Rogers takes jump rope skills to new heights

Check out the MBC story also about Ryan Rogers!

Camden Paeltz | The Chronicle

Ryan Rogers is putting his jump rope abilities to the test around the country.

Rogers, a sophomore, jumps for the Comet Skippers and participates in individual tournaments separate from the team. His most recent competition was the Jump Rope Throwdown, a global jump rope competition held in September in Leavenworth, Washington, where he placed second. At the tournament, Rogers competed against numerous top jump ropers, including winning jumper Zac Tomlinson, a two-time world record holder and ten-time world champion. Rogers said that the opportunity to test his skills against one of the best jump ropers in the world helped him build confidence for his future.

“Going against one of the world’s best jumpers was just completely shocking,” Rogers said. “I didn’t expect to make it that far. I thought, ‘I made it here but I’m gonna get knocked out in the first round’. I guess it just gave me a big ego boost because I almost beat them. Even though I didn’t come first, they still gave me the best trick award for one of the tricks I did in my sequence.”

Jump rope is gaining popularity in schools. Nearby communities, including the Kettering school district, are looking to the Comet Skippers as a model and have sought help from jumpers like Rogers to kickstart teams of their own. Rogers said he is grateful that he is able to take his success in jump roping and use it to help build up the sport.

“I never thought of myself as an influencer, but I guess you could say I am,” Rogers said. “I feel like I am becoming that spark to inspire young people to start jumping rope, and our team is starting to make it more and more popular, so it can be as popular as basketball and football and all those sports. It’s just going to take time.”

Rogers plans to continue his jump roping career after high school, but his next steps are not as clear as a typical student-athlete. Only 21 National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) schools have an official, registered jump rope team. Rogers said that this uncertainty has made him more grateful for the community and opportunities he has in Mason.

“The only thing I’m worried about is once I reach college and pass college, who am I gonna jump with,” Rogers said. “What I’m thankful for now, is in high school I have my set group of people I jump with.”

Rogers has used his Comet Skipper experience to build his jump roping talents. Competitive jump ropers do not always have coaches and teammates as Rogers does, and because of that, they look to other jumpers for new tricks to learn and to find ways to improve. Rogers has garnered respect from the jump roping community and is now having jumpers of all ages seek out his guidance. Rogers said he is humbled to have reached a point in jump roping where he can share his passion with others.

“It gets you to a point where people just start respecting you because of your skill,” Rogers said. “I’ve had people message me on Instagram, and they say something like, I’m 25 years old, and can you help me with this trick? And I would say absolutely. Anyone could’ve helped them with that, but he chose me. Anybody else could’ve done it, but I feel thankful that they came to me.”