By RENALDO DORSETT
Tribune Sports Reporter
A NEWCOMER to American football, one Bahamian high school student is garnering media attention for his size and natural ability to adapt quickly to the game.
Keano Roberts of the Chattanooga Christian Chargers was featured in the Free Time New Press out of Chattanooga, Tennessee for the potential he can bring to the programme.
Roberts, a 6’5” 280-pound sophomore, received the opportunity at the school through an exchange programme for international students and played football for the first time. “I’ve always watched football on TV. Actually, when I came here I started getting into it. I watched it a lot more closely, just being a student of the game,” he told Kelley Smiddie. “This is one of the most encouraging teams I’ve ever been a part of. They encourage me and have made me better each and every day.”
In his first game last weekend, the Chargers scored a 27-6 win over Howard in the season’s home opener.
Roberts played basketball locally and during his first year at CCS, but coaches saw his size and potential for the gridiron.
Chargers Coach Mark Mariakis has experimented with Roberts on both the defensive and offensive sides of the line of scrimmage as he learns more about the game.
“It’s tough for that big body to stay low,” Mariakis said to the FTP. “You have to understand leverage and how to get into people’s hips. But from where he was in May when he touched a football helmet for the first time, he’s come a long way.”
In the classroom, Roberts boasts a 3.37 grade-point average. “With three years in the weight room, the kid could be a monster,” Mariakis said.
“One of the most exciting things we get to see as coaches in this game is when a young kid develops. I know one thing: he’s not going to be limited by his stature.”