East Hamilton’s lone senior softball player, Syvana Rogers, first picked up a softball when she was four years old. After all of those years of hard work and sacrifice, what she says she’ll miss the most is the relationships she’s built.
“I have loved the family environment,” Rogers said when asked about her favorite part of playing softball.
“Softball has brought me out of my shell. I used to be very quiet, but I’ve realized that being a leader is one of the most important parts of the game.”
Rogers, who committed this year to continue her softball career at Walters State in Morristown, Tennessee, had a phenomenal 2019 season. As a junior, she had a .615 batting average with four doubles and 18 RBIs. Playing in her fifth season for the Lady Hurricanes – she started her high school career in the eighth grade – she said that this year’s team was special.
“I felt like this year was different, like we had a chance to do big things. We have a team that has a chance to do things that we’ve never been able to do in the past.”
Head coach Norma Nelson said that Rogers has embraced her role as the only senior and leader of the team.
“She’s kind of a mother figure to some of the girls,” Nelson said. “She’s friends with everyone, a very giving person. She’s always been willing to help me and do whatever I need her to do on and off the field.”
Said Rogers: “It’s a big role being the leader and being someone everyone can come to if they need something.”
Softball is a family affair, as Rogers has caught both her older sister, Sydnie, as well as her younger sister Syerra, who is a junior this year for the Lady Hurricanes.
“There are obviously times when they butt heads, but they are extremely close,” Nelson said of the relationship between Syvana and Syerra, who are just one year apart. “The cool thing is that because of their relationship, Syvana is able to look at Syerra at times and say, ‘Come on, throw strikes, you can do it,’ in a way that other catchers might not have been able to.”
Rogers wants to be a physical therapist, and will pursue that at Walters State, while also thankful that she will get to continue her softball career.
“(The recruiting process) was very long, thought-out, and tiring,” she said. “In the end, I just realized that I would miss softball if I stopped playing. So I decided I should keep playing while I’m able to, and finish doing what I love since I won’t be able to do it forever.”
As she closes out her career at East Hamilton, she hopes to leave a legacy of hard work and dedication for other girls that come through the program.
“Always work. Hard work pays off in the long run. Just always do your best to do what you can to help the team win.”
The Chattanoogan Senior Spotlight series highlights local prep seniors whose seasons have been put on hold due to the unprecedented situation caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. If you are associated with a high school spring sports team and would like your seniors featured, please encourage the coach to reach out to me at email@example.com. Also, share this article and others like it from this series on social media using #ChattanooganSeniorSpotlight.