When Chandler Rogers moved to Stillwater, Oklahoma last summer, he left as arguably the best wrestler in Mead history – and he still had one year left in high school.
Rogers set a benchmark, winning three state titles as a Panther. He finished as a four-time state champion, going 44-0 at Stillwater High and finishing with a 133-match winning streak.
Had he stayed at Mead, the 170-pound Rogers would have become the first 4A four-time state champion.
“I had to choose something that would better me in the future,” said Rogers, who, by moving to Stillwater, was able to wrestle in the backyard of the college he signed with, Oklahoma State University. In the fall, Rogers will join his brother, Jordan, who will be a redshirt sophomore.
How dominating was Chandler this year? He won all 44 matches by pin including three first-round pins at state. Stillwater captured its first state championship since 1970.
“It was a really fun season,” he said by telephone this week. “I did miss my team back (at Mead). I love coach (Phil) McLean. I really appreciate what the coaches did for me for my early years.”
Rogers finished with a 167-6 record. All six of the losses came as a freshman when he won 38. He went 42-0 as a sophomore and 43-0 as a junior.
He enjoyed the change of scenery in more ways than one. Nobody knew him in Oklahoma and opponents engaged him. His reputation in Washington preceded him and opponents in the Evergreen State were frequently in retreat against him.
“In Oklahoma, they wanted to try to make it a long, grinding match,” Rogers said.
When opponents attempted to attack Rogers, the standout used his impressive upper body strength to flatten them quickly.
Now he’s looking forward to wrestling at OSU. He will likely redshirt next year as his brother did his true freshman year. OSU is stacked in the 170- and 184-pound classes. His brother is at 184.
In Chandler’s recruiting class, OSU signed the No. 1-ranked 170-pounder in the nation. Rogers was ranked ninth during the season.
At a folkstyle national tourney for juniors and seniors in Iowa recently, Rogers beat the No. 3 wrestler 11-2 in the final.
East Valley has promoted varsity assistant and junior varsity boys basketball coach Jason Wilson to replace Drew Vanderpool, who resigned.
Wilson was the varsity assistant for nine years.
“He is passionate about building a program from youth up and has the support of our current players, their parents and our administration,” EV athletic director Joe Kostecka said.
Wilson, 36, is a 1996 University graduate. He said his experience as a player and a coach should benefit him as a coach.
“I’ve learned quite a bit,” said Wilson, who is self- employed. “I’ve learned mostly how to interact with kids. A lot has changed since I was growing up with how you interact with kids. You just can’t be a coach and go home. You have to be a friend at times, you have to be a father figure at times.”
Wilson knows the history of EV basketball – or the lack thereof. The last time an EV boys team advanced to state was in 1968 – the longest drought of any area school.
“It hasn’t been good. There’s not a lot of postseason success,” Wilson said. “We’re hoping in the next few years that we can get that changed. I’ve got a passion for it. I’m not going to accept anything than the best from the kids. We’re going to work hard every day and see where it takes us. That’s all you can really do.”
• Sandpoint volleyball turns to one of its own as the next head coach.
Erin (McGovern) Roos takes over for Karen Alsager, who resigned to spend more time with her family.
Roos grew up around Sandpoint volleyball. She was the Inland Empire League’s most valuable player as a setter her senior season in 1992. She went on to play at the University of Michigan.
Roos returned to Sandpoint after college and married a high school friend, Mike Roos. They have three boys ages 12, 9 and 5.
Roos has coached club at various age levels since returning to Sandpoint. She’s a part-time teacher at Sandpoint High.
“We want to put some more state banners in the gym,” Roos said.
The 12th-annual WIBCA/WIAA Boys Basketball Showcase is Saturday and Sunday in Bellevue.
Two teams from eastern Washington will be participating in the tournament that is sanctioned as a recruiting opportunity for college coaches. Players from the region scheduled to play are: Skylar Kelley and George Pilimai of Shadle Park, Nick Hall of Post Falls, Dalton Rausch of Riverside, Cody Watkins of Lakeside (Nine Mile) and Brodie Ford of Wellpinit.