ONA, WV (WOWK) – Senior lineman Nehemiah Roberts is a first-team All State, All-Conference, and All Tri-State football player.
And in his three years playing for the Cabell Midland Knights, he’s grown both on and off the field.
“I’m honestly just proud of becoming a better player every year,” said Roberts. “Coach pushes me.”
“He was always talented,” said Cabell Midland head coach Luke Salmons. “But he’s gotten bigger, better, stronger every year. And I’m sure he’ll tell ya the same thing, but he’s a senior leader. And from where he was at… I didn’t know if he’d be a leader, but he’s really done a great job.”
Like most high school athletes, the pandemic disrupted his junior year quite a bit.
“It was just crazy,” said Roberts. “Mania. Not knowing who you were gonna play every week. Go into practice, not knowing if you were gonna get a game.”
The Knights finished the 2020 season undefeated at 7-0, and the postseason was where things got really crazy.
Midland won their first two playoff games because their opponents were forced to forfeit. Then the Knights were forced to forfeit, crowning South Charleston the Class AAA champs; even though no championship game was played.
“It makes you really never take any game for granted,” said Roberts. “That’s why I play with a chip on my shoulder and go out there and play 100% every play with somethin’ to prove. Because last year I didn’t get to do that.”
Now, this is his final season with Cabell Midland.
So what’s his plan for the future?
“Well the dream situation would be to play at Wake Forest with JJ, just because it’d be cool to have my brother there with me,” said Roberts. “And it’s a cool school, it’s got a great environment, and you can tell everyone there is like family.”
“We talk about it all the time,” said Salmons. “I think once he gets the right opportunity, the tangibles we just talked about, that’s what it takes to play at the next level. And that’s all he needs is the opportunity. Once he gets the opportunity, I think he can do anything he wants to do.”