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Men’s Lacrosse: Team Rogers

Megan Golden | Thursday, April 14, 2011

Junior attack Sean Rogers is a busy man, and it’s all thanks to his tight-knit network of teammates and friends. They drive him to excel academically, athletically and socially — and he has done so, leading the Irish to an 8-0 record.

Rogers’ lacrosse career first began in fourth grade when his friend decided to pick up the sport. If fourth grade athletics predicted anyone’s future career in a particular sport, it was not Rogers’.

“The team I was on was a bunch of fifth graders. I was not good. I was pretty bad to be honest with you,” Rogers said. “The first year was a struggle. I wasn’t a huge fan of it.”

His New Hyde Park, N.Y., backyard was his practice field, where he would shoot from one corner to a goal in the opposite corner. He rushed home from school every day to work on speed and accuracy — and a few garages.

“There are more holes [in my garage] than there is garage,” Rogers said. “I hit my neighbor’s house and garage a few times. I broke at least one window of my house. I hit the crossbar and it came flying back on me and shattered my parents’ new windows in the back room.”

In sixth grade Rogers started playing for his middle school, and began enjoying the game. His parents decided to send him to Holy Trinity for lacrosse, where he played on the varsity team for four years. His success in high school earned him a spot on the Long Island Empire team, which allowed him to showcase his talents in front of college coaches, including Irish coach Kevin Corrigan.

Rogers said he is beyond satisfied with his college decision, and he is thankful for all of the support he receives from the University.

“School’s definitely difficult. It’s obviously a lot harder being an athlete with all the time you have to devote, but the school does a great job giving you the resources you need to succeed,” he said. “Some kids are just brilliant, so it’s easy for them. The school and the athletic department make it easier to succeed.”

Yet Rogers’ academic success is not just due to the athletic department. Rogers was a frequent champion of the flashcard game “Around the World” in his third grade class. Many of his teammates wondered whether he needed any other education after they witnessed his mental math skills in action.

“Freshman year [my teammates] asked a question, and I answered it quickly. I’m just good at it,” Rogers said. “Now my teammates love to ask me questions. It’ll be a ridiculous question that I don’t know the answer to, and they’ll watch me struggle with it.”

Rogers’ experience as a member of the lacrosse team has been outstanding particularly because of the friendships he has with his teammates and the quality time they spend together. During the playoffs last season, the team stayed in Sorin Hall without any work or classes.

“We were basically professional athletes. We woke up every day, had breakfast and were off the rest of the day,” Rogers said.

One memory from the team’s stay in Sorin stands out to Rogers.

“[Sophomore midfielder] Tyler Kimball was in the shower late at night. My room was next to the shower, so I walked in, grabbed his towel. I knew he didn’t have a lot of patience. Out of fear for my own being, I locked the door,” he said. “Because kids were moving out, there was all this furniture in the halls. I piled it up in front of the entrances. I was watching from my room, and eventually he started shaking things and climbed out. [Sophomore midfielder] Steve Murphy was laughing when he came out, and Ty thought it was him. Everyone talked about it for a while, and I was just quietly laughing to myself.”

Rogers hesitated to tell the story, fearing that Kimball might find out who set him up.

“[To this day], I don’t think he knows it was me,” he said.

Rogers recognizes an obvious difference between playing lacrosse for Notre Dame and playing lacrosse for any other school.

“What makes our team special is that we genuinely care about one another. Between playing and living with these guys, I spend close to 40 hours a week with them exclusively,” Rogers said. “All the things we’ve gone through together, just being in college and experiencing college, we all get along really well. There’s not one guy on the team that I don’t like. [On] other teams, there’s not the same camaraderie as there is here.”

With expectations of an exciting postseason and a memorable senior season ahead, Rogers said he will never take for granted the teammates he has on this Irish roster.

“They are some of the most unique people I’ve ever met in my life. I feel safe saying I’m closer to them than some of my friends from home who I’ve known my whole life,” he said. “These guys will be my friends for the remainder of my life.”