DOBSON — Surry Community College’s Michael Roberts is one of just six freshmen from across the nation to be named first-team All-American for his outstanding rookie season in 2018.
Roberts, a first baseman from Surry Central High School, was one of just 12 total first-team All-Americans recently honored by the National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) in Division III. The honor also makes Roberts just the second player in school history to be named first-team All-American and the first since Casey Wilmoth in 1996.
Roberts finished second in the nation in home runs with 14 and first nationally in home runs per at bat. The 6-1, 210-pound freshman also was named Region X Player of the Year after helping lead the Knights to their second consecutive Region X regular-season championship in 2018.
“He had an outstanding season. We had a second-team and a third-team All-American last year, but I can’t remember the last time we have had a first-teamer,” Surry head coach Tim Collins said. “He was a really good player in high school, but he is one of those guys you get that is a better college player than high school player. The only thing I can think is the better competition brought it out in him. He is an extremely hard worker.”
Roberts finished fourth in the nation in 2018 with an .875 slugging percentage and his .458 batting average was the 12th-highest total in NJCAA. The freshman led SCC with 47 RBI, which also ranked among the nation’s leading hitters. With numbers like those, Roberts will obviously enter the 2019 season with incredibly high expectations for a Surry team that also figures to be preseason media darlings.
“He will be expected to carry a lot of the offense next year. But he has got a good returning class. We started seven freshmen, so he will have a good supporting cast to take some of the pressure off him. With the recognition he has gotten, he will have to make adjustments because people will pitch him differently,” Collins said. “We’ve already started to get phone calls from Division I schools about him, so it will help him down the road as far as he wants to go and it will also help our program for the recognition it brings so it is a win-win. He is a fine young man, very humble, very well-mannered. You couldn’t ask for anybody any better.”
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