Rogerson has high hopes for Pack|First-year coach excited about 2010 season

Published 2:21 am Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Sports Editor

Now that he has those first-game jitters out of the way, Travis Rogerson is eager to lead the Washington Pam Pack baseball team to a successful season.
Rogerson, in his first year as head coach of the Pam Pack, took over for Darin Vaughan, who is now a scout for the Toronto Blue Jays. The rookie coach, an assistant under Vaughan last year, said that the former coach taught him plenty.
“I appreciate the year I got to work with him,” Rogerson said. “He taught me a lot. I have a better understanding of how the team should be run because of him.
“He certainly didn’t leave the cupboard bare when he left. I can see the work he put into this program.”
Rogerson has some familiar faces in the dugout with him this year. Doc Austin and Joey Duke are assistants with the Pam Pack once again.
“Doc has been around for years,” Rogerson said. “He helped me be a better person and player when I played.
“Joey is a huge asset. He really helps out a lot.”
Rogerson was a solid shortstop for the Pam Pack from 2001-04. Rogerson, who also played some third base, played one year as an outfielder at Craven Community College.
He believes he’ll be able to relate well to his players since he’s not far removed from being a Pam Pack player himself.
“I experienced that recently,” Rogerson said. “That’s one benefit of coaching here. I think the guys can relate to me because of that.”
The former Pack standout said bonding with his teammates was the highlight of his playing career. He’s hoping this year’s team will do the same thing.
“I played with a great group of guys,” Rogerson said. “We really bonded as well. I stressed that to the team this year. I want them to bond and to cheer each other on and pick each other up when somebody is down.
“Team morale will be high all year for us.”
Rogerson is counting on a strong senior class to lead the way this year. The senior class is comprised of Gator Moore, Weasel Moore, Michael Robinson, Michael Goldberg, Cole Hartley, Dave Cutler, Jamie Landen, Jimmy Hardison and Chris Simmons.
“We have a big group of seniors,” Rogerson said. “I’m looking for them to be leaders this year.
The juniors on the team are Jake Duke, Hatteras Brooks, Blake Beddard, Johnny Broadway and Gage Tyson, while the sophomores are Will Swain and Michael Hollis.
“I’m excited to be working with these guys,” Rogerson said. “The players have put in a great effort. They give 100 percent every time and that’s going to help make us a good team.
“They have been hustling in practice. That’s going to transfer to the field and help us be a good team down the road. I think we’re scrappy. I like that because that means we’re fighting and clawing.”
Rogerson is also helping a solid junior varsity and freshman team will help the program. Kevin Leggett is coaching the junior varsity squad and David Hartley is coaching the freshman team.
“I think it’s the first time we’ve had a freshman team,” Rogerson said. “That’s exciting for us. It gives the guys more practice time and more playing time and that will be beneficial down the road.”
Rogerson said he’s had plenty of support in his new role.
“We’ve had great support from the school and parents and volunteers,” Rogerson said. “I really appreciate that.
“They’ve helped do some work on the field. The facilities are looking great.”
He’s hoping for great things from his squad.
“There’s no doubt in my mind that by conference time we’ll be playing at a high level,” Rogerson said. “The team advanced to the second round of the playoffs last year, which is great. We’re setting our goals high and expecting to go farther this year.”
The Pack, which fell 7-5 to Farmville Central in Monday’s season opener, plays at J.H. Rose in a 4:30 p.m. game Thursday. Washington’s home opener is set for March 9 at 5 p.m. against Farmville Central.