Roberts ‘sportiest’ Rockie

Published 12:00 am Monday, June 9, 2003

Suffolk News-Herald

Every little league baseball coach hopes to have at least one player who stands out. Someone who might not hit the most home runs or steal the most bases, but one who always gives one hundred percent on the field, and always follows the rules. Someone who’s a graceful winner and loser. A child who doesn’t argue with umpires, coaches, teammates, or parents.

Rockies coach Mark Flanagan of the Bennetts Creek (BC) minor league was lucky enough to have several players who fit the aforementioned descriptions. So for him, giving the Stew-art/Bagley Sportsmanship award was a difficult choice.

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Named for former BC players Shane Stewart and David Bagley, who passed away in 2000, the award is given to a player who best exemplifies the sportsmanship that little league attempts to instill in all of its young participants.

&uot;I had three or four players who meet the criteria,&uot; Flanagan said on Monday evening at his team’s banquet. &uot;But over the last weeks of the season, I made my choice.&uot; He selected Nansemond Parkway Elemen-tary School student Brandon Roberts.

Roberts, 9, pitched in four of his team’s five victories over the regular season. &uot;I didn’t really have a secret,&uot; he said. &uot;I just always focused on what I was doing. I thought there were other players that were better than me, but I concentrated, listened to my coaches, and had a positive attitude.&uot;