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December 10, 2012
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ORLANDO -- It's a pretty good statement about the achievements of your program when some of the most knowledgeable minds in the business cannot remember your worst loss in program history.
(For the record, - it was Bolles' worst playoff loss under Corky - but his worst playoff loss ever was at Lee - and lost to Milton 41-7 in 1979).
It's an ever bigger statement about the spirit of the human heart when a team that suffers what could have been one of the worst moments in school history, yet the leader of that team professes that it's THEM who may have captured the most special of places in that heart regardless that it was in defeat.
Following a 35-7 loss to Booker T. Washington in the class 4A finals, Corky Rogers stil feels like he's not done yet.
"That heart" was the one inside of Corky Rogers. Last May, he underwent septuple (that's seven-way) Heart Bypass surgery. Many his age would never have made it back so quick - and they certainly wouldn't have chosen to be in such a stressful profession.
That's Corky Rogers for you.
"We've got some special guys. I'm as proud of this (Bolles) team as any team I've ever coached," said the legendary coach. "Of course I don't like the results, but this team truly carries a special place in my heart. They won some games simply off heart alone this season; just pure heart. I'm not quite sure I'm fonder of any other team I've won titles with here."
"Of course those teams are special too, but this team did some things I just can't explain other than it was the size of their hearts."
Awfully bold statements from a gentleman that has coached teams that should have been forced to play collegiately they were so dominating. Rogers acknowledged that his team was up against it, but looked almost like it was (and it is) foreign to explain such a drubbing.
"They've (Booker T.) got a very tough scheme to stop, "Rogers added. "They've got a good offensive line with two big tackles and that QB (Treon Harris)? He's something special. Where they don't get the credit is on the defense. They fly to the ball and make it hard for you to do anything. That #6 (Matthew Thomas) is something else. He was in the way the whole time."
So you tell me what this means? Because I think I already do.
There's a twinkle in the legendary coach's eyes when he speaks of this group of young men, but is that enough to overcome the actual physical rigors of what is always expected to be a season played until mid-December?
Methinks this is a situation where I say "good luck" to anyone trying to convince Rogers to walk away.
"I don't think a slept 4 hours a night in preparation for this game," Rogers said. "It doesn't show, but in my heart I know what I did. I tried everything I could to get this team ready tonight. That's what has made us so proud of this team and this program is that you can't ever count them out."
"The better team won tonight(Saturday). My health's fine," Rogers added. " We'll sit back for a couple of months and see how things progress and see what the deal is. I really had high energy all year long I really did and I felt good.
"I actually felt like I worked harder than I have in years; might not see it on film, but like I said I know in my heart what I did and what this team did this season."
With that, Rogers walked away - but look for him to be back on the sidelines in 2013.