Rogers ramps up offseason workouts in quest for repeat at state tournament
By Jeff Harrison
Manny Rogers knows what it takes to win a state championship.
The Del City standout wrestler ended his sophomore year on top of the medal stand with a gold medal around his neck.
Now he’s working to make sure it’s not his last.
“Winning state is hard but repeating is even harder,” Rogers said. “I have to triple my work and effort from last year to repeat and keep Del City on the board.”
Rogers is staying sharp by working out and competing in freestyle and Greco Roman tournaments. In the spring, he wrestled with fellow students from Mid-Del and Choctaw on the East OC team. And last month, he competed against the best high school wrestlers in the country at the Junior National Duals in Tulsa.
Del City coach Wes Ruth said he’s been impressed by Rogers’ dedication, work ethic and maturity.
“He’s not just sitting around. He’s trying to win a second and third state title. He’s continuing to get better,” Ruth said.
Rogers helped the Oklahoma squad finish second in freestyle and fourth in Greco Roman at the national dual tournament that included wrestlers from 38 states. The tournament took place June 20-23 at the Cox Business Center in Tulsa.
Rogers went 3-3 overall in the tournament, winning all three of his matches by technical fall.
“(Junior National Duals) is a good experience and you learn new stuff and different ways to maintain position,” Rogers said. “It keeps your momentum going for folkstyle during the school season.”
He won two matches in freestyle, beating Nate Savageau, of North Dakota, and David Jackson-Dodd, of Georgia, both 10-0. His lone loss came against Justin Cardani of Illinois.
In Greco-Roman style, Rogers beat Florida’s Ryan Rowland by a 12-2 technical fall. He lost by one point to Timothy Levin of California and by technical fall to Aizayah Yacapin of Washington.
Next week, Rogers will head to Fargo, North Dakota for the U.S.A. Cadet-Junior Nationals. He is one of five Mid-Del wrestlers headed to the tournament. Del City’s Chris Harpole and Traylon Jackson, Samontai Scott, of Midwest City, and Jackson Jones, of Carl Albert, will also compete in the national event.
The Junior Nationals Tournament runs from July 13-20.