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When you’re one of the state’s top tennis players, there is almost never a good excuse to put down the racket longer than a week. But Cary High’s Jamie Rogers had no choice.
In July 2011, Rogers said she was riding her bike too fast down a wet trail. While turning to go uphill, Rogers and her bike fell over.
Wedged between the bike and the ground, her right ankle turned backward. “It would never happen again, even if I tried,” she said.
Her body went into shock, saving her from the immediate pain. Others on the trail came to her aid, but none could save her sophomore season.
As a freshman, Rogers lost just three singles matches and had hoped to make a run at the 2011 4A state championship. With a broken ankle that required a metal plate and screws, it would be another five months before she could walk, and nine before she could play.
“It was terrible. I had never taken more than a week off from tennis,” Rogers said. “I felt really behind.”
She has caught up quickly. As a junior this season, Rogers is in top form, losing just one singles match (to Panther Creek’s Megan Smith).
“She’s been playing just as well as she did when I last saw her a year ago,” Cary coach Janet Trotter said. “You never know what’s going to happen to somebody when they’re off that much.”
Rogers was deliberate in easing her way back into summer tournaments. “You had to choose your tournament wisely,” she said. “I played some low-level tournaments and I did fine. I got to the finals in one of them, which was good for my confidence.”
Of Rogers’ freshman-year losses, two were to 4A state champion Melissa Kandinata of Green Hope, while the other was to 4A runner-up Lauren Frazier in the state quarterfinals.
What makes Rogers so tough is her demeanor – Trotter said Rogers is it’s hard for opponents to read emotionally – and her agility.
The goal remains the same for Rogers as it did before the accident: She wants to win a state title.
After a fall on one trail took her away for a year, she’s back on the right path.