Jimmy Rogers (April 28, 1941 - February 11, 2017)
We are all fortunate to be part of CASL today. As one of the largest youth soccer organizations in the country, we all take the fields every day and probably don't give much thought to how we got here today. The infrastructure, mission, and vision were all started by our earliest founders and predecessors who laid the foundation for CASL to be what it is today. And, it's not just CASL. These same individuals were instrumental in making our town a youth soccer town.
CASL is here today because of people like Jimmy Rogers. Jimmy, or "Coach" as he was affectionately known, was a 25-year youth soccer coach in our area. He started with CASL in 1978 as a coach for his daughter's recreational team (side note: remember, we were founded in 1974... WRAL Soccer Park didn't event exist yet). For the next 25 years, his passion for women's soccer continued. He coached classic teams well beyond his year's of being a soccer "dad". In 1993, he was named NCYSA Coach of the year. He had a long tenure as the head coach of the St. Mary's women's soccer team - another place where he mentored and coached young women to be confident and strong, both on and off the field.
I was fortunate to know Jimmy. I played at CASL from 1994-2002. He coached the classic team two years old than me ( '81 CASL Spartan Speed), so I always ran into him on the fields and he coached some of my very good friends. I've witnessed first hand the impact he had on the players he coached. I think his former player, Emily Cambra (Turgeon), captured it best:
"Where do we start? He [Jimmy] was a beloved father, husband, grandfather, lawyer, civic leader, friend to many, and a pioneer in creating more opportunities for young girls to thrive in the women's soccer game at CASL. I think of him every time I step food on a field or anytime I drive out to WRAL soccer park or St. Mary's school... we were so lucky to have a coach who loved us like his own, kept parents in line, kept us positive and working hard, and kept us fighting for the ball on the field. He encouraged us to work hard - teaching us, above all, to be quality human beings. If in the process, we became quality soccer players, then that was a secondary success. He was one of the best. CASL is what it is today because of Jim Rogers."
Thank you, Jimmy, for all you did for CASL, youth soccer, the players you coached, and the path you paved for so many of us who followed.
A memorial service will be held Friday, February 17th at 11am at Hayes Barton United Methodist Church. To read the full obituary, click here.
CASL Alum '02