Scott Rogers was seated in the second row of the press compartment at East Carolina University’s Clark LeClair Stadium, smiling.
There was nerve around his NCAA Division I PA announcing its debut, but as he spoke, all pre-game jitter subsided: “Hello Ladies and Gentlemen, welcome to Lewis Field at Clark LeClair for that Matchup between the Duke Blue Devils and your afternoon ECU pirates. … “
“That first line will stay in the back of my mind whenever I think of this game,” said Rogers of ECU’s 6-1 win over Duke, a top 25 matchup, on Tuesday.
As the Greenville native announced, a tube of glucose pills remained in a pocket of his khaki near an insulin pump attached to a belt clip. A blood glucose meter synchronized with his smartphone provided updates every five minutes. When the monitor detects that its blood sugar level is off, it signals the pump to adjust its insulin intake.
Rogers, 20, was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes, also known as juvenile diabetes, a week after his eighth birthday.
“For someone so young it was scary because I didn’t know anything about it. I just knew that I had to take pictures every day, which is obviously very scary as an 8 year old kid, ”he said.
Juice or snacks were kept on hand while he was in the Greenville Little Leagues. The same applies to his time as announcer, goalkeeper and referee of the Little League. Snacks, juice or glucose tablets are always close by just in case. He was fortunate that he never had any complications while working.
When he was 13, Rogers began helping Brian Weingartz, Greenville’s Little Leagues commissioner, with keeping and posting points. In 2019, a year after switching from insulin shots to an insulin pump, he became a PA spokesperson for JH Rose football and basketball games. He will be there on Friday evening to announce the Rampants season opener against New Bern. In August he will support Weingartz in organizing the Little League Softball World Series with media work and PA announcements.
His debut on Tuesday evening won’t be the last for ECU athletics. Rogers is slated to announce a lacrosse game on Sunday and a volleyball game in the near future. He could also be incorporated back into the baseball PA rotation.
“One of the most fascinating roles in a sports game is the PA announcer. They have the unique role of being the voice of the stadium and setting much of the atmosphere, “said Eric Ward, director of marketing and fan engagement for ECU.” We are fortunate to have a crew of phenomenal PA speakers in East Carolina and we are excited to have Scott on board for some of our events this spring. There is always something special about bringing in a new PA voice, especially when it’s someone who has been a lifelong fan of your program. “
Rogers grew up as a pirate fanatic. His uncle, the late Gary Alford, was an ECU graduate and a member of the Pirate Club. He made sure his uncle’s memory stayed alive this season by placing a cardboard clipping of him on the left panel.
One of his earliest, if somewhat vague, memories was a soccer game he played at the age of 5: Skip Holtz’s coaching debut against Duke in 2005. As well as attending events, be it ECU track and field or some other baseball -, basketball or football show, he spent his childhood in front of the television and pretended to be a play-by-play announcer.
“If I was 8 years old and someone told me that one day I would do this, I would say you are crazy, but I am extremely happy and extremely grateful for the opportunity tonight,” he said.
Rogers will transfer from Pitt Community College to ECU this fall, where he specializes in communication. He wants to continue the PA announcement and is also considering a career in sports information or sports writing.
He also has some advice for others who have recently been diagnosed or treated for a chronic illness.
“Got it. Don’t let anything hold you back,” he said. “Believe in your dreams because a dream was obviously fulfilled tonight. Always believe in yourself and go for your dreams because one day they can definitely come true. … You can do anything with type 1 diabetes Live the life you want, nothing can hold you back.