Seniors have historically been the vocal leaders of most girls basketball teams, and Mansfield Lake Ridge has a three-year starter now leading by more than just example.
Brittany Roberts said she previously has been a quiet leader.
This season’s goal for Roberts – to average a double-double – is right on track. She is at 10 points per game and 10.1 rebounds per game.
But one goal she didn’t know would be realized is that of a more outwardly vocal presence.
“All these years I’ve been pretty quiet and not wanted to speak,” Roberts said. “Coach (Stephani Gray) wanted me to come out of my shell and said that veterans have to lead. I was always afraid to speak up and now I’ll come out and say it. It’s easier now, and I know it will benefit me in the future.”
Along with her point guard, Roberts is always helping direct traffic on the court.
“My goal as a senior was to help lead the team, not to be the key person,” Roberts said. “I want to uplift my team and just play together.”
The Lady Eagles have struggled through the first half of the district schedule, but that hasn’t tainted the desire to learn and push themselves, Roberts said.
“We focus on believing. We are not giving up and going hard, no matter the score,” Roberts added. “Coach said we won’t lie down and die for anyone. We’ll keep going hard.”
Even going to practice is exciting for Roberts as she said the team is always “ready to see what Coach has in store for us each day.”
Practice has helped Roberts focus on playing defense first. She said defense has always been her top priority and her offensive game comes after that.
Roberts gives credit for her ability to score, though, to her teammates.
“I’ve been on a good pace lately, but my teammates work hard to get the ball to the open shot,” she said.
Roberts isn’t too shy to admit she collects her share of “trash points off rebounds” but said those points may have more to do with her all-out style of play more than just luck.
Still, she said she wants to improve on squaring up to the basket while always looking for the open shot.
As a small forward, the 5-9 senior said that her relentless style is typical for her on and off the court.
Roberts is evaluating possible collegiate options, but that focus – regardless of whether she’s still on the court or not – will be determined by her desire to focus on Clinical Skills as a major with hopes of pharmacy school in the future.
When that future does arrive, Roberts likely won’t have any regrets.
“No matter how the season ends, I want to know that we played our hardest and worked together. And a lot can still happen.”