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HomeTeam Hot Shot winners: Olivia Jones and Caleb Rogers

One makes the Clearwater girls basketball team's offense hum; the other is among the state's top goal leaders.
Clearwater point guard Olivia Jones makes sure the offense stays on track, and the Tornadoes' stellar record attests to her talent.
Clearwater point guard Olivia Jones makes sure the offense stays on track, and the Tornadoes' stellar record attests to her talent.
Published Jan. 15

A closer look at our players of the week:

Olivia Jones, Clearwater

The Tornadoes girls basketball team won three games last week, including a 49-42 win at Northeast to keep them on top of Class 7A, District 9. Jones, as always, played a big role in the victories. As the starting point guard, the senior is in charge of running the offense.

"When she's not in there, we can't break the press," Clearwater coach Allen Williams said. "She's our ball handler, so she rarely comes out of the game."

The Tornadoes (11-1) average 62 points per game. The have a balanced offense that features D'Mya Ferguson under the basket and shooters Alexzadria Head and Iyanna George from the outside.

It's Jones' job to find those players and let them do their thing.

"I think I'm the player who has the best court vision so they made me the guard," Jones said.

This is the first year she has played the position. As a freshman and sophomore she was used as a center. She said she was discouraged from dribbling.

After Williams took over last season, he slowly transitioned Jones into a guard.

"(Williams) told me to get ready to take over as point guard in my senior year," Jones said. "I worked on my dribbling in the offseason. I like it way better than being the big man."

The Tornadoes have a good chance of advancing to the region tournament. The regular season ends with two challenging games against Carrollwood Day (14-1) and Seffner Christian (12-6).

Jones should be there for every minute.

"At first I wasn't sure about this team, but now that we've played together I think our confidence gets higher and higher," Jones said. "Everyone has come together and we are more comfortable with each other."

Keswick Christian’s Caleb Rogers scored a whopping nine goals in three games last week.

Caleb Rogers, Keswick Christian

Baseball is Rogers' main sport. He has played it since he was 4 years old and has aspirations of moving on to the college level. Soccer, though, is not far behind.

The sophomore has juggled both sports for years. The only break with soccer came in middle school.

Once he entered high school, it was back to being a multi-sport athlete. In fact, Rogers even added football to the list.

It has not been much of a burden handling so many athletic endeavors. After all, the sports are played during different parts of the year (football in the fall, soccer in the winter, baseball in the spring).

Rogers is adept at making other adjustments, too. Three years ago, the family moved to the area from Mississippi.

"It was tough at first, especially leaving friends behind and making new ones," he said.

When Rogers resumed playing soccer last year, he was not much of a scorer. Playing at the wing, he had nine goals.

Rogers tore his quadriceps muscle at the end of his freshman season and was moved to forward to limit the amount of running he did on the field.

It also allowed him to become more of an offensive threat.

This season, Rogers has 25 goals, tied for the area lead and good for fifth in the state. Last week was his most productive. Rogers scored nine goals in three games, including all four in a win over Canterbury.

"It's been pretty amazing to score so often, but I've had some help," he said.

He credits the play of midfielder Josh Nordaas, who leads the team in assists with 14.

"Josh is pretty good at finding me and giving me some matchups," Rogers said. "It's been a good combination."