A lifelong dream to be a head softball coach has come true for Nickie Rogers. The 16-year veteran has taken a head coaching position at Sprayberry High School in Cobb County.
Rogers notified high school administration that she would be resigning from Dawson County to take the head position at Sprayberry last week.
"We are truly going to miss Nickie," said Dawson County High School Athletic Director Grady Turner said. "She introduced fast pitch softball and started the soccer program here at the school. Rogers has been looking for a head coaching job for the last few years and we wish her the best. I am truly going to miss her, not only as a coaching colleague, but as a friend."
Rogers echoed Turner's sentiments and said she will miss the local program.
"Coach Turner has been a mentor, a friend and an older brother to me. I have known Grady since I was in high school. He has taught me that no matter what, truth and honesty are the only way to true success.
"It has been a real pleasure being his office mate and coworker. Anytime that I have needed him he has been there for me. He has helped me to become the teacher and coach I am today. I will truly miss my day to day contact with Coach Turner, but one thing I know, that no matter how far away we are we are still going to be great friends."
Rogers has been a integral part of the softball program for the last 16 years under Head Coach Jimmy Pruett. "The one thing that I can say about working with Coach Pruett is that he allowed me to coach with my own style. He gave me the freedom to coach how I saw fit," she said.
As a student, Rogers came through the Dawson County school system, where she was a standout player.
She received a scholarship to play at Georgia State University and finished her career at the University of North Georgia.
While at North Georgia she was named All-Conference for two years.
After college, Rogers tried out for the Colorado Silver Bullets women's pro baseball team, pro softball didn't exist at the time. For the Silver Bullets, Rogers received two call backs, which is one step from spring training, but ultimately did not make the team.
"I have so many memories throughout my time at DCHS. I think that one of my favorite memories was being the coach that was responsible for starting our fast pitch program, as well as our men's and women's soccer program at our school.
"The biggest, greatest memory from my coaching would have to be the many lives I have been able to touch over the years. Coaching is not always about wins or loses, practices or accolades. Coaching is about the ability to help mold young people's lives in a positive environment," she said.
Sprayberry plays in Region 7-AAAAA and is one of the largest regions in the state. The region is comprised of 11 schools, including; Cambridge, Forsyth Central, Kell, Creekview, Pope and Sequoyah.
The Lady Yellow Jackets finished the 2013 season with a 13-17 overall record and a 4-6 region record. The team will return nine seniors and is expected to be very competitive.
"To become a head coach is a dream and a goal that I have had ever since I have been coaching," Rogers said. "I know that the hard work will be just the beginning, but it is a challenge that I have been preparing for, for a long time.
"My family has been a big support system in all that I do. When we found out that I had been offered the job at Sprayberry they were extremely happy and proud for me. There are many things that I will miss, but the one thing that sticks out the most is the family environment amongst the staff."