Rodgers, WL working for state crown
WORKING HARD West Lauderdale senior soccer standout Brandon Rodgers, left, fights for position against Meridian High School's Andrew Gambrell in a recent match. Photo by Paula Merritt/The Meridian Star
By Jeff Byrd/The Meridian Star
Dec. 31, 2001
Playing for championships has been a big part of the soccer career of West Lauderdale's Brandon Rodgers.
The Knight senior is hoping to lead his Knights to a fifth-straight appearance in the Mississippi High School Activities Association's Class 1A-3A state finals. They won a state title in 2000, Rodgers' junior season.
Perhaps the most bitter moment was falling to those same Mercy Cross Crusaders in the 2001 title game.
To get back to a fifth straight final, Rodgers has had to pick up the offensive punch for the Knights. In seven games to date this season, Rodgers has already scored more goals (seven) than he did all of last season (six).
Now, that role belongs to Rodgers. The ultimate goal is to get back to the state finals.
Rodgers has been playing soccer almost from the rug-rat age.
In eighth grade, Rodgers made it to the varsity level. The Knights then preceded to go on their run of four straight North State titles.
The future for Rodgers appears bright. He is being recruited heavily by Meridian Community College, the 2000 National Junior College Association's Division I National Champions. The Eagles are coming off a fourth-place finish in 2001 in the NJCAA Tournament back in November in Tyler, Tex.
He also credits Knights coach Alex George for his mental approach to the game.
Jeff Byrd is a sport writer for the Meridian Star. He can be reached at 693-1551 or by e-mail at email@example.com.