James “Sandy” Rogers is one of the most prolific tailbacks to have played for Emory & Henry. An All-American with a slew of school records, he helped to lead the Wasps to their first trip to the NCAA Division III Playoffs in 1986. Rogers was inducted into the Sports Hall of Fame in 1993.
After a modest freshman season, Rogers was among the top 25 NCAA Division III rushers his sophomore year and was named to All-Conference and All-State teams. In the 1985 season, Rogers set the school records for highest average rushing yardage per game (121.1) and single-season rushing yards (1,090) – a record he would break the following year. He again earned All-Conference and All-State recognition and was voted the team’s Most Outstanding Offensive Player.
His senior year, Rogers was named Player of the Year by the ODAC, VaSID Division II-III, Football News, and the Touchdown Club of Richmond. He was the Most Valuable Offensive Back on the Wasps squad. In addition to his third straight All-Conference and All-State honors, Rogers earned the All-American nod from AFCA/Kodak, Football News, Pizza Hut, and the Associated Press. He was also featured in Sports Illustrated “Faces in the Crowd,” which spotlights collegiate and amateur athletes with outstanding accomplishments or endeavors.
During Rogers’ career, the Wasps went from a 3-7 to a 10-1 record. They won two conference titles and earned a spot in the NCAA Division III postseason.
In 1986, Rogers set national records for season rushing total (1,730 yards) and average yards per rush (7.489 yards). Including his NCAA records, he set seven school rushing records in his career, among them 4,005 career rushing yards, 236 single-game rushing yards, and 641 career rushing attempts.
Rogers went on to a career in management in the coal industry.