Ali Rogers will always be the most prepared wrestler, even when there’s nobody on the mat.
She runs, lifts and does online workouts with a tight-knit group of girls national team members. Now she’s waiting for the all-clear sign when our country gets past battling coronavirus, hoping to salvage a summer season.
“I’m having to focus on the technical aspects,” said Rogers, a North Hall High sophomore. “I definitely miss being on the mat.”
Now 16, her goals wrestling are both personal and societal.
At the 113-pound classification, Rogers is a two-time Girls All-American and ultimately wants to earn a college scholarship in wrestling.
Just as satisfying was her performance at the state sectionals in 2020 for the Trojans. After losing her opening match, she rallied with five-straight wins to earn second place and qualified for the girls’ bracket at the traditional state meet in Macon.
However, Rogers is also an ambassador of the sport for females who are interested in giving it a try. Wrestling is hard work, but something she wants more girls to try.
“I want girls to be more confident with wrestling,” said Rogers.
Her daily balance is difficult between training and finishing the school year with online classes. However, being successful athletically is something she’s put her mind to achieving. Rogers said she’s in a sparse but growing pool of girls stepping onto the wrestling mat.
Right now, the mental side of wrestling is the most taxing. It would be easy to take days off with nobody holding her accountable in-person for workouts.
However, Rogers will never be that girl who takes a break.
Thanks to living in the age of electronic communication, Rogers does her workouts on Zoom, a virtual-conference network, along with Skype to communicate online with friends who share the same passion.
She’ll spend as much as two hours in the morning working on physical conditioning, then jump into school work. Rogers also takes advantage of the warmer spring weather and follows social-distancing guidelines in place by running around her neighborhood and also at the track at the North Hall Community Center.
Rogers, who has a fraternal twin sister, Skylar, has always been athletic. After moving in elementary school from Tennessee to North Hall, Ali had the seed for wrestling planted with advertisements for the program in the school hallways. Then, she went and watched some matches.
The North Hall wrestler has always been athletic, learning from years taking martial arts when she was younger.
Her sophomore year left her with not feeling completely satisfied, earning seventh place in the all-classification, 112-pound girls’ bracket at state.
However, Rogers has already crossed one of the biggest hurdles, earning the respect of her peers in the wrestling room for the Trojans.
She feels like girls are just as capable as the boys on the wrestling mat.
“It’s a sport I really enjoy because it makes me feel strong,” said Rogers.