Diamond Domination

Oak Ridge’s Chase Roberts is ready to dominate on and off the diamond

Roberts plans to attend UT to play baseball. @chseroberts

Chase Roberts, a recent move-in at Oak Ridge high school, is beginning this year’s season and is ready to dominate.

Roberts moved to the Oak Ridge area this past fall, and has committed to further his baseball career at The University of Texas at Austin.

During the fall semester off season, head coach Mike Pirtle worked the team daily to prepare each athlete specifically for this current season.

“We went through a lot of adversity and we saw what our weaknesses were so that we could focus on those,” Roberts said.

This preparation geared up the War Eagle baseball team to face tough challenges and support each teammate in times of weakness.

There are many things to look forward to this season, especially the highly ranked competition that Oak Ridge will face during both district play and playoffs.

“I most look forward to our tournaments and just having fun with my teammates,” Roberts said.

“Hard work carries a long way and being a good teammate does as well. When you set a good attitude, people will follow,” he added.

It is quite evident that Roberts will carry this legacy onto the campus and baseball field at University of Texas. Roberts plans on studying in the McCombs School Of Business.

“I want to further my knowledge of business on a global standpoint and use my resources in the best way possible,” he said.

As the 17th-ranked business school in the country according to U.S. News, McCombs Business School at UT could helped Roberts on his path.

The time consuming life of a college athlete can sometimes become a barrier for academics, but Roberts in confident that he can handle the atmosphere.

“Scheduling out each day is absolutely important,” he said.

Having a prioritized schedule will allow him to take care of his athletics and academics while striving for success in each as well.

Chase Roberts has extreme talent and is an important addition to the baseball program at ORHS. He will be a roadblock for teams that face the War Eagles this year.

Claire Fesler is a student at Oak Ridge HS and a member of the VYPE U Ambassador Program. To learn more about how you can become a VYPE U Ambassador at your school, visit VYPEU.com

 

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A WEEKLY REVIEW OF CRENNEL'S COACHING

Now my job: Texans feast on Lions

Photo by Getty Images.

Thanksgiving is full of tradition. There's the typical family gathering, large meal, and of course, football. Sometimes, new traditions are added and old ones are retired. I think the Texans did both in their impressive 41-25 win over the Lions in Detroit. Old traditions were carried on (Lions losing on Thanksgiving), some were put to rest (Texans not being able to get turnovers), and new ones were started (multiple passing touchdowns by Deshaun Watson in six straight games).

The fact that this defense got three turnovers in the game was unbelievable! They got all three in the first quarter within the span of eight plays. JJ Watt's pick-six was insane. He went for a batted ball, ended up catching it, and ran it in. They forced Jonathan Williams to fumble on the Lions' very next play from scrimmage and recovered it. On the Lions' next possession, the Texans recovered yet another fumble after the challenge was reversed. Great call by the coaching staff to challenge and win. The defense looked good. Tyrell Adams stood out because he was in on those two fumbles, made 17 total tackles with 14 of them being solo tackles. They also brought pressure that seemed to make Matthew Stafford very inaccurate and resulted in four sacks. I give defensive coordinator Anthony Weaver credit for knowing he needs to blitz to get pressure, but the run defense has to improve.

The offense kept the tempo up in this game as well. The spread and hurry-up were used to keep the Lions already staggered defense off balance. Knowing the Lions were without a couple defensive backs, I thought it would be the perfect marriage of their defense and the Texans' offense. A buddy asked before the game about the line (Texans -3.5) and the over/under (52.5). I told him bet the Texans and the over because neither team can play defense and both have good quarterbacks. Offensive coordinator Tim Kelly put together another good game plan and Watson executed it flawlessly. One route combo I saw later on in the game I particularly enjoyed. Two receivers were tight to the left side. Cooks ran a hook/curl and settled in the middle of the zone while Fuller ran a vertical route. Duke Johnson ran a swing route to that same side. It left Cooks wide open as the attention went to Johnson in the flat, Fuller deep, and the action to the other play side. Route combos are important because it gives the quarterback different reads as he goes through his progressions and lets him pick apart the defense based on what he sees. Combine that with Watson's play and the way Kelly has changed his play calling now that he's liberated from he who shall not be named, we're seeing a beautiful thing.

As good as things were, there's still room for improvement. The defense gives up way too many easy yards, both run and pass. They can't get pressure bringing only four and will often give up big plays if the blitz is picked up. Plus the run defense is still an issue as evidenced by the Lions' first possession of the second half. The Lions ran the ball 10 plays straight for a total of 58 yards on that drive. Utterly ridiculous! Watson was good (17/25 318 yards and four touchdowns), but he missed two more touchdowns with passes slightly off, and continues to hold onto the ball too long at times. The difference between these two issues I've presented here is the fact that Watson has so played well, his "issues" are minor and very correctable, while the defense is terrible and there's no easy fix in sight. But let Romeo Crennel and Anthony Weaver tell it, they're getting the most out of these guys and they're playing disciplined.

The thought that this team may actually creep into the playoff picture may take shape better after next week if they can beat the Colts. I doubt it, but it is getting interesting. Let's see what else happens around them because they need help getting there.

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