Rogers volleyball, football aim for State bids, history-making titles

Both are ranked among the top teams in the State, both started the regular season well but faced lesson-offering defeat late and both are facing Section Finals that would bring return trips to the State Tournament with hope of claiming a first-ever State Championship.

Yep, there are plenty of similarities between Rogers High School’s volleyball and football teams these days.

The 7th-ranked Royals volleyball team faces cinderella 7th-seed Bemidji in the Section Final on Thursday looking to earn a third straight State appearance. They’ve lost in the Class 4A State Semifinal to three-time defending champion Wayzata each of the last two seasons.

UPDATE THU 9:00P: The Royals swept Bemidji 3-0 Thursday night in Brainerd and are headed back to the State Tournament

Rogers Volleyball has seen a steady rise the last several years. Not long ago, the goal was winning more matches than they lost in a season. But the last two years have seen them earn the first two State Tournament appearances in team history.

After a season-opening defeat to that same Wayzata squad, the Royals ran off 21-straight match victories before a pair of losses in a late-season tournament sent them into the postseason with a 25-3 record.

Click the video box below to watch KSTP Sport chat with Royals volleyball coach Bo Schmidt and Rogers players Anya Schmidt, Ella Maurer and Paige Chmura about lesson learned through this season, the recent rapid growth of the program and their quest to make this the year they land an elusive state title

Rogers volleyball has talent for strong playoff push

The Royals football team hosts Monticello Friday hoping to claw their way back to State after a heartbreaking finish last season that saw them come up a yard short of a late go-ahead touchdown in an epic Class 5A State Semifinal. Mankato West’s goal-line stand gave the Scarlets a 14-10 win and sent Rogers home one game – and one yard – short of the Prep Bowl.

Like their volleyball counterparts, it was a second straight State Semifinal defeat to the same opponent. West beat the Royals 42-7 in the 2021 football final four.

The 5th-ranked Royals also dropped this year’s regular season finale to West 28-0, to enter the postseason with a 7-1 record.

Prior to that, they had opened 2023 with seven straight wins that saw them average 38 points a game and rise a high as being ranked 2nd in Class 5A.

Click the video box below to watch KSTP Sports chat with Royals football coach Marc Franz and Rogers’ trio of future Division-I college linemen Wyatt Bell, Adrian Onyiego and Wyatt Gilmore about this season’s accomplishments and their quest to get back to the State Tournament after last season’s heartbreaking loss in the State Semifinal

Rogers high school football prepares for deep playoff run