For The Wetzel Chronicle
When you hear the name Stephen Rogalski, what are some of the first things that come to your mind? Well, for me, it is "electrifying playmaker," "leader", and "a well-rounded young man."
In his carrier at Magnolia, he broke multiple school and state records and also received several honors. Stephen will leave Magnolia as the all-time leading receiver with 193 catches for 3,646 yards and 31 TDs. And, he broke all three records this season, his senior year.
The TD receptions record came in the 2012 season opener against Linsly at Wheeling Island Stadium, when he and Tanner Hanna hooked up for a 28-yard TD catch in a 21-20 loss.
The receptions record came in week three at home against rival Tyler Consolidated: five catches for 62 yards. And the yardage came in another rival game during week six at Monroe Central, when he and Hanna connected on a 65-yard pitch-and catch for a TD. That pushed him seven yards past the 3,300 yard mark for his carrier.
All three previous records were held by Kenny Fisher (class of '93), who had 153 catches for 3,289 yards and 25 TDs as a Big Blue Receiver in the 1991-92 seasons. Fisher went on to play at West Virginia University.
Rogalski also set numerous state records in Class-A and AA. In 2010, he put together a school and state record of 242 yards receiving, including a 99-yard TD from Justin Fox. That was a Class-AA state record for the longest play from scrimmage.
He also holds the Class-A state record for longest kickoff return. In the opening round of the playoffs this year, he caught the ball at his own one and returned it 99 yards to paydirt. The Eagles went on to win 34-7 against the Williamstown Yellowjackets. This play was also honored as the WTOV-TV 9 Electrifying Play Of The Week for Nov. 9, 2012.
Rogalski has also been honored numerous times by the state and by the OVAC in 2010, 2011, and 2012 when he was named to the All-OVAC team. And, in 2010, the Wheeling Intelligencer dubbed him Sophomore Of The Year when he played a key role in the Eagles winning the 2010 Class-AA state championship, after going 14-0 on the season.
He was also named player of the week five times in his junior and senior years. The 2012 Monroe Central game earned him WTOV Player of the Week for that week. He earned First Team All-State in 2010, 2011, and captained the 2012 All-State First Team.
In 2006, as a sixth grader, Rogalski scored the only TD in the fifth and sixth grade Pee-Wee Championship game, as the New Martinsville Eagles defeated Sistersville 8-0 in the title match.
Jumping ahead to the MHS opener of 2009, QB Justin Fox dropped back to pass and found a freshman speedster for a 54-yard TD. That was Rogo's first high school catch. He would add another receiving TD and a punt return for a TD later on that season as the Blue Eagles went 12-1, losing to eventual state champion Bluefield.
Then came the 2010 season, when he showed the rest of the valley and the state just how good he could be. He made 64 catches for 1,192 yards and 17 TDs in the receiving game. He played a key role in the Eagles finishing 14-0 and being crowned the Class-AA State Champions.
In the following year, he returned two kickoffs for touchdowns in the season opener, a 66-30 loss against Wayne, when he ran back an 88-yard kickoff into the end zone. Later that season, he ran back an 80-yard kickoff to score in a 62-13 win over Weir.
In his junior season, Rogalski caught 62 passes for 895 yards and, this year, he caught 62 passes for 895 yards and six touchdowns in the Eagles' 9-1 regular season. That qualified Magnolia for the 2012 WVSSAC Class-A playoffs as number two seed.
After dominating rival Williamstown in the first round of the playoffs 34-7, Magnolia held off feisty East Hardy 19-14 to earn a spot in the semis. But, in a very physical game, Rogalski's career came to an end when the Wahama White Falcons defeated the Eagles 10-7.
During the season, he returned two punts and a KO for TDs then added four touchdowns on the ground. He caught 62 passes for 903 yards and six scores, tucking away four games in which he went over 100 yards receiving and one game where he went over 100 yards rushing.
For his career, Rogo had a grand total 41 touchdowns and Magnolia claimed a 45-8 record.
I had the privilege to ask Stephen questions about his carrier and his biggest aspirations. He recalled his most memorable game as Magnolia's 28-13 victory over Ravenswood in the 2010 state championship.
His biggest influences were MHS Offensive Coordinator Dave Chapman; Head Coach Mark Batton; his uncle, "Fuzzy" Filliez; and his half-brother, Brit Hayes. Filliez was a football standout for Marshall University and multi-sport standout for Magnolia. Hayes was a Blue Eagle baseball player.
The most memorable play for him was his one-handed interception at Williamstown in 2011.
His most memorable game - other than the state title game in 2010 - was against Wheeling Central in 2012 when he played with a separated shoulder. Magnolia won that event, 17-13.
Reflecting on leaving Magnolia as the all-time leading receiver, he said, "There's been several greats to wear the Magnolia uniform and I am just proud to be mentioned alongside them."
Rogo also spoke of a bond between him and quarterback Tanner Hanna. "We have always been good friends. It helped us to know what the other was thinking on the field."
He said that by playing the same system for four years, "I knew what Coach Chapman wanted to do, knew the offense almost as well as he did, and it helped the younger guys pick it up, just like the older guys did with me my freshman year."