Cam Derr, Sports Writer • firstname.lastname@example.org
375 rushing attempts and 1880 total yards in his career, Isaiah Rodgers has proven to be a major threat for the Wasps over the course of his time at Emory & Henry. The senior Running back found his calling for football as a young boy, but a worried mother steered him away, and his father enrolled him in Taekwondo, where he has been awarded 6 black belts.
Getting a late start in the game of football, at 12-years old Rodgers decided to sign up for his middle school team. “My very first year, 7th grade, I tried out for Running Back and the coaches moved me to the offensive line, and basically told me I wasn’t good enough to be Running Back, but that summer, going up to my 8th grade year, I trained really hard and went back out for Running Back, and I’ve been there ever since” says Rodgers.
An emotional defeat pushed Rodgers to prove he could be the best possible Running back he could be. The support of his father has been a driving factor for Isaiah, who says “my dad has been my number one fan since day one, even now he is always there to encourage me when I’m down, always giving me pep-talks, and being my motivation to stay on track, and when I look at him it just pushes me to be my best be-cause he had a lot less than I did, and one of my main goals this offseason was to train like him and he was my biggest motivation this offseason.”
Rodgers considers his father to be his one and only role model, even wearing the number 27 in honor of his father, a previous Division 1 athlete.
The work Isaiah has put in shows, averaging 5 yards per carry and 57 yards per game.
On top of proving his ability on the eld at game time, Isaiah Rodgers has built a strong camaraderie with senior Quarterback Kevin Saxton who says “he’s a valuable part of our offense, if we run something hard to defend, the run part of it is Isaiah Rodgers, 4 years being a starter he’s definitely someone we look to run the ball with.”
Sadly, the Wasps beloved Running back’s time here is coming to a close, but Rodgers is confident in the freshman duo of Brady Justice and Mikel Gamble who he says reminds him so much of himself and Chris Thompson.
Isaiah makes a point to be a mentor to the incoming Running backs every year, “I always, during camp, put my cell phone number on the board and just let them know that if they need any help with the plays, going through the playbook, anything just shoot me a text and I’ll go over anything they need”.
Through the years it seems as though the game of football has taught Isaiah many things: how to cope with defeat, being a good leader, and truly becoming the man his father can be proud of. His future will hold great things for any endeavors he faces. Emory & Henry has had part in paving the way for Isaiah Rodgers.