Good Sports: El Diamante Head Coach Mark Rogers
FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- For the first time since 2008, El Diamante head coach Mark Rogers has his sights set on a Valley title. But there is no big game jitters for this guy. Coach Rogers projects a sense of calm and stability to his players.
"I think because he doesn't flip out a lot, especially in the games, its game time. He just wants us to execute. So we know it's on us." said WR Mitchell Boswell.
But for Coach Rogers, stability is an interesting word. Diagnosed with Parkinson's disease nine years ago, Rogers has refused to let the disease hold him back.
"I've always said that coaching football is a good thing for me. Teaching is a good thing for me. I look forward to coming to work every day. So I'm excited about it. And I think it's probably helped me fight the disease along the way." said Rogers.
The Miners have adopted their coach's mantra, building a strong reputation for work ethic and disciplined play on both sides of the ball; playing for each other, playing for their coach.
"He's a great guy. He's out here every day. In my two years of playing with him he's never missed practice. He never shows that he's feeling bad. He's always out here laughing and having a good time." said LB Darius Liles.
"It's an inspiration to know that someone going through stuff like that is out here every day. Hot or cold, he's pushing us so we can push ourselves no matter what we're going through." added Boswell.
Coach Rogers does his best to teach his players about life, not just football. And he has a message to others struggling with health issues.
"You've got to keep - like I said, keep moving. Some days are bad and some days are good. But you've just got to keep your sense of humor. And what the hey: Keep moving." said Rogers.
His players will be moving against defending champions Garces of Bakersfield, going for El Diamante's second valley title in program history.
"Definitely for him we want to get this win because he deserves it for all the time he has put in. And I think we deserve it too." said Boswell.
In Miner Nation's eyes, their team and their coach have already won.
good sports, david bataller
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