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Rogan celebrates Lakeland athletes

By March 9, 2022No Comments
Alan Rogan director of athletics and recreation at Lakeland College. Geoff Lee Meridian Source

 

Alan Rogan, director of athletics and recreation at Lakeland College, has adopted a cheerleading role with playoffs underway for many men’s and women’s Rustlers teams.

Rogan gives women’s basketball the best shot to punch a ticket to the nationals this weekend, followed by the women’s volleyball team and the men’s basketball team with an outside shot.

“We’re hopeful for women’s volleyball and women’s basketball,” said Rogan in a presentation to Rotary at Monday’s lunch meeting. 

He’s also thrilled the first-year Lakeland King’s Energy Group Rustlers women’s hockey team in the Alberta Junior Female Hockey League (AJFHL) is set to play a best of five final series against the Lethbridge Eagles starting at home this weekend.

“For a first-year program that’s really phenomenal,” he said.

“We want to see our women’s hockey program compete in the ACAC next year.”

Rogan says Lakeland is hoping to tie the AJFHL finals into Rogers Hometown Hockey in Lloydminster March 19-21.

“We’re going to try to do that to add one more really good thing in the city,” he said.

“We’re also trying to be the top team in the AJFHL, so we’re going to have to balance all the pieces to see what might work.”

Some awards for student athletes and coaches will be announced this week to be followed by any potential national awards.

“It was a great year,” said Rogan, who is in his 11th year as the athletic director at Lakeland and a former recipient of the ACAC athletic director award.

“Planning was so challenging and trying to focus on the year was tough. I would say our student athletes gave 120 per cent and so did our coaches, and we achieved the best result we could this year.”

He went on to report, this past weekend a lot of other Rustlers teams did well in their quest to make it to the final four, including the men’s soccer team that lost the bronze medal game in penalty kicks.

“They played their hearts out,” said Rogan.

“Our women’s soccer team probably had one of the best years they’ve ever had. They didn’t win a medal, but we’re seeing gradual consistent improvement.”

The Rustlers mixed curling team won the provincial conference championships on the weekend while the women’s team dropped their bronze medal match.

The men’s volleyball team ended their season with a loss in Edmonton on Sunday, but Rogan says they had a great season.

The women’s hockey team also won their best-of-three north final on the weekend to put them in the AJFHL finals.

“Our men’s basketball team upset Augustana in Camrose on Sunday and they’re going off to the final four in Calgary this weekend,” said Rogan.

The women’s volleyball team finished first in the north and they’re going to Red Deer for the final four this weekend with a chance to make it to nationals.

The women’s basketball team also won a tough match on the weekend enabling them to host the final four this weekend.

Rogan hopes the athletic season ends with a national championship, especially the women’s basketball team that made it to the finals in 2020 only to have them cancelled due to COVID.

All they have to do is win the first game of their conference championship this Friday night at Lakeland from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. to earn an automatic trip to the nationals in Nanaimo, B.C.

“That will be fantastic. It will be great to see. We’re hoping they accomplish that goal and get off to a national championship,” said Rogan. 

The women’s volleyball nationals are in P.E.I and the men’s basketball nationals are in Toronto.

He told Rotary success is expensive, as it’s not cheap sending kids across the country.

“The kids worked hard all year and have earned that right,” said Rogan.

“The administration has been very supportive of what we do. Between the community and the college, we’re able to supply that experience for kids.”

He says the more success Rustlers teams have, the more interest Lakeland sees in athletic programs.

“With our academic programs offering more degree opportunities on both campuses, we are starting to see a lot of students showing an interest in Lakeland College.”

Rogan also favourably compared Rotary with Lakeland’s athletic program in terms of how they both engage the community and support the community.

“They do a lot of things with youth, which is very similar to us. I think they impact and influence youth,” he said, citing Rotary’s Youth Exchange program as an example.

He added the youth of today are going to be our leaders tomorrow.

Rogan also touched on his department’s 3Cs for Rustlers’ success in the classroom, competition and the community.

“If we can instill in them some leadership skills and opportunities then hopefully, they will pay it forward when they get to be our age,” said Rogan.