Football Preview 2016: A healthy Rogers prepared to lead Eagles’ backfield

Clarke County senior Hunter Rogers, center, will be looking to lead the team's offense this year. Rich Cooley//Daily

BERRYVILLE — When a running back rushes for over 1,300 yards and 17 touchdowns in a season, it’s pretty much expected that he’s the feature back for his team. Or that he accumulated those 1,300 yards over the course of a full season. But if either of those thoughts came across your mind when thinking about Clarke County’s Hunter Rogers, you’d be mistaken.

Rogers, a rising senior for the Eagles, had a season good enough to be named to the VHSL all-state second team in 2015 and he did it while sharing the workload with three or four other backs and after missing three games with an ankle injury.

“He’s a gifted runner and an experience veteran,” Clarke County head coach Chris Parker said of Rogers. “He’s got a lot of natural ability and he sees the field great. He just fits into our type of offense. He’s just a great kid.”

Rogers returns this season as a veteran in a young backfield after the graduation of Jordon Turner, Matt Dang and Jaxon Ottobre, who combined for over 3,000 yards of offense for Clarke. But with a healthy ankle, the healthy back with the word “saucy” written in tape across his back pad, knows that everyone is looking to him to be a leader moving forward and he’s ready to step up and get the team back to the state championship.

“Seeing our season that we had last year, and the players that we have coming back, we can do it again,” Rogers said. “Going to that state game and losing it is making us work even harder. I’m not really the type of person who like to yell at people or get on them, I just lead by example. If I’m doing well on the field, then hopefully it’s helping them to see that.”

If Rogers can stay healthy, then there’s no reason he shouldn’t be able to eclipse the 2000-yard mark for the season. And if Rogers leads by setting a good example on the field, then the Eagles backfield should be very good for years to come.