Change is good: Murray County senior has open outlook for sports and in life

Matt Hamilton/Daily Citizen-News

Murray County High School's Gavin Roberts has added defensive lineman to his list of duties this season as a senior.

Editor's note: This story is featured in the Daily Citizen-News' weekly high school football Touchdown! section. Grab an issue in papers on Fridays during football season, or stop by our office for a copy.

CHATSWORTH -- Murray County High School's Gavin Roberts has the ability to switch from one thing to the next.

Roberts, a senior offensive and defensive lineman, grew up playing baseball and didn't pick up football until the seventh grade.

"Baseball was kind of like just for fun and something to do to stay in shape, and then I sort of got bored of it," Roberts said. "I had a cousin (former Indian Brendan Owenby) who graduated last year and played with me. He was the one who convinced me to play football and I just stuck with it."

Owenby, who Roberts said was a big influence in how he handles himself on the field, played linebacker for Murray County. The two used to expand each other's thinking, Roberts said, with knowledge from the other side of the line of scrimmage since Roberts played exclusively on the offensive side of the ball until this year.

"It was always cool to talk to him to kind of just see what he had to say," Roberts said. "This year I've been playing a bunch of defensive line and it's been fun. I like defense a lot, even though of course you don't exactly know what the play is going to be. You have to be able to read other people and to get to the ball."

Roberts said his football career has been a long journey but each year has gone by quicker and quicker. The Indians (4-4, 2-4 in Region 6-3A) host Adairsville tonight at 7:30 for their last home game of the season and Roberts and his fellow seniors will be recognized during senior night.

Roberts said he is ready to make the switch to something completely different from football once he graduates from high school.

"Right now I'm dual-enrolled at Dalton State (College) and I want to go to Tennessee," he said. "Then I want to go to Augusta Medical (College of Georgia) to be an oncologist. I've had a lot of loved ones lost to cancer, so I felt like it would just be something that would be fun and really useful to the world."

Though Roberts is up for change on the football field and in life, being a Tennessee Volunteers fan is something he said he won't give up anytime soon.

"It's been a rough year (for the Vols), but I do like to watch college football a lot," he said. "It's a big thing for me. We have a split family, though. My mom and little sister root for Georgia, and my dad and I root for Tennessee.

"It's usually pretty calm until that game comes up."

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