A player’s ability to come out of his or her comfort zone is one of the biggest challenges when it comes to playing in a high school all-star game.
Family Christian Academy baseball coach Rick Smith said that won’t be a problem for Titus Rogers.
“One of the most rewarding things for me was watching Titus come out of his comfort zone for us this year,” Smith said. “You’re talking about a kid who has always been very quiet and humble.
“He was a guy who led for us by example. His willingness to become a vocal leader was so important. We couldn’t have had the year we had without him doing what he did on the field and off it. Knowing it was something he’d never done and watching him grow as a player and a person was special.”
The next step in Rogers’ growth and development is this weekend. The 6-foot-3, 210-pound Rogers is set to fill the designated hitter’s role for the East squad in the Louisiana High School Coaches Association Baseball All-Star games Friday and Saturday at North Park in Denham Springs.
Players are scheduled to report Friday morning and the first game is set for 7:30 p.m. The second game is set for 12:15 p.m. Saturday.
“I try to use everything I do in baseball as a learning experience,” Rogers said. “No matter who we play, I always watch what the other guys do. That’s how I pick up things to add to my game.
“Since we’re supposed to have some of the top players from every class there this weekend, I’m sure I’ll be able to learn some things that will help make me a better player.”
Rogers played four seasons for Class C Family Christian, helping the Flames win state titles as a sophomore and a junior. He also played for Smith as an eighth-grader at Bethany Christian and moved to FCA after Baker-based Bethany dropped its LHSAA sports program.
As a senior, Rogers hit .392 with seven doubles, seven home runs and 33 RBIs. He played first base, third base and pitched for the Flames.
“I’m a first baseman by trade, but coach (Smith) told me he wanted me to try some different things,” Rogers said. “So I played third and pitched. I’d never pitched before and that was really different. We’re a small school and I knew I needed to do whatever I could to help the team win.”
Even though the Flames (15-10) lost in the Class C quarterfinals, Rogers knew his season wasn’t over. FCA has had a player selected for the all-star team for four straight years.
“Coach told me before the year that he was nominating me for the all-star game and I appreciate that … it meant a lot,” Rogers said. “Because I knew I was going to DH, I’ve been working hard with my hitting coach.”
At first glance, Rogers looks more like a football player than a baseball player. Baseball, however, has always been his first love, starting at seven when his mother, Paulette, signed him up for his first team. He plans a college major in criminal justice.
“My mom thought baseball would be good for me to be involved in,” Rogers said. “I don’t think she expected me to take it this far.”
Smith expects Rogers to take his game an added distance on the college level.
“Titus’ work ethic is almost unequalled,” Smith said. “I’ve been coaching high school baseball for 20 years, and I can think of maybe two other guys I’ve had with that kind of work ethic.
“I think he’s just scratched the surface of what he can do. Once he gets into a college program, where they’ll be able to do more specialized work with him, he’s going to get even better.”