Freddy' Player of the Week

Shoemaker basketball player J’wan Roberts, left, receives the Freddy’ Player of the Week award Saturday from Chris Miles, manager at the Freddy’s Steakburgers location in Killeen.

J’wan Roberts did it again. 

After scoring 24 points, pulling down six rebounds and blocking two shots in a 63-60 overtime win over Ellison on Jan. 24, the Shoemaker sophomore was voted Freddy’ Player of the Week.

It marks the second time the 6-foot-7-inch post has won the award, an occurrence that has yet to be accomplished by another area athlete this school year.

“It feels good to win it again because I’m only a sophomore,” Roberts said. “It feels good to be better than the juniors and seniors sometimes, and just show out and do all I can do for my teammates. I’ve got two of them, and I can go for my third now.”

Roberts earned the award in a difficult matchup at Ellison. He had to compete against not one stout post, but two 6-foot-7 big men in Elijah Moleon and Ronald Williams Jr.

Roberts said once he got on a roll, however, he felt he couldn’t be stopped.

“At first, I started out a little shaky,” he said. “But once I made my first shot, I got my blood flowing. I don’t think it mattered who they put on me, I was just feeling it that night.

“Once I started beating them and started scoring, I wasn’t really worried about it.”

Grey Wolves head coach Emund Prichett said there were points in the game when Roberts was simply the best player on the floor.

“He really knows how to catch and finish,” Prichett said. “Everybody may look at him and say, ‘He is 6-7. That’s what he’s supposed to do.’ But all of them aren’t catching the ball to start off with, and not all of them are finishing with contact and just being in the right spot.

“He just has a knack for the ball — to rebound and to finish.”

Prichett admitted it was quite a battle with Moleon and Williams, however.

“He was definitely sore after the game,” Prichett quipped. “He had to guard those guys, as well. But I thought he did an excellent job, especially just being a sophomore and being a first-year varsity player.”

Roberts has gotten more and more comfortable in the paint as the season has gone along and he’s gotten in-game experience. The left-hander has also consistently fine-tuned his footwork, using his right hand and moving to his right.

While Roberts would prefer to utilize his left hand, Prichett said he has vastly improved in all aspects of his game and is no longer thinking as much when he is on the floor.

“He’s definitely gotten a lot more comfortable,” Prichett said. “You can see it in practices. He’s not thinking about it as much as he used to; he’s just out there playing.

“He’s getting better every single day, and that’s a positive for us.”

Roberts’ development has been a welcome addition to a Shoemaker team that likes to utilize its speed and quickness. Proof of such was his performance against Ellison in a game the Grey Wolves wanted to exact revenge for their 54-50 loss to the Eagles on Dec. 16.

Others nominated for the award were Salado senior Annie Ewton, Killeen senior Shianne Johnson and Copperas Cove senior Alex Ramirez.

Ewton scored three consecutive goals in a matter of 115 seconds to boost the Lady Eagles to a rout of Florence in their District 25-4A soccer opener.

Johnson scored 14 points in the fourth quarter for the Lady Kangaroos in a win at Belton. The victory clinched a playoff berth for Killeen. She also led the team in scoring in a 62-60 loss at home to 20th-ranked Waco Midway.

Ramirez won the 220-pound division of the Bulldawg Invitational powerlifting meet with a total weight of 1,345 pounds.

Veteran of Operation Iraqi Freedom. Previously spent time as sports editor at both the Hereford Brand and the Gatesville Messenger. Graduate of West Texas A&M University.

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