It really is too bad that Zach Rogers never got an opportunity to pitch his senior year for the Mashpee Falcons. The senior had shown during basketball season that he’d matured both physically and as a player, and his right arm would have been counted upon to lead the squad to yet another Division 4 state tournament spot, and maybe another deep run.
Zach, the son of Michael and Sharon Rogers, was a key member of the boys’ basketball team, and was slotted to be a front-end pitcher and big bat for the Falcons on the diamond. A strong student, he said that his favorite class at MHS was AP Statistics. His go-to meal is a great steak dinner, and his favorite movie is “The Sandlot.” Zach has won several awards, but said his favorite was the Falcon Award he won for the baseball team as a freshman.
How did you get involved with baseball? How much do you enjoy it?
I started playing baseball as a T-ball player with Mashpee Recreation. I played Mashpee Little League every year, then I played on the Mashpee All-Star travel team, many years for the Cape Cod Clippers, the American Legion Post 188 Junior team, the Post 188 Senior team last year, and will be playing for Team Cape Cod this summer. Baseball is my passion.
This was supposed to be your senior year at Mashpee. What role did you expect to play on the team, and what were your expectations for the Falcons this season?
I planned to be the starting shortstop, middle of the order bat, and a top pitcher in the rotation this year. I expected to be this year’s team leader and thought we had a strong enough team to win this year’s state championship. With myself, Jared Barr, Jagger Bryant, Kyle Puchol, Will Baker and Colton Colleran being the core players, the team talent, chemistry and camaraderie was of a championship caliber. We were really in it to win it this year, and I’m sad not to have the opportunity to see how far we could’ve gone.
MHS has a great history of fielding strong baseball teams. Why do you think that the Falcons are always contenders, and do you think that this year’s edition was going to challenge again?
Coaches Patenaude, Duberger, Morry, and Teehan have been such great coaching staff for Mashpee, providing skills training and guidance to baseball players throughout the years. Their passion for the sport is evidenced in the trickle down effect to the players who always work hard to win. We’ve always had a dedicated group of guys who put in the extra time and effort to succeed. I can’t forget to mention Coach Poulin, who passed in March. He was a kind and dedicated coach respected by all who knew and played for him. As the MHS pitching coach for many years, we all realized it was going to be a tough season without him and this year was going to be dedicated to him. Rest in peace, Coach Poulin.
You also played on the Post 188 American Legion team. What was that experience like for you? Is there still hope that a season might get played this summer?
I played for the Junior and the Senior Post 188 teams. I really enjoyed playing for Coach Shell and Coach Tomasini and playing with kids from other Cape towns. It’s a great organization and I enjoyed my two years playing for them. This summer I am playing for Coach Proto on Team Cape Cod and hope that we will be able to have a season and make a deep run.
You saw your role with the basketball team grow quite a bit this past winter. What was it like to be playing more important minutes, and are you pleased with how the season went?
I started every game for the MHS basketball team this year. I think all my hard work finally paid off and that was recognized by Coach Clark. For a small team, we had a great run and I’m proud of all the players for their hard work and dedication. Coaches Clark, Delaney, Patz, Worrick, Perrino and Wenzel gave their hearts to the program and the players, and I’m proud to have been part of such a great team.
If you could replay one game that you have played in, which one would it be? Why?
Basketball: February 26, 2020, MHS vs. Westport — First round of the playoffs. We were the 15th seed, they were the 2nd seed and every one counted us out, but not us. As a basketball player, it was everything you would wish for in a game, from the back and forth on the scoreboard, to the technicals and heart-stopping moments. The game was intense from the tip-off to the fourth quarter buzzer. I’ll always remember winning that game with my teammates.
Baseball: June 6, 2019, MHS vs. Avon — First round of the playoffs. We were the 12th seed, they were the 5th seed. Once again, MHS was the underdog again and no one expected us to win. We had our best pitcher on the mound in Jagger Bryant and everyone was hitting. It was an awesome team win, filled with clutch moments and I believe you, Mr. Maclone, labeled me Derek Jeterish for my plays at short. I will always have fond memories of playing for MHS and our spring training trips to Dodgertown.
What do you consider the highlight of your athletic career so far?
There is no clear highlight, more being a leader on both the MHS varsity basketball and baseball teams and making playoff runs the last two seasons.
Who is the best teammate that you’ve ever played with? What makes that person stand out?
Jared Barr is the best teammate I’ve ever played with. He’s been catching for me for many years, but it isn’t just his ability to catch for me that makes him stand out, it’s his support and belief in my ability to get the job done in high pressure situations that makes him a great team player. I’m lucky to call him my best friend and my teammate. I’ll miss him next year when I’m off to college.
Do you have any sports-related superstitions? If so, what are they?
No, I don’t have any sports related superstitions.
What’s the most important thing you’ve learned from playing sports?
The most important thing I’ve learned from playing sports is that it’s all about playing as a team and having chemistry with the people you play with. Sports, whether you’re playing or on the sidelines, brings people and communities together like nothing else.
Who has been your inspiration?
My inspiration has been former MHS standout basketball and baseball player, Mike Fraser. He’s been my inspiration since Little League. I’ve always looked up to him as a role model and someone I aspire to be like, for not just his sports accomplishments, but more importantly for his good character. When I found out he was going to WPI, it put into perspective that hard work really does pay off. He also made me realize that my college decision should be based on my future instead of divisional bragging rights.
Is there anyone that you would like to thank?
I would like to thank my parents for all they do and for always supporting me. They’ve been by my side every step of the way, cheering me on and lifting me up when I needed it most. I’d also like to thank my sister, Kelsey, for all her love and guidance. I’d like to thank Coaches Patenaude, Morry, Duberger, Clark and Patz for pushing me to succeed and helping me to be the man I am today.
When quarantine life is over, what is the thing you are most looking forward to doing?
I am looking forward to playing baseball with my boys when quarantine life is over.
What’s the biggest difference between you as a senior and as a freshman? If you could go back, what advice would you give to your freshman self?
As a senior, I’ve learned not to look back at the past but to look to my future. I’ve learned to appreciate every day and not take things for granted. I never would’ve guessed as a freshman that I’d miss my entire senior year of baseball due to a pandemic. I would say to my freshman self: Work hard and enjoy every game as though it’s your last!
What is something about you that people would be surprised to learn?
Most people don’t know that I’m a Dana Farber patient with a rare form of cutaneous lymphoma.
If you could switch places with one person for a week, who would it be and what would you want to do?
If I could switch places with one person for a week, I’d like to be Scott Boras, the sports agent for Gerrit Cole, Anthony Rendon and Stephen Strasburg. I’d like to get a better understanding of all that the job of being sports agent entails, and have the opportunity to talk with the top athletes who are his clients.
Describe your idea of the perfect day.
My perfect day would be to get up and go to work at the golf course, go to Percy’s for breakfast with my buddies, then head to the field for a bp and bullpen session. I’d finish the day by hanging out with my friends by a fire on Sandy Neck beach.
What are your post-high school plans?
I am going to Colby-Sawyer College in New London, New Hampshire, as a double major in business administration and sports management. I have signed a letter of intent to play baseball for the CSC Chargers.
Where will you be in 10 years, and what will you be doing?
I hope to be working as a sports agent for professional athletes and running my own business.