Wrestling: Northwestern senior headlines all-county team

Devin Rogers’ rise through high school wrestling was a trip he never imagined.

After being a district qualifier as a freshman, Rogers became a state placer by his junior year and capped his high school career with a second-place finish at 126 pounds in the Division II state tournament earlier this month.

The Northwestern senior can add one more accomplishment to his final campaign after being selected as the Clark County Wrestler of the Year by the county’s coaches.

“I never thought I would accomplish this or a lot of the things I did (accomplish),” Rogers said. “But I worked my butt off all four years. It feels good to be recognized”

The county coaches voted on first and second teams and honorable mention.

Roger dropped a 6-3 decision to Graham’s Eli Seipel in their state title bout. Rogers recorded a late takedown and was on the verge for another when time expired.

“I didn’t accomplish what I wanted, but I did wrestle well,” Rogers said. “I’m happy with what I did. I went out there and competed. I never expected myself to be there after my freshman year, but I just kept working and improving.”

Rogers was part of a rebirth of Northwestern wrestling under coach Harry Husted.

After seeing the program drop to two wrestlers five years ago, the Warriors advanced six to district this year.

“I give a lot of credit to our coaches,” Rogers said. “They really worked with us and helped us improve. I can tell how much I’ve improved to go from being a district qualifier to a two-time state placer is a huge jump progress-wise.”

Rogers is one of five members of the All-Clark County team who advanced to the state tournament.

Catholic Central’s Jake Gutierrez (132), Shawnee’s Wade Smiddy (145) and Greenon’s Corey Williams (160) all placed at state while Northwestern’s Connor Rogers (182) was a state qualifier. Second-team selection Luke Matthews of Shawnee was a state placer at 182.

“There were a lot of tough Clark County kids at state,” Rogers said. “I think Clark County wrestling has gotten a lot better, but I don’t know if that just comes from growing up with them and watching them my whole life or not, but we (the county) did well at state.”

The all-county first team features 13 district qualifiers.

Northwestern led the way with four first-team selections. Greenon and Tecumseh each had three, Shawnee two and Catholic Central and Kenton Ridge one.

Tecumseh coach Scott Herbert was named coach of the year. The Indians had five district qualifiers.

“We had a nice season,” Herbert said. “The kids worked hard and the seniors took the team on their shoulders and provided a lot of leadership and examples. They left a good foundation for the returners to continue to build on.”

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