers center Cody Risinger, left, and offensive lineman Dalton Waggy listen to coaches and teammates during halftime in the locker room at Joe Albi Stadium on Oct. 17.


Dan Pelle - The Spokesman-Review

Rogers kicker Mads Tranberg drills a field goal in the fourth quarter against Gonzaga Prep on Oct. 17 at Joe Albi Stadium. It was the first field goal the Pirates made in three seasons.


Dan Pelle - The Spokesman-Review

Rogers running back James Welty has his hair cut by his mother, Billie, late in the evening Oct. 24, 2013, after a day of early morning ROTC drill team practice, school and then football practice. He needs a cut every three weeks to meet ROTC regulations. On the table rests his player-of-the-week crocheted hat and his ROTC shoes and uniform.


Dan Pelle - The Spokesman-Review

Rogers running back James Welty, center, practices spinning and catching his N1903 Springfield replica rifle during ROTC training Oct. 23. Members practice every school morning at 6 a.m.


Dan Pelle - The Spokesman-Review

Rogers running back James Welty, right, attends ROTC training every school morning at 6 a.m. They practice marching drills for competitions.


Dan Pelle - The Spokesman-Review

James Welty visits with World War II veteran Howard Hickman during Rogers’ Veterans Day program Nov. 6. Hickman, a former naval petty officer, was honored for his service at the ceremony and presented an American flag that had flown over the nation’s capital. Welty was assigned to host Hickman during his visit.


Dan Pelle - The Spokesman-Review

Rogers seniors, from left, Jacob Meusy, Nick Challinor, Elijah Rodriguez, Dalton Waggy, Jean Trotchie, Charles Smith and Eric Scollard hold rose stems as they prepare to be introduced on Senior Night before the Mt. Spokane game Oct. 31 at Joe Albi Stadium.


Dan Pelle - The Spokesman-Review

Rogers senior place kicker Mads Tranberg tries to offer head coach Matt Miethe his rose upon being introduced on Senior Night. Tranberg is an exchange student from Denmark and did not have a family member to greet him on the field.


Dan Pelle - The Spokesman-Review

Julio and Patty Ramirez greet Rogers player Elijah Rodriguez to the field on Senior Night, Oct. 31 at Joe Albi Stadium. Elijah, once homeless, lived with the Ramirez family for a few weeks in his sophomore year.


Dan Pelle - The Spokesman-Review

Rogers’ Marcus Phillips avoids a flying tackle by Mt. Spokane’s Mike Schupp on the opening kickoff.


Dan Pelle - The Spokesman-Review

Rogers cornerback Marcus Phillips heads for the goal line after intercepting a Mt. Spokane pass near the end of the first half. He was tackled at the one yard line.


Dan Pelle - The Spokesman-Review

Injured Rogers player Jordan Roth repairs a fallen banner for senior James Welty during Senior Night against Mt. Spokane. The cheerleaders made the signs to honor the senior players.


Dan Pelle - The Spokesman-Review

Rogers wide receiver Khalil Winfrey hauls in a pass for a gain in the second quarter against Mt. Spokane at Joe Albi Stadium.


Dan Pelle - The Spokesman-Review

Vonn Schmoock, younger brother of Rogers senior football player Hank Schmoock, visits the “Joe Fan” statue during the Pirates’ game with Mt. Spokane on Halloween night at Joe Albi Stadium. Vonn is wearing a Halloween mask and his brother’s jersey.


Dan Pelle - The Spokesman-Review

Rogers defensive back Khalil Winfrey watches Mt. Spokane’s Mike Schupp fly over the goal line for a first-quarter score.


Dan Pelle - The Spokesman-Review

After the Rogers football coaches left the locker room, seniors Jacob Meusy and Eric Scollard implored teammates to give it all they had in the second half against Mt. Spokane.


Dan Pelle - The Spokesman-Review

Rogers seniors, Jacob Meusy, left, and Cody Risinger push and pull Charles Smith for extra yards against Mt. Spokane. The Pirates were flagged for illegal assisting on the play.


Dan Pelle - The Spokesman-Review

With a few tears and camaraderie, Rogers seniors line up as parents take a group picture after the final Greater Spokane League regular season game against Mt. Spokane on Oct. 31 at Joe Albi Stadium. The players, from left, include: Jacob Meusy, Cody Risinger, Cody Dodson, Brandon Rose, Jordan Holzer, Elijah Rodriguez, Jean Trotchie, Dalton Waggy, Dom Sanders, JJ Barnett, Nick Challinor, Julio Ramirez and Tristen Carl. The Pirates finished at 0-9 and had to wait to see if they would play cross-over game the following week.


Dan Pelle - The Spokesman-Review

Rogers senior LB Brandon Rose, left, is consoled by Elijah Rodriguez before leaving the field on Senior Night. The Pirates lost the game 41-13 and were winless for the regular season. Rodriguez, also a senior, did not play in the game because he missed a practice earlier in the week looking for his lost dog. “You played your heart out,” Rodriguez told a weeping Rose.


Dan Pelle - The Spokesman-Review

Rogers football player Hank Schmoock is greeted by Bob Phillips, left, as Schmoock and other football players arrive for Sunday service at the Colbert Chapel. Head football coach Matt Miethe invited his players to join him in prayer and singing during the gathering Oct. 27.


Dan Pelle - The Spokesman-Review

Rogers football head football coach Matt Miethe, his children, players and coaches gather for Sunday service at the Colbert Chapel Oct. 27.


Dan Pelle - The Spokesman-Review

Rogers football head football coach Matt Miethe hosts a gathering in his home Oct. 27 after Sunday services. From left, Carter Miethe, Khalil Winfrey, Matt Miethe, Charles Smith and assistant coach Nick Frost gather in the kitchen for pizza and snacks while watching NFL football.


Dan Pelle - The Spokesman-Review

Rogers football head football coach Matt Miethe’s son Cooper shows off his room to player Khalil Winfrey during a gathering in Miethe’s home.


Dan Pelle - The Spokesman-Review

Matt Miethe leads the players and his wife, Debbie, in prayer as they eat pizza and snacks at Miethe’s home.


Dan Pelle - The Spokesman-Review

Rogers player Elijah Rodriguez plays with Sammy and Bobi in the backyard of his teammate J.J. Barnett Nov. 10. The dogs escaped from the fenced yard the last week in October. Elijah decided to miss a practice to look for the dogs. Rules state that if a player misses a practice, he can’t play in the game. Rodriguez was to able suit up but not play on Senior Night against Mt. Spokane.


Dan Pelle - The Spokesman-Review

Rogers player Elijah Rodriguez, right, and his dog, Bobi, live with teammate J.J. Barnett, left, and Barnett’s mother, Jen Reed, in their north Spokane home. Rodriguez was once homeless and has been with the family for the past eight months. The boys plan to join the U.S. Marines after high school graduation.


Dan Pelle - The Spokesman-Review

Rogers players, from left, Cody Risinger, Jessie Hegar, Tristen Carl, James Welty, Jordan Holzer and Dom Sanders vie for a rebound as the team shoots baskets while waiting in the gym for a team picture.


Dan Pelle - The Spokesman-Review

Rogers High School varsity football players gather for a team picture in the school’s gym before playing North Central in the crossover game Nov. 7.


Dan Pelle - The Spokesman-Review

Rogers defensive end Jessie Hegar is all smiles before the last game of the year against North Central. The players gathered for a team picture in the school’s gym.


Dan Pelle - The Spokesman-Review

Rogers running back Marcus Phillips turns the tables on lineman Jacob Meusy to get him in an arm hold after Meusy had Phillips in a headlock in the hallways of the school.


Dan Pelle - The Spokesman-Review

Rogers senior running back James Welty flattens North Central’s Quinn Zerba in the second half of their non-league game Nov. 7 at Joe Albi Stadium.


Dan Pelle - The Spokesman-Review

Rogers players Jordan Roth and Tristen Carl roar with delight after teammate James Welty ran over North Central’s Quinn Zerba in the second half of their non-league game Nov. 7.


Dan Pelle - The Spokesman-Review

Rogers Nick Challinor slips the grasp of North Central’s Jamaal Edwards and scores on a 40-yard pass in the second quarter to take the lead at Joe Albi Stadium.


Dan Pelle - The Spokesman-Review

Rogers wide receiver Brandon Rose powers past North Central’s Quinn Zerba and Isaac Wick in the Pirates’ last game of the season.


Dan Pelle - The Spokesman-Review

Rogers seniors Brandon Rose and Jacob Meusy walk arm-in-arm off the Joe Albi Stadium turf after the final high school football game of their careers. The Pirates lost to North Central 20-7 in a non-league game.


Dan Pelle - The Spokesman-Review

Rogers coach Matt Miethe addresses his team in the school’s locker room after a season-end loss to North Central. Miethe told the players even though it was tough to lose all 10 games this year, it not as hard as facing the realities of life. The loss of a parent, a child or other hardships is more painful than losing a football game, Miethe said to the players.


Dan Pelle - The Spokesman-Review

Rogers players and coaches gather for the last time to recite the Pirate creed:

“We are from Rogers!
We all play hard!
We all play together!
We are winners!
We are the Pirates!
Ahhhhhhhhhhhh!”


Dan Pelle - The Spokesman-Review

Rogers junior Jessie Hegar, left, consoles distraught senior Jacob Meusy in the school’s locker room after the final game of the winless season.


Dan Pelle - The Spokesman-Review

Rogers senior Brandon Rose prolongs turning in his jersey for the final time after Rogers fell to North Central 20-7 in the final game of the season. Rose stood over the pile of uniforms several moments before surrendering his No. 4.


Dan Pelle - The Spokesman-Review

After all players and coaches have left the Rogers locker room following the season’s final game, head coach Matt Miethe picks up uniforms, shoulder pads and helmets.

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