Bigger Than Buckets


Photo Courtesy of Kelly Bird

A coach’s dream in a collegiate sport is a kid who has grown up around the game and dreamed of being a player in the NCAA since he was young- for Coach Rosenberg, this player is Dempsey Roggenbuck.

Roggenbuck attributing a lot of his passion for the game from his family. “My dad taught me in the backyard growing up… My parents would never miss a game and I just loved it.” As he continued to play basketball through high school, Dempsey connected with Coach Rosenberg here at Linfield College.

“He made me believe in what he was trying to accomplish and I was on board.” On top of the reassurance from Coach Rose, Roggenbuck also felt at home here on Linfield’s campus and his aspirations past college lined up with Linfield’s prestigious business program.

Staying involved in sports is a goal of Dempsey’s as he studies management here at Linfield while aspiring to work at a sports corporation such as Nike or Adidas.

“My favorite memories at Linfield are the ones apart from basketball. The ones where all of us hang out on the weekend, do Secret Santa in the locker room, or just have dinner at someone’s house… We’ve become family which is something to be a part of.” While coaching a player like Dempsey is ideal for a coach, forming a team that creates a strong bond like the Wildcats have done this season might be more of an accomplishment.

Over the course of this last season, Coach Rosenberg and the Wildcats have adopted the mantra, ‘Bigger than Buckets’, using this as external motivation for the players to understand that they are more than just a basketball team. This is exactly why some of Dempsey’s favorite memories with the team don’t really have anything to do with the sport at all, but with the family aspect of the team.

“It is something we can always refer back to when things are not always going right,” said teammate Will Burghardt, “its something that helps us understand they we are playing for something much bigger than ourselves.”

The Wildcats have been playing with the vigor and passion their potential can rise to. With a 10-2 record in conference, the Wildcats are very much still in the hunt to take the Northwest Conference out of the likes of Whitman and Whitworth, who sit just one win ahead of Linfield.

Roggenbuck has been an integral part of the Wildcats offense along with Grant Gibb, Will Burghardt, and Tanner Autencio providing the significant numbers on the offensive side. The Wildcats have been playing all around their best team basketball they have in a while. Offensively and defensively, the Cats’ have been at the top of their game, utilizing every player on the roster to put the Wildcats in the position they are in.

Roggenbuck’s numbers can speak for themselves- 18.3 PPG, 3.9 REB/G, 4 APG, and shooting 50% from 3PT. This NWC Freshman of the Year, West Region Rookie of the Year, and NWC All-Conference player is showing no signs of slowing down and neither do the Linfield Wildcats.

Stay tuned as the Wildcats face the Pirates of Whitworth University and the Whitman College Blues to play for the Northwest Conference title. The games are scheduled for February 21st (FRI) at 8 PM vs Whitman College and February 22nd (SAT) at 6 PM vs Whitworth University.