By Tom Nader
Publisher and Editor
Tuesday will be Mike Rogers Night in Atwater.
The longtime Waterloo boys basketball clock operator will be honored for his longtime volunteer service when the Vikings host the Mogadore Wildcats inside Fred Brookover Gymnasium.
Fittingly, the coach Rogers played for during his career.
Rogers graduated with the Class of 1977 and shared the Portage County League basketball championship with the Wildcats that season.
Five years after his graduation, Rogers took over as the team’s clock operator. A position he has volunteered for now for 40 years.
“Mike has been an absolute pleasure to work with during my time at Waterloo,” Waterloo athletic director Mike Devies said. “He is one of the most dedicated and professional people I have ever had the pleasure to be around. He has been a stalwart and his name will be forever tied to Waterloo basketball. I am ecstatic that I was able to become friends with Mike, and I’m even happier that he’s taking time for himself to enjoy his family.”
Lee Horning, who graduated alongside Rogers and played basketball with him as well, has spent the last 26 years at basketball games with his friend, with Rogers running the clock and Horning doing the scorebook.
“It has been a pleasure to have Mike by my side for the last 26 years, and we have been blessed to witness the ups and downs of Waterloo boys basketball,” Horning said. “Life has come full circle and Mike now has a grandson playing for Mogadore, and he will now spend his time watching him play.”
Horning remembered back to his playing days for Brookover, who encouraged his players to “always give back to your family, school and community.”
“That is something both Mike and I took to heart,” Horning said.
Rogers will be presented a plaque and be honored before the start of the varsity game on Tuesday, which will be followed by the playing of “Sweet Georgia Brown” — a song most well known for its connection to the Harlem Globetrotters.
The song was a favorite for Rogers, and he always requested it be played during the warmups while he was playing.
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