Jim Rosecrans Obituary, Death – Jim Rosecrans, 69, a West Genesee standout who eventually played for Penn State and the New York Jets, passed away lon December 22, 2022. Rosecrans went to West Genesee High School in New York and participated in football, lacrosse, and wrestling. In 2017, he was ranked 39th among the CNY’s 50 all-time greatest high school football players and 57th among the CNY’s 100 greatest high school athletes by Syracuse.com. Rosecrans, a former high school teammate and later roommate, was described as a “large, strong young man with a lot of charisma and confidence” by BJ O’Hara.
Rosecrans was born in Ashville, North Carolina in 1953 and moved to Camillus in the late 1960s, soon before starting high school at West Genesee. While Rosecrans is well remembered for his football accomplishments, he was also a Wildcats wrestling champion. Rosecrans won the 215-pound state wrestling championship in 1971. It was the institution’s first state wrestling championship. In 2011, Rosecrans was inducted into the West Genesee/Camillus Sports Hall of Fame.
Rosecrans went on to play linebacker and fullback for the famous Joe Paterno at Penn State after high school. During Rosecrans’ five years on campus, the Nittany Lions finished 52-8, winning two Cotton Bowls and one Orange Bowl while losing two Sugar Bowls. In 1974, Rosecrans had 20 tackles in two games, ranking him 11th all-time at Penn State. At Linebacker University, he lettered three years. O’Hara believes that many people underestimate Rosecrans’ lacrosse ability because he is most known for his football accomplishments and state wrestling championship. While playing lacrosse at Penn State, he met O’Hara, who went to Hobart.
Rosecrans joined the New York Jets of the National Football League in 1976 after finishing his athletic career at Penn State. Rosecrans’ football career was cut short by a knee injury, but his athletic career was far from over. Rosecrans and O’Hara represented Canada at the 1980 Box Lacrosse World Championships in Vancouver. Rosecrans continued to participate in sports after his lacrosse career ended, becoming an ardent golfer. “He was a kind person, and “everyone admired him,” O’Hara recalled. “He wasn’t the grumpy or contentious type.” He was simply a fantastic friend to many.”