A Cheatham County community came together to support the family of a football coach killed while helping others.
During the baseball game between Cheatham County Central High School and Sycamore High School, money was collected for a scholarship fund for Owen Rogers.
Owen’s dad, J.R., was killed on Christmas Eve last year. He was a TDOT worker who was hit by a driver on I-40 in Hermitage while helping a stranded motorist change a tire.
“J.R. meant a lot to a lot of people in this community,” said Daniel Smiley, Head Baseball Coach at Sycamore High School, and one of Rogers’ friends. “He was an exceptional person.”
Since Rogers was an assistant football coach at Cheatham County Central High School, Smiley said it seemed fitting to host benefit during the school’s game against rival Sycamore.
“This is a special community,” said Smiley. “If people are hurting or are in need, they rally together to help.”
Donations were collected as fans entered the game. Five year old Owen Rogers also threw out the ceremonial first pitch.
The outpouring of support will continue. A golf tournament fundraiser is scheduled for later this month. There will also be a special tribute to Rogers before the first home Cheatham County Central High School football game this upcoming season.
“It’s the least we can do,” said Matt Carrigan, Assistant Baseball Coach at Sycamore High School. “We just want to do something where we can give back to Owen.”
TDOT is also remembering workers killed on the job, and reminding drivers to be cautious during Work Zone Awareness week.