For Eisenhower High School's Justin Roberts, it's a case of being in the right place but at the wrong time.
Termed by Ike head coach Boone Copeland as the "consummate team player," the senior offensive lineman has worked hard on and off the field to become the best player he can be, and while he'd probably be a starter on most teams, at Ike he serves in a back-up capacity only because he plays behind one of Ike's best offensive lineman in Dennis Pletcher.
Serving a secondary role for the past four years hasn't diminished Roberts' drive or enthusiasm for the sport of football, in fact it's quite the opposite. All it's done is make him worker harder. Ask him why and he'll tell you that's just the way he's wired.
"If I want something, I'm going to keep working until I achieve it," said Roberts of his drive to be a starter. "There's no point in giving up now since I've been doing this for four years. I haven't given up in the past and won't give up in the future. If I set a goal for myself I'm going to reach it, give it my best effort. That's just the way I am. I've never given."
While working hard to become the best player he can possibly is an admirable goal and not to be diminished, it's perhaps not the most important goal for Roberts.
"One of my goals is college," Roberts said prior to Ike's Wednesday practice in preparation for Friday's big District 6A-3 matchup with Putnam City North. "My parents didn't go to college, my sister didn't go. I want to be the first one in my family to go to college. I want to make an effort to get there. I've kept all my grades up. I have straight A's. I'm really striving to go to college. That's what I really want."