Gateway's Rogers denied eligibility
Ricky Rogers, a top Class of 2014 prospect, was ruled ineligible to play football at Gateway for the upcoming season, the WPIAL Board of Control announced Friday.
Rogers was one of five athletes who appealed for eligibility Thursday.
Rogers, a 6-foot-3, 190-pound junior, was a starting receiver his freshman and sophomore years at Keystone Oaks. He was home-schooled last year while living in the Keystone Oaks School District and will continue to be home-schooled in the Gateway School District after his family bought a house in Monroeville.
Rogers caught 30 passes for 504 yards and four touchdowns last season. Rutgers and West Virginia have offered football scholarships.
His mother, Cheryl Sandora, said the family moved to Gateway because of “emotional bullying” Rogers experienced at Keystone Oaks. The family also moved to be closer to Monroeville, where Rogers' dance teacher lives. Rogers has been dancing since age 3 and plans to major in dance in college.
“Those seven people that voted were of the opinion that based on the information that was shared in a closed hearing, that there was a likelihood that was motivated in some way by athletic purpose and voted accordingly,” said WPIAL executive director Tim O'Malley.
Rogers plans to appeal to the PIAA.
“We had solid reasons for leaving Keystone Oaks and solid reasons for choosing Monroeville, but they couldn't see anything but he's too good of an athlete, and that's the bottom line,” Sandora said.
Of the five hearings, only one student was granted eligibility.
Nathan Climo, a junior, was cleared to participate in all sports at Central Valley after transferring from Crestview High School in Springfield, Ohio.
Jacob Thieret, a junior soccer player who transferred to South Allegheny from Serra Catholic, was denied eligibility, as was David DeMarco, a junior offensive lineman who sought to play at Central Valley after transferring from Riverside. Paige D'Amico, a 19-year-old senior at Ellwood City seeking another year of eligibility, did not meet the PIAA grounds for appeal.
Meredith Qualls is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 412-380-5637.