Father, son to play together on Dixon alumni team
Field of dreams come true
Fifty-year-old Kevin Rogers hasn't played a down of organized football in his life, but he couldn't resist this opportunity.
Rogers will suit up alongside his son, Paul, for the Dixon team in its alumni game Saturday night at Rochelle.
The Rogerses are the only father-son combination playing for Dixon. Doug Devine is coaching the team, while his son Andrew is playing.
"Paul's very excited about it, and I'm pretty excited about this too," said Kevin, a 1980 graduate of the former Shabbona High School, who was allowed to play for the Dixon alumni due to a lack of players.
"I was excited to play next to all my buddies, but once he said he was going to do it, I was pumped up," said Paul, 26, a 2005 Dixon grad. "There's not many people that can say they played football next to their dad."
Kevin, who has been a Dixon resident since 1983, was a basketball and track guy in high school at Shabbona, where his graduating class totaled 32.
"I played a lot of pick-up games and flag football, but the school I went to was so small we couldn't support a football team," Kevin said.
Though he appears to be in good shape and is an avid weightlifter, Kevin has had his share of struggles in the team's practices.
"I pulled a hamstring one of our first practices," he said. "They taught me how to stretch out better. They have let me out of the last run every day. We'll do a set of three or four busters, and they always let me out of the last one. It's because they don't want to do CPR on me."
There was one other issue.
"We're not allowed to get our pads till the night of the game, but we hit each other," Kevin said. "Paul laid me out once, then he apologized for it."
The Rogerses are both playing on the offensive line. Paul hopes to get to line up alongside his dad.
"Hopefully we can make a couple pancakes together," said Paul, who played football for 2 years at St. Ambrose University in Davenport, Iowa, after high school.
Paul likes what's he seen from his dad on the practice field.
"I think he's a stud for 50," Paul said. "He works out all the time. He's a paramedic, so he does a lot of lifting. I was pretty impressed when he started working out with us."
The Rogerses also work alongside each other at Advance EMS Ambulance Services in Dixon. Kevin is the owner of the business, and his father, Jim, is also involved there.
"I get to work with [my dad] Monday through Friday, then we get to do this too," Paul said. "We have a pretty strong bond. I feel lucky, because I work with him and my grandpa both."
Who: Dixon at Rochelle
What: Alumni Football USA game
When: 7 p.m. Saturday
Where: Old Rochelle Football Stadium
The basics: Four 12-minute quarters to be played, unless team rosters swell to around 50 players on each side. Then, 15-minute quarters to be played.
Rules: IHSA rules apply, with a few exceptions (no blitzing; no crack-back blocks; no rushing the center on punts, field goals or extra points). No fighting or taunting – violating those rules may result in ejection.