When Arkadelphia junior Rickey Rogers Jr. started wrestling six years ago, he did so because of his love for World Wrestling Entertainment.
Rogers' favorite WWE wrestler is The Rock.
High school wrestling state tournaments
WHEN 9 a.m. today. Finals start at 3:30 p.m.
WHERE Jack Stephens Center, Little Rock
SCHEDULE Championship semifinals start at 9 a.m. today, with Class 1A-4A on mats 1 and 2, Class 5A on mats 3 and 4, and Class 6A on mats 5 and 6. Championship finals will begin at 3:30 p.m. today with Class 1A-4A on mat 4, Class 5A on mat 2 and Class 6A on mat 5.
PL. TEAM PTS
Shiloh Christian 84
Pulaski Academy 82
Joe T. Robinson 80
Central Ark. Christian 45
Glen Rose 41
Southside Batesville 38
Mountain View 31
Maumelle Charter 29
Valley View 26
LR McClellan 14
Ark. School for the Blind 10.5
Episcopal Collegiate 0
PL. TEAM PTS
Hot Springs Lakeside 110
LR Christian 46.5
Sylvan Hills 43.5
Mountain Home 28
Lake Hamilton 22
LR Fair 9
Hot Springs 4
PL. TEAM PTS
LR Central 89
Bentonville West 84
Springdale Har-Ber 76
LR Catholic 64.5
Van Buren 62
Rogers Heritage 57
FS Northside 23
FS Southside 23
North Little Rock 16
"Who doesn't love The Rock?" said Rogers, who began his wrestling career with the Ouachita Wrestling Club in Arkadelphia. "He's a big, bowed up guy who destroys everyone."
Like The Rock -- who moved on from WWE for movies and television -- Rogers enjoys being in the spotlight. He's also become one of the top wrestlers in the state.
As a 13-year-old freshman in 2017, Rogers advanced to the Class 1A-5A 160-pound championship match, losing to Maumelle's Mark Rivera by a 3-0 decision.
That first state title match sticks with Rogers.
"It was exciting and nervous," Rogers said. "All of the people I wrestled that day were seniors. I'm a 13-year-old kid over here wrestling against kids that are getting ready to go to college."
As a sophomore, Rogers won Arkadelphia's first individual state championship in wrestling by earning a 9-8 decision over Hot Springs Lakeside's Garrett Garner in the Class 1A-5A 170-pound title match.
This season, the junior is the No. 1 seed in the Class 1A-4A 195-pound weight class. Rogers pinned Mountain View's Tanner Trammell in 54 seconds in a quarterfinal match Friday at the 11th annual Arkansas high school state wrestling tournament at the Jack Stephens Center in Little Rock.
He will face Austin Young of Joe T. Robinson in a semifinal match today. Semifinal matches for Class 1A-4A, 5A and 6A will begin at 9 a.m.
Rogers' preparation for his third state tournament was simple.
"I just train the week prior," said Rogers, who is 18-0 this season. "You get your body ready, your conditioning ready. You get your mindset ready to come here and do your best."
Arkadelphia wrestling Coach Casey Moreland said Rogers' season has been remarkable.
"He came into the season wanting to pin everybody that he wrestled," Moreland said. "He wanted to be undefeated."
Rogers also plays football at Arkadelphia. He's a two-year starter at defensive end and has helped the Badgers win two consecutive Class 4A state championships against Warren and Joe T. Robinson, respectively, at War Memorial Stadium in Little Rock.
In 2018, Rogers recorded 39 tackles, including 5 for a loss, and 2 sacks. Rogers was instrumental in Arkadelphia's 28-0 Class 4A state championship victory over Joe T. Robinson in December with five tackles and a sack.
Being a part of two state championship football teams as well as winning a title on the wrestling mat have been great experiences.
"It's amazing," Rogers said. "The wrestling team and the football team have worked so hard to come here and do what we're supposed to do. It's a real fun time."
Moreland said Rogers has taught him a lot about wrestling, with Arkadelphia being his first stop as a wrestling coach.
"By the time I got my hands on him, he knew more about wrestling than I did," Moreland said. "He's been a leader. He's helped me and Coach [J.R.] Eldridge learn and grow as coaches in the sport. He's an amazing kid, and he's really easy to coach."
Rogers said his 2019 season has been a productive one, but he still has work to do.
"I'm just trying to finish it out and get a title," Rogers said.
Sports on 02/23/2019
Print Headline: Arkadelphia junior a program 'Rock'