An Upstate middle school teacher is making a run for the Olympics.
The Gaffney physical education instructor and coach may have grown up on a farm in the south, but by the 2022 winter games we could all be watching him on the US bobsledding team.
Not many can claim the title of Middle School Athletic Director by age 23.
Then again, Coach Justin Rogers at Granard Middle, is no ordinary guy. But don’t tell him that.
“It’s just been a blessing to have so much greatness happening in my life and I’m just an everyday teacher, no big deal,” he said.
Rogers was chosen as one of just 18 athletes out of 5000 to train for the US Olympics Bobsledding team.
He says it was his college football skills that caught the interest of Olympic trainers.
“They want football because a lot of it transfers, you know, I’ve got to be able to move somebody out of my way, well now I got to move a sled down the ice,” he said.
A star athlete, yes, but Rogers is also getting acolades as an educator, winning Granard’s best First year teacher of the year.”
He’s quickly managed to win the kind of respect from students, you don’t often see in the middle school years.
“He’s got such passion for what he does. He’s like the realest person you’ll ever meet,” said Garrett Young, one of his students.
The team wanted him to join this year, but he chose to honor his contract at Granard Middle which ends next summer.
“I promised these kids I would be here and I don’t plan on changing that for anything.”
He plans to train during that time with a world renowned Olympic trainer.
“This is an opportunity of a lifetime,” he said.
Keeping his word is his way of honoring his dreams and the values he wants to instill in his students.
‘I want them to see it doesn’t matter where you come from or where you go, it’s where you’re going. That’s what matters,” he said.