Volleyball officials and family members gathered Saturday evening during the 39th Annual Northwest Junior Jamboree to celebrate the impact two men had on the sport of volleyball in central and eastern Washington.
The evening was an informal dinner gathering where people could catch up since last year before sharing memories of Al and David. Dave’s wife, Heidi, and sister and brother-in-law, Betsy and Jim, were able to be a part of the evening. Al’s wife Loralee, daughter Keisha and three grandsons (Romeo, Enos and Eros) joined the gathering.
Al Rogers was involved in volleyball since the late 1950’s when he competed in the U.S. Marine National Championships. Moving to Yakima in the late 1960’s, he began a mission to spread the game – men’s noon volleyball games would never be the same. Then a few women discovered his talents and invited him to their YWCA exercise group – women’s volleyball became a traveling sport and the birth of high school volleyball would follow in 1975 when Al became a volunteer coach at Selah High School. Summer camps and private lessons soon followed with local teams capturing trophies and championships every year since. Al would move on to coach 36 years at Yakima Valley Community College. Al loved being with his family and his extended family – volleyball players, parents, and coaches who are located throughout the world.
As a member of USAV (USVBA), Al’s work was recognized when he received the Leadership in Volleyball Award. Al played and coached men’s teams and coached women’s teams. He and Jim Lust, organized Cascade Volleyball Club of Yakima in the 80’s. Al was involved until his unexpected death while in Texas visiting family last June.
David Hodgin and his family moved to Yakima in the 70’s. He got involved in volleyball when he took a volleyball class at Yakima Valley Community College from Loralee. Dave’s involvement in USA Volleyball included: playing on a men’s team during the 80-90’s; coaching at the U18 level; holding the ERVA position of JOV Coordinator where he organized Big Dave’s Qualifier, later to be renamed the Pacific Northwest Qualifier (PNQ) before focusing on officiating. He had conducted several club scoring/referee clinics in December before his death after Christmas.
The two men had a passion for volleyball – a passion for a sport and the people it drew, until their last day.