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Duty, Honor, Country: 2x State Medalist/'22 #11 Rogers, Commits to West Point

By MD, 09/30/21, 2:15PM EDT


The holidays in the Rogers' household just got interesting...

Two-time NYS Medalist, Benny Rogers (Wantagh) Will be a Black Knigh

Make us to choose the harder right instead of the easier wrong, and never to be content with a half truth when the whole can be won." – West Point Cadet Prayer

Leadership is a potent combination of strategy and character. But if you must be without one, be without the strategy."– General Norman Schwarzkopf

In the Army Now

To read the famous quotes above is to reminded of the remarkable, selfless, courageous, and heroic individuals that both currently serve our great nation and those that attend the academies with whole-hearted intention of doing the same...

For the average family in America, it is a true honor, privilege, and source of pride to witness one of their children going off to West Point or Annapolis....Hence, you can only imagine the elation/euphoria being felt at this moment by Bryan and Nancy Rogers...

Their oldest son [2020 182-pound NYSPHSAA DI State Champion, Matthew] in the midst of his plebe year at the United States' Naval Academy, the Wantagh based "brigade" commanded additional respect from the community and our nation on Sunday night when they announced that second-born, Benjamin ("Benny"), had made the commitment to further his academic, athletic, and professional goals on the campus  of the U.S. Military Academy (West Point)...   

An extraordinary young gentleman that continues to climb the NYWN class charts (18th in August 2018, 14th in August 2019, 13th in June 2021, and officially in the top-10 when the newest installment is published], last weekend was not the  first time that the future Black Knight found himself having to make a life-alternating/destiny-changing decision...

This past winter, when all indications were that the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic would cost him the entirety of his junior campaign, Rogers took the mighty and brave step of relocate to Florida as a means of pushing forward in the pursuit of his passion...The strategy paid dividends, as he went on to post a 3-1 record with victories over multiple former/returning state qualifiers to secure a FHSAA state runner-up finish at 145 pounds on behalf of Mater Lakes Academy (lone loss coming at the hands of a defending titlist/2021 UWW U15 Freestyle National Champion, Bas Diaz, whom he had defeated one week prior in the regional finals).

More good fortune came in early April when Mr. Frank Popolizio/Journeymen Wrestling Club hosted their own version of the New York State tourney....Winning five of his six bouts (only blemish at the hands of the eventual titlist, Carter Schubert, in the semifinals) in representation of his native Wantagh, Rogers earned bronze, highlighted by triumphs over 2020 DI state 6th, Nate Wade (West Genesee; 7-3 decision) and 2020 DI state 8th, Sean Garofal-Heavner (North Rockland; 6-1 decision) in his last two appearances...His top-3 placement marked the second consecutive season that the Warrior student-athlete procured footing on the podium; as a sophomore he split his six matches in Albany, taking 6th at 138 pounds, including a hard fought 8-7 win over 2020 State 7th (3rd in 2021), Tim Bova (Arlington). 

Always regarded as a solid prospect on the collegiate level given the consistency he has demonstrated throughout his five-year varsity career (3x Section VIII placer/2x finalist/2020 champ; 2x NYS medalist, etc.) in Black & Gold (and Nassau Green),  the Savage Wresting Academy trained disciple burst onto the grand stage and raised his recruiting profile by exponential degrees when he strung together three phenomenal days in Virginia Beach at the 2021 NHSCA Junior National Champions to close out April...

Dropping down to 138 pounds for the event, Rogers emerged with five straight wins to punch his ticket to the finals....

Besting the likes of 3x Virginia placer/2x finalist Luke Robie (12-6 decision), 2021 Georgia silver medalist Anthony Doyle (16-3 major), 2x Virginia titlist/2019 NHSCA 4th Evan Holloway (8-6 decision), 2x Washington placer Owen Cline (5-2  decision), and 2019 North Carolina State runner-up (3rd in 2020) Jacob Woodburn (10-5 decision), the New Yorker would ultimately see his bid for the crown quashed by 3x National Prep AA/2021 runner-up/2020 Super 32 8th, Kelvin Griffin (Pennsylvania)....But even with the single "L", the damage had been done and the statement rang loud and clear!!!  The second All-American distinction earned by Rogers, the bridesmaid finish in 2021 far surpassed the 6th that was achieved two years earlier in the freshman division...

As he gears up for what is sure to be a legendary swan song year on Beltagh Avenue [Wantagh HS], the 2021-2022 team captain (following in the path of his sibling, the two-time cohort leader in 2019 and 2020) is off to a quick start as evident by his recent top-3 status (152 "B" bracket) at the 2021 Journeymen Fall Classic....The owner of a 3-1 tally less than a week ago at Spooky Nook, he boasted a win by fall against 2021 NJ State 6th, Laith Hamdeh, in pool play before upending 2020 North Carolina runner-up (3rd in '21), Maxwell Kiel, as an encore...His other conquest came over 2020 NJ qualifier/2021 state alternate, Cole Velardi (6-3 decision).    

The ELEPHANT enjoys bragging rights over the GOAT, as Benny chose Army from a short list that featured among others, Navy, Cornell, and Hofstra!  

The victory of the Rogers' recruitment war bolsters a 2022 class for Head Coach, Kevin Ward, that already saw 10 established studs (SIX in Willie Saylor/Matscouts' top-200 prospects) join the ranks!   

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