Before Jeremiah Rogers began his senior season at David Crockett High School, the 160-pound grappler told his mother his goals for his final year as a Pioneer were to win the region then bring a state championship home to Jonesborough.
State championships in wrestling are something of an oddity in the sport. A state championship all but writes a full ride to several colleges, while leaving the champion grappler endowed in the school record books forever.
Rogers, who finished the last wrestling season a match away from placing at state a monumental achievement in itself entered this season ranked sixth in Tennessee at 160 pounds.
First-year Crockett Head Coach Todd Parker acknowledged Rogers’ talent before the season began.
“Our No. 1 wrestler is Jeremiah Rogers,” Parker said. “He was a match away from placing last year, and we expect big things from him again this season.”
Rogers has lived up to those expectations in his final season at Crockett, compiling a 27-8 record, with 21 of his wins coming by pin.
On senior night at Crockett on Jan. 31, Rogers added to his impressive resume, capturing Win No. 100 in the final duel of the evening against Chuckey Doak.
Of course Rogers won the match by pin, something of a trademark for the powerful senior. The win bumped his high school record to 100-45, with 75 of those victories coming by pin.
Rogers has already been offered scholarships to wrestle at the next level, but remains unsure of his wrestling future.
“I don’t think he’s sure what he wants to do yet, although he would like to pursue an engineering degree in college,” said Rogers’ mom, Rebecca.
Rogers, also a member of the Pioneer baseball team, is expected to catch for Crockett on the ball field this spring.
Outside of school, Rogers enjoys hunting, which has helped with conditioning.
“He’s definitely conditioned for long distance,” Rogers’ mother said. “I have seen him trek 20 miles through the mountains in a day’s time.”
She says her son is very dedicated when it comes to wrestling and when he says he’s going to do something, he usually does it.
For most wrestlers, wrestling season brings a strenuous diet plan, forcing grapplers to remain strict on eating habits to maintain eligibility in their weight class.
While Rogers had hoped to cut down to 152 pounds before the season began, he has struggled just to keep his weight under 160 and has set his goals in that weight division.
Rogers and the rest of the Pioneers are now in preparation for the Region 1 Tournament, which will take place Feb. 10-11.
“I know he’s aiming to win state,” Rebecca Rogers said. “But he’ll be more than satisfied just to place at state.”
If Rogers advances through regionals, he’ll head to Franklin in Williamson County for the 2012 State Tournament, set for Feb. 16-18.
As Rogers has already proved in his time at Crockett, for him anything is possible.