Hope Rogers -
2011 Kevin Higgins College Scholarship Grant Recipient
San Diego, CA (December 19, 2011) - Hope Rogers was introduced to the sport of rugby in 2009 with the South Penn Girls U19 team. Although just a sophomore, Hope immediately found that the game appealed to her. She scored four tries and kicked three conversions during the season and received the team’s Rookie of the Year Award. Although it was just her first year of play, she tried out for and made the Mid-Atlantic All Star-Team, traveling with them to the U19 National All-Star Championship tournament.
Hope’s overall understanding of the game improved in her second year and it showed in her match performances. Now the team captain, Hope played primarily at number 8 and racked up 13 tries and kicked 11 conversions in league play. She led the Eastern Penn U19 All-Star team to a championship title in their regional All-Star Tournament, scoring seven tries in their two matches and walking away with one of the team’s Most Valuable Player awards.
Her season got even better when she led MARFU to the NASC title. Hope, playing some number 8 and at prop, scored three tries in the tournament, including two in the title match against the USA U17s, and received another MVP award for her efforts.
This year, Hope was a scoring machine, dotting down 30 tries and slotting 10 conversions as South Penn won the Eastern Penn Division II championship. Following league play, Hope skippered her EPRU team at the regional all-star tournament. She was also invited to take part for the USA U20s team as a prop and was selected to travel with the team to Pittsburgh for the Collegiate All-Star Tournament but had to decline due to high school finals and graduation.
South Penn coach Steve Wright knew from the onset that Hope was going to be an exceptional player. “I knew right away that Hope had the potential to develop into a special player. She had the size of a prototypical prop, but she was the fastest girl on the team. Having that kind of size with blazing speed is so very rare. Plus she was very aggressive in her tackling. In the three seasons that I had her as a player, she has developed exactly as I had envisioned and hoped she would. The sky is the limit for her.”
Hope’s goals are to play for the USA Women’s National Team and she acknowledged that her new collegiate team, perennial power Penn State University, will provide her with the necessary tools to give her the best chance of reaching that goal. She knows it will be tough but she’s looking forward to the challenge. “I do love the high level of play and a good challenge. And I know I can make it to the National Team.”
To say that Hope was involved in some of the organizations at her South Penn High School would be an understatement. She graduated with a 4.2 GPA and was a member of the National Honors Society for two years. She was also a member of Mu Alpha Theta (for one year), the Bible Club (for three years), Student Government (for two years), the Fellowship of Christian Athletes (for one year), and the Glee Club (for three years).
In addition to playing rugby for South Penn for three years, she also volunteered as a youth rugby coach during that time. She played basketball for one year, twirled the baton for six years, and threw the shot put, discus and javelin her senior year. Oh yeah, she broke the school record in the discus and won first place at the district meet.
Hope was also very active in her church. She volunteered by painting the homeless shelter and visited the elderly in nursing homes, led worships, did puppets, preached, performed drama, taught three and four year olds, was a junior counselor for neglected and abused children, and was a clown for the needy children at Convoy of Hope.
Although her playing time at Penn State was limited this fall due to injury, Hope was still a regular at practice picking up cones, gathering equipment and doing whatever needed to be done.
Her career goal is to become an elementary education teacher. “I want to effectively teach students how to be smart, but also how to have self-esteem and take pride in their work. I love kids. Parents today are not taking enough time to work with their children and therefore, children are not reaching their full potential. I had teachers who helped me along the way and I will always remember and thank them for it.”
Hope’s setting a pretty good example in her short time at Penn State as she made the Dean’s List this past Fall with a 3.7 GPA.
Congratulations Hope on being named a 2011 Kevin Higgins College Scholarship recipient.
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