November 19, 2015 - Lady Cagers took turns practicing screens Monday afternoon until they were paused by Christine Rogers with a few pointers before sending the basketball back into play.
Rogers (click for larger version)
Rogers steps into the role of head coach for the Clarkston Girls Varsity Basketball team as Tim Wasilk, the former head coach joins the boys program.
"I am excited," she smiled about the upcoming season which officially started Nov. 9. "The girls are excited. They have been ready to get to Monday where we will have a basketball in our hands and practices."
Rogers is a familiar face in Clarkston. She coaches the eighth grade girls basketball team and junior varsity softball team. She teaches ninth grade Honors US History and does the Academic Service Learning for Clarkston Junior High School.
She was involved in basketball through her high school years and played in college at Lewis & Clark College in Portland, Oregon where she started three out of four years.
"I have been coaching in the program for 12 years and when this opportunity came up it was too good to pass up," she said. "The girls on the team are fun. They are exciting. Their possibilities are very high."
She added her knowledge and experience helps because she has been where they have been.
"I have been in the situations they have been in," Rogers said. "I know what they see. I think it will translate well because I have been there. I don't know if I ever played on a team which had this level of talent. It's going to be exciting to have a team that has the skills and the drive these girls do."
Her goal for the program is to continue the success Clarkston has had.
"We are going to play a more aggressive offense style, but we are going to continue to be known for our lock down defense," Rogers said. "I expect to be very competitive. Clarkston has a reputation. We are good. We are solid. We are fundamentally sound and we play hard. I want to continue that tradition."
She added the girls have been working hard during the summer in a Detroit league against athletic and physical teams.
"We had good success against them," Rogers said. "We are going to be fun and exciting to watch. We move the ball. We score. We go to the rim."
Chelsea Khouri will help in the program as assistant coach for the varsity team.
"I am so lucky to have her expertise and her experience," she said. "My coaching program is solid."
The program also has solid players returning to the roster including senior guard Kayla Russell and sophomore forward Kayla Luchenbach.
"Kayla Russell has amazed me with what she has done the last three months," said Rogers. "She has matured as a person and a player. Luchenbach, this should be her year to own the inside. She had Erika (Davenport) before. This summer she really worked to be a solid presence in the middle of the key. We have enough talent and skill outside of the key teams won't be able to focus on Kayla because someone else could score on them quite easily. We have a lot of weapons we could take it to teams because they can't cover everyone.
"There is a dedication to the program I love to see," Rogers added. "We have a lot of young players coming up so it's going to be exciting for a while."
The girls open the season at Avondale on Dec. 1 with JV at 5:30 p.m. and varsity following.
They host their home opener with a triple header against Davison on Dec. 4 with freshman playing at 5 p.m. and the junior high school. JV plays at the high school at 5:30 p.m. and varsity follows.
Wendi graduated from the University of Michigan-Flint with a degree in communications. She wrote for the Michigan Times college paper and Grand Blanc View before joining The Clarkston News in October 2007. Follow Clarkston sports on Twitter @CNewsWRSports.