The Drill: Landon is a Rogers, so he plays baseball -- naturally
ADRIAN -- Wrestling is a sport that has been associated with the Rogers family in Adrian for many decades.
But so is baseball. And Lance Rogers’ sons, Logan and Landon, are baseball players all the way.
Lance was a state high school wrestling champion for Worthington High School in 1983, and he finished with a career record of 103-17-1. Logan, two years older than Landon, was an outstanding wrestler for Adrian High School and an ace pitcher on the baseball team as well as a key component of the football team. Landon participates in football and baseball today as a senior, but his wrestling career has been more spotty.
He broke his arm in a sledding accident in the third or fourth grade, and he broke his other arm in a car accident at age 14. Still, he wrestled. Then he injured his ankle during his sophomore year of wrestling. As a junior, he became strictly football and baseball.
Frankly, if Landon had ever decided not to play baseball, the news would be hard for most Adrian sports fans to swallow. His extended family -- uncles and aunts and cousins -- might have a harder time understanding the decision, because ever since there have been Rogers in the Adrian area, baseball and softball have been as regular as breathing.
“I think they all had baseball bats and balls in their cribs, almost,” said Lance.
Landon is ready for the baseball season to begin in earnest. The springtime weather continues with its non-cooperative attitude, but the Dragons’ top pitcher has been dutifully honing his skills indoors waiting for a chance to show his stuff. The team is young this year, with just five players in grades 11 and 12 to provide leadership.
At least the team still has a Rogers to suit up.
The Globe sports department interviewed Landon recently, mostly about his baseball exploits. You can see the resulting video online at www.dglobe.com. Here are a few highlights from the interview portion:
QUESTION: The name of Rogers has been linked to baseball for generations. When you’re born into the Rogers family, are you expected to play baseball. Or for you is it just natural?
ANSWER: “In the Rogers family we just kind of naturally get involved in baseball and enjoy it. It’s a family tradition. There’s a lot of us who play baseball: Logan, my brother, and Lance, my dad. He influenced me starting baseball and now I’m trying to keep the name going.”
Q: What are your best pitches? Are you working on any new pitches? Are you working hard to perfect some of the pitches you already throw?
A: “My best pitches are probably my fastball and curveball. I’m trying to get my curveball to move a little more, and my fastball just to keep on being consistent.”
Q: Do you have a favorite moment from your Adrian High School baseball career so far?
A: “The highlight of my Adrian baseball career is third place in state. That was two years ago.”
Q: Who inspires you as an athlete?
A: “The person that influences me is my brother. I try to ‘up’ him all the time. Sometimes I fail, sometimes I succeed.”