Effort helps Cougar shine

For The Tribune

Whitney Rogers has helped Trinity Lutheran High School bring home some hardware over the past four years.

A four-year varsity letterman in both sports, she has been on sectional championship teams in both basketball and volleyball and helped the volleyball team win three straight sectional titles.

Rogers also has received special honors in both sports that include a Cougar Invitational title, a most valuable player award and a most improved honor.

She was captain of the volleyball team this past fall and captain in basketball her junior and senior seasons.

She has been a starter in both sports this school year, as she was the libero in volleyball and is a guard on the basketball team.

Rogers also saw a lot of varsity playing time in both sports her sophomore and junior seasons.

The senior played both sports beginning in the fourth grade at St. John’s Sauers Lutheran School.

This winter, Rogers and Jodi Goecker do most of the ball-handling for the Cougars.

“Jodi and I share that position,” Rogers said. “I think I have more confidence shooting this year. I really don’t know what changed, but I’m more comfortable shooting, and my teammates and my coaches are counting on me. Even if I miss five shots in a row, my coaches tell me to keep shooting.”

She has scored in double figures four times this winter with a high game of 15 points against Crothersville.

Last year, her high game was 14 versus Indianapolis Lutheran.

Rogers said she enjoys pressing when the Cougars are on defense.

“We’re really a scrappy team,” she said. “I usually start up at the top with Jodi or Maddie Bell. We struggled last year with man defense, but this year, we’ve done a lot better.”

The Cougars have won three of the past four games after a rocky start to the season.

“We definitely struggled at the beginning of the season, but now, we’re playing a lot better,” Rogers said. “I like how close-knit our team is.”

Rogers changed positions during her volleyball career at Trinity.

“I started out my freshman year as a setter, and then I transitioned to the back row,” she said. “This year was my first year at libero. Starting out, it was kind of weird because I had obviously never passed before, so I didn’t know where to go.”

Being a team captain, she said she tried to lead by example.

“I really focused on trying to be more of a leader this year in the locker room and out on the court,” Rogers said.

She said she thinks Trinity plays a competitive schedule in both sports.

“Our (volleyball) schedule was really rough,” Rogers said. “We played more (Class) 3A and 4A schools than we did 1A schools. We were prepared for sectionals.”

Some of her best memories are at the Bollinger Athletic Complex.

“I really enjoy playing home games,” Rogers said. “The Cougar Invite (volleyball) was nice because we were really relaxed and enjoyed the matches. I kind of liked the sunken gyms better, but the main focus was on the courts.”

Whichever sport she’s playing, Rogers knows the importance of hard work.

“Practice is important in both sports,” she said. “Mental toughness and concentration is still important. I had a really tough time with mental toughness when I was younger.”

Rogers was a tri-athlete at Trinity her freshman year and received a scholar athlete award the past three years.

She also has been selected to the Indiana Elite All-Star team in both basketball (four times) and volleyball and was named to the Don Shondell Post Your T All-Star team.

Rogers file

Name: Whitney Rogers

School: Trinity Lutheran High School

Parents: Greg and Staci Rogers

Sports: Volleyball, four years; basketball, four years; track and field, one year

Athletic highlights: In basketball, sectional champions 2014, most improved 2014-15, Cougar Award 2015-16; in volleyball, sectional champions 2014-16, Cougar Award 2013, most valuable player 2016, academic all-state honorable mention

Organizations: National Honor Society, Student Ambassadors. Art Club, 4-H

Plans after high school: Attend college and study nursing

Favorite food: Pizza

Favorite TV show: “Grey’s Anatomy”

Favorite movie: “The Longest Ride”

Favorite teams: Boston Bruins and Indiana Hoosiers

Author photo
Arv Koontz is a sports correspondent for The (Seymour) Tribune.