Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Experience Is on Bolles' Side; Corky Rogers Has Been Coaching since before Gulliver's Coach Was Born

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Experience Is on Bolles' Side; Corky Rogers Has Been Coaching since before Gulliver's Coach Was Born

Article excerpt

Byline: HAYS CARLYON

There are many similarities between Bolles and Miami Gulliver Prep.

The two teams, who will meet today in Orlando's Citrus Bowl for the Class 2A championship, each have highly-skilled athletes and impressive offensive and defensive units.

There is one glaring difference. It can be found on each team's sideline.

Bolles is led by Corky Rogers, who, in 20 years at the school, is one win away from his eighth state crown. In his 37-year career, Rogers has earned the state record for wins with 374.

Rogers, 64, will be matching wits with Gulliver coach Earl Sims. The Virginia graduate is 29 years old and in his third year with the Raiders. Sims has won 33 games in his four-year career.

That has to be an advantage for Bolles, right? Rogers isn't convinced, even though his coaching career was well established by the time Sims was born.

"I can tell you I wasn't in any state finals 29 years ago," Rogers said. "I was giving out basketballs at this time of year. I really give those guys a lot of credit. They've got a good football team and look well coached on film. They must be doing something right."

Despite the distance between the schools, Sims is well aware of the pedigree his counterpart has built.

"I'm very familiar with what Coach Rogers has done," Sims said. "When we talk football down in Miami, it's not just about the schools down here. We talk about teams all over the state and Bolles no doubt always comes up in conversations. They've had many successful seasons and that's a tribute to Coach Rogers. He's a legend. They are a powerhouse."

Bolles comes into this game having knocked a powerhouse out of the playoffs in the state semifinals last week. The Bulldogs went on the road and defeated top-ranked Madison County 21-7. The Cowboys were the nation's seventh-best team heading into the game according to USA Today.

There is a sentiment around the state that the Bolles-Madison semifinal was the unofficial state championship game, but Bolles will be wary of Gulliver based on a recent experience. …

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