Copan football player wins 2A cross country title
BY JOHN D. FERGUSON World Correspondent
Sunday, October 21, 2012
10/21/12 at 6:11 AM
SHAWNEE - It's never a good thing when a football team has to forfeit games because it does not have enough players. But Copan's grid losses helped its cornerback-wide receiver-kicker to gain something else Saturday.
Senior football player Andrew Rodgers won the Class 2A state cross country championship in a time of 16:54 and could have spiked his spikes to celebrate finishing the 3.1-mile course at the Gordon Cooper Technology Center.
Rodgers' decision to both play football and run cross country this season paid off with his school's first cross country title, individual or team, male or female. He finished 12 seconds ahead of runner-up Tristan Rogers of Woodland.
"I run after football practice or early in the morning," said Rodgers of his training schedule.
Rodgers said he took some shots to the body during the game against Welch in Week 6 of the football season that left him sore. So, when the Hornet football team had to forfeit two weeks in a row because it did not have enough players, Rodgers got a chance heal and be ready for the state cross country competition.
"We're a small school," said father and Copan track coach Brad Rodgers. "He did not want to let down the other (football) teammates (by not playing football)."
So, Rodgers did both.
What makes this story even better is Rodgers had not run cross country before this season. Sure, he runs and excels during the spring track season, but covering the hilly course in Shawnee was new.
"This was a personal record," said Rodgers, who beat his best time of 17:44 by 50 seconds.
Kiefer's Thomas Bacon was sixth in 17:54. Like Rodgers, this was also Bacon's first trip to the state cross country meet.
"I tried to run my hardest to see what would happen," said Bacon, who helped Kiefer to fifth place.
Tonkawa won the team title.
Original Print Headline: Copan football player wins 2A cross country