3-sport star completes family trifecta in Quaker Valley Sports Hall of Fame

Sunday, October 1, 2023 | 11:01 AM

The covid-19 pandemic in 2020 delayed Dr. Christa Rogers-Pettie’s entrance into the Quaker Valley Sports Hall of Fame.

Inductions for the HOF were shut down for three years from 2020-2022 because of the pandemic.

The 2008 QV graduate waited patiently for that much-anticipated phone call from her former track coach, Jerry Veshio, telling her that she was included in the 2023 class of inductees.

“Have you seen the emoji with all of its teeth showing? That was me when I was telling my family about being selected for the QV Sports Hall of Fame,” Rogers-Pettie said. “Both my older brother and sister have been inducted in the QV HOF, so I feel like I’ve completed the family trifecta.

“I’m glad that the QV Hall of Fame has resumed. It’s feels great to be recognized for my accomplishments, and I’m excited to be inducted with my teammate Tabitha (Bemis).”

Veshio finally caught up with the former three-sport marvel, who continued her athletic career on scholarship at Morgan State and Alabama A&M. Rogers-Pettie was excited — and essentially reassured — to hear from her former coach as her intuition took over at that point.

Her initial reaction to being selected for the Hall of Fame?

“I got a voicemail from coach Veshio and we played phone tag for a day or two,” the 33-year-old Rogers-Pettie said. “So I did suspect what he was calling about. I think I was excited and little bit relieved. I didn’t want to be the only Rogers that didn’t get inducted.”

Rogers-Pettie joins siblings Jasmine, 2014 class, and Darren, 2019 class, as QV Sports Hall of Fame honorees.

“My sister was by far the biggest influence on my athletic career,” Rogers-Pettie said. “We played the same sports but excelled in different ways. I was always watching her practice and traveling to her games and tournaments. She broke the state record in the 100-meter hurdles her senior year.

“When she started college, I was essentially starting high school. She left big shoes for me to fill, but I never felt the pressure of it all. Even to this day, she is still my biggest supporter, and I can’t imagine it any other way.”

Rogers-Pettie will be inducted on the weekend of Oct. 13-14. The 2023 HOF class will be recognized Oct. 13 at the Quakers’ home football game against West Mifflin.

“Christa’s induction into the Hall of Fame is well deserved,” said Veshio, who along with coaching served a stint as athletic director at QV. “I am super proud to have been a part of her wonderful career.

“As you can tell by her bio, Christa was a phenomenal athlete, proven by the fact that she excelled at a high level in multiple sports. Her tenacious work ethic and ability to transfer specific skill sets from one sport to another made her unique.”

A banquet will be held in honor of the inductees Oct. 14 at 11 a.m. at Edgeworth Club. For ticket information, email Christina Johns at johnsc@qvsd.org.

Rogers-Pettie was a four-year letter winner in volleyball, basketball and track and field. Her magnificent athletic career included section, WPIAL and PIAA recognition in all three sports.

As a setter on the QV girls volleyball team, she was named all-section four times, earned WPIAL honors in her junior and senior years, capped by all-state plaudits as a senior.

“I think my favorite sport was volleyball, although I think I was better at basketball and track,” Rogers-Pettie said. “Being a setter, you’re running the entire offense. I think watching my sister and going to all her tournaments really helped my love for the game grow.”

On the basketball court, Rogers-Pettie displayed versatility as a point guard and forward, leading the Quakers in scoring, assists, rebounding and steals three years in a row.

“My basketball coach, Curtis Williams, had a big influence on me,” Rogers-Pettie said. “He was my coach from the time I really got into AAU basketball up through high school. He knew how and when to push me and when to let me just run things.

“But most of all, he knew the game and he knew his players. His family was and still is an extension of mine.”

Rogers-Pettie amassed 1,245 career points, placing her among the highest scorers in school history.

“During my senior season, I was completely unaware of how close I was to my (1,000-point) milestone,” Rogers-Pettie said. “The ref stopped the game, and I was completely clueless as to why. Then an announcement was made that I reached 1,000 career points.

“It was honestly an unforgettable moment. My mom and coach were very good about playing that one close to the vest.”

Rogers-Pettie continued her top-flight competitiveness in track and field, winning the 100- and 200-meter dashes, 100 hurdles and 400 relay at the WPIAL finals in 2007 and 2008. She broke the WPIAL meet record in the 200 in 2008.

“I won four gold medals in 2008, and I walked away from states my senior year with four medals,” said Rogers-Pettie, who broke Olympic sprinter Lauryn Williams’ 200-meter WPIAL record.

As a 5-foot-9, 155-pound high school competitor, Rogers-Pettie — known as Christa Rogers back then — was named Female Athlete of the Year by the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. She also was chosen as a WPIAL Scholar-Athlete in 2008.

“As a track athlete, I saw first-hand how being involved in multiple sports paid off for Christa,” Veshio said. “Maintaining top physical and mental toughness month after month as she navigated through season after season shows how unique she was.

“Being the youngest in a family of high-level athletes, it seemed inevitable that Christa would follow in those footsteps. I would add that, being in her shoes was pressure packed with living up to high expectation. She never failed to come through though.”

Rogers-Pettie competed in both volleyball and track at Morgan State, later transferring to Alabama A&M. As a freshman at Morgan State, she won team MVP honors in the women’s volleyball.

“I ran track my sophomore year and participated in the 100, 100 hurdles, 4-by-100 and 200,” Rogers-Pettie said. “I felt like I had to relearn a few things after taking a year off, but I managed to place in the 100 at the MEAC finals.

“At Alabama A&M, I played volleyball and actually got roped into tennis. Long story short, in the offseason I walked in on a conversation between my volleyball coach and the tennis coach in which the tennis coach was talking about eligibility issues. I was academically eligible and learned to play tennis. My first match was against Auburn.”

The QV product currently lives in Charles County, Md., about 40 minutes from Washington, D.C. She has a son, 5-year-old Carter, and works in the cyber security field.

“I’m fortunate to have family close by,” Rogers-Pettie said. “My sister lives in Washington D.C. and my parents moved to Maryland during the pandemic.

“I’m encouraging my son to try all types of sports and I hope he finds something he can enjoy. He’s currently training to be a superhero, so we will see where that takes us.”

Rogers-Pettie earned an electrical engineering degree at Alabama A&M. She then attended the University of Maryland at College Park, where she received a master’s degree in systems engineering and her doctorate in reliability engineering.

“Mom and dad were instrumental in all of their children’s education,” Veshio said. “They demanded positive results both academically and athletically. They were both nurturing and patient with how they were able to weave out what ultimately would be a high success rate for their children.”

Nowadays, Rogers-Pettie apparently has her cake and can eat it too, as the saying goes. She started a custom cake decorating business in 2019 called Cakes by Christa.

“It has actually become really successful,” Rogers-Pettie said, “and my goal is to be on a decorating competition show like ‘Baking Impossible’ or ‘Is it Cake?’”

Seems like another Hall of Fame endeavor is on the horizon.

If you are going

Six individuals and two championship teams will be inducted into the Quaker Valley Sports Hall of Fame as members of the Class of 2023.

This year’s inductees are Tabitha Bemis, Dean Cvitkovic, Dr. Jeff Mulholland, Dr. Christa Rogers-Pettie, Justin Shegog, Furman South and the 1989 boys basketball and 1993 boys soccer teams.

The induction ceremony will be held Oct. 14 at 11 a.m. at Edgeworth Club at 511 East Drive, Sewickley.

Registration and a social hour will take place from 11 a.m. to noon, and a cash bar will be available. The presentation of HOF inductees will start at noon.

The cost is $30 per ticket. Children under 10 will be admitted free.

Checks should be made payable to Quaker Valley Sports Hall of Fame, and mailed to Quaker Valley Sports Hall of Fame, c/o Quaker Valley Athletic Dept., 625 Beaver Street, Leetsdale, Pa. 15056.

For ticket purchase or more information, contact the Quaker Valley athletic office at 412-749-6001 or email Chrissy Johns at johnsc@qvsd.org.

There also will be a reception/tailgate party at 5:30 p.m. Oct. 13 at QVHS prior to the Quakers’ home football game against West Mifflin. All are welcome.


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