“A home divided” will not be the case according to a pair of Catoosa County coaches from rival schools who are engaged to be married.
Lakeview-Fort Oglethorpe High softball coach/assistant athletic director Lisa Rogers, 28, plans to marry Heritage High assistant baseball coach/assistant athletic director Thomas Gray, 24, this month.
The couple agree they’ll live as a team “together as one,” despite working at rival schools.
Rogers, a former Ridgeland and Carson-Newman softball star, said the couples’ Cinderalla story began at a Ringgold vs. Lakeview-Fort Oglethorpe basketball game in January.
She said friends, faculty and students predicted a wedding within a month from the time they began dating.
“It was a packed house and the only seat that was open was in front of me,” Rogers said of their first meeting. “Thomas sat down and we started talking. We hit it off… I knew who he was based on his background. He is younger than me so I didn’t know him in school. The big thing wasn’t just our love and passion for sports, but our morals and our love for God just matched up.”
Rogers, who is entering her first year as a head softball coach at LFO, said the two will wed at Shiloh Baptist in Walker County where they will reside. The reception is slated for the Catoosa County Colonnade.
She said although they’re not planning on kids anytime soon. But they have joked that if they have a girl she will go to LFO and play softball for her mother, and if they have a boy he will go to Heritage and play baseball for his father.
Gray, who has helped to play a big role in giving LFO’s Chip Liner Field a new face lift this summer, said he has quickly become Rogers’ biggest fan on and off the field. He said he can’t wait for the couple to start their new life together.
“I’m extremely lucky,” he said. “Not only is she great all together, but we’re in the same job field so it’s nice to know someone who understands the schedule and time frames.”
Gray was a standout baseball player at Ringgold. He went on to play college baseball at Chattanooga State, Tennessee Tech and Armstrong Atlantic. He said he has been busy this summer working hand-in-hand with Rogers on giving the Lady Warriors a better field to play on.
“I almost went to school for turf management,” he said. “So when she said she needed help with the field I was more than happy to help. We’ve added new dirt, added sand to level it and a lot of fertilizer.”
Rogers, who said one of Gray’s favorite colors to wear is red, said both schools have already said they will make an effort to work with their schedules in the off season.
“When it’s my season he’s going to be at what he can for me over here and when it’s his season (in baseball) in the spring I’m going to be at what I can there,” Rogers said. “We both still have responsibilities at our schools, but we both still want to support each other.”
Gray said he will only wear red if it’s got Heritage writing on it.
“And no matter how big and tough Lisa tries to be she’s a teddy bear,” he said. “She really cares about what she does and loves the kids she’s dealing with.”