IndyStar is recognizing the Indiana high school athletes of the week presented by Defenders. Top Hoosier athletes are nominated by their athletic directors and coaches. For more information about our Indiana Sports Awards, contact Matthew VanTryon at firstname.lastname@example.org or Matthew Glenesk at email@example.com. These athletes were chosen for the week ending Jan. 7:
Michael Roberson, Central Christian Academy
Central Christian Academy has existed for 46 years, but its athletics programs rarely register on the radar. The school has only been an IHSAA member since 2010, and the boys basketball program has just one sectional title to its name.
Michael Roberson is trying to change that.
Roberson transferred to Central Christian Academy from Warren Central before his sophomore year. Though Roberson played on the freshman team with the Warriors, his decision was educationally based.
“At Warren Central, it was a really big environment and I was around my friends a lot in the classroom. It was hard for me to stay focused,” he said. “Here, I could focus more on my grades. At Warren Central, it was hard for teachers to break things down one-on-one. Here, with it being so small, it’s easier for teachers to do that.”
But Robertson brought his basketball talents with him. Though the team is 6-5 this season, it isn’t for a lack production on Roberson’s part. He’s averaging 29 points and six rebounds per game as a junior. Last season, he averaged 20 points per game.
He scored 124 points in three games this past week — 28 against Indiana Deaf, a school-record 55 against Christel House and 41 against Lighthouse East.
“It takes us up a level in getting us on the map,” Chargers coach and athletics director Bobby Brown said of Roberson’s impact. “We haven’t had a scorer like this since I’ve been here. Now, we’ve got kids finding out what we’re about.”
While Brown says Roberson knows he’s not realistically a Division I player, he still works like one.
“If he’s not in our gym on the (shooting) gun or if he’s not hitting the weights, he’s at LA Fitness. It’s constant. We’ll get beat, and he’ll go straight to the gym,” Brown said. “What the kids see is that success isn’t just handed to you. You really have to work for it. I think Michael proves that with his work ethic. Our game plan is a lot around him.”
Roberson says the biggest challenge he faces is staying humble in the midst of success.
“After scoring a lot of points, (it’s key) not getting a big head and not wanting to go to the gym because I feel like I’m doing so well that I feel like I don’t have to work and it’ll just happen,” he said.
As his game has improved, Roberson has had to become more willing to let his teammates do some of the work.
“All my teammates can play and they can score,” he said. “If I pass the ball to them, they’ll eventually score. I don’t have to score all the time.”
Jenna Warrick, Bethesda
Warrick scored her 1,000th career point this past week in a game against Clinton Central. She scored 25 points while grabbing seven rebounds, three steals and dishing out two assists.
Isaac Khamis, Richmond
Khamis scored his reverse dive with a three 10s in a meet against Centerville this past week. He won the event with a total score of 318.6 points for six dives.
Khamis finished second in the 1-meter diving competition at the state finals last year.
Tessa Wrightson, Zionsville
Wrightson won the 200 free (1:53.33) and the 100 back (55.62) at the Hoosier Crossroads Conference Championships this past week.
She finished fourth in the 100 back at the state finals last year (55.21).
Kevin McCune, Andrean
McCune had the top scores in the state with a one-game score of 300 and a 546 two-game series. The senior’s season average of 234 is second in the conference and third in the state. He has four games over 250.
Cheyanne Elam, Michigan City
Elam had the top game (287) and two-game series (544) in the state this past week. Her 544 series is the best in the state this season.
Brayden Lowery, Perry Meridian
Lowery is ranked eighth in the state at 106 pounds, and registered three wins this past weekend in the Belmont invitational. He pinned his Adams Central opponent in 31 seconds, won 6-0 over his Belmont opponent and 6-0 over his Mishawaka opponent.