Home Sports Local Sports Volleyball runs in the family for Goddard coach

Volleyball runs in the family for Goddard coach

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Dewayne Roberts, third from left, stands with his support system, who are, from left: Myles Duffield, grandfather; Valerie Roberts, mother; and on the right, Ronny Roberts, father. (Steve Notz Photo)

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Goddard coach Dewayne Roberts walks the sidelines with the clipboard behind his back. He is always standing at the far end of the bench and he’s talking. Roberts is always talking. He’ll talk to strangers and fans wandering into the gym.

Roberts will talk to his players on the court and gesture what they did wrong. He’ll also smile at an official and question a call. He’ll stand before one of his assistant coaches and talk to them and point at the wrist of how his players are not following through on a slam.

Roberts lives, eats, sleeps and breathes volleyball. If nothing else, he wants to talk volleyball. It was apparent on Saturday night when his team, the Lady Rockets, fell behind Portales two sets to zero. With calls going against his team and they neared extinction, the only thing he said during the timeout to his team was to fight.

Fight they did as he watched his team come back and win in five sets. Roberts never had any doubt and told his team they would win. For the better part of two seasons, Roberts has been calling his shots and infusing his team with a will to overcome odds to believe they can win.

Roberts has enough cache to get his players to buy into his belief that Goddard is a volleyball championship waiting to happen. When Goddard does win, it will mean more to his grandfather, father and mother than it would to himself.

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For Roberts, volleyball is a family affair. Saturday when Goddard had made their comeback, after it was all over with: his grandfather, Myles Duffield, 82, hugged him and told him how proud he was of him. Duffield was on the Air Force traveling team in 1958-68.

“Back then,” Duffield said, “you just played wherever you rotated to. You could only handle the ball with your fingertips — there wasn’t any of this bumping and stuff they do now. It’s great that Dewayne is a coach, he knows the game. I’m proud of him.”

His father, Ronny Roberts, shook his hand and hugged him. His mother, Valerie Roberts, was so happy she was jumping up and down clinging to him like a dryer sheet in a dryer.

“We’d support him (Dewayne) in anything that he does,” Ronnie Roberts said. “We’ve been to Alpine, Texas, many times and Eastern New Mexico University was a lot easier because it was right down the road. He’s a very good coach and we’re very proud of him.”

Valerie was a volleyball coach for 32 years in Clovis. She ran the youth league and was the junior varsity coach at Clovis Christian for a number of years.

“It’s been a family thing,” Valerie Roberts said. “We’ve played and coached volleyball. Dewayne and his sister, Nicci Weatherspoon, both have played for me; he’s played youth volleyball and traveling volleyball. Volleyball has been in the family.”

Roberts hopes to leave a legacy for his teams. He wants the girls he coaches to believe in themselves and to never give up, regardless of the score. He has told them I don’t care if we’re down two games to nothing and 24-0 in the final set. He wants them to fight to the end. Going into state, Roberts knows there may be closer calls today.

“Oh my God,” Valerie Roberts said, “if he could win state being a second-year coach, it would be amazing, just awesome. We are beyond proud of him.”

Goddard has the easier road to the championship in the brackets they drew. It will also give them a chance to avenge a loss to Santa Teresa, who handed them a loss in straight sets at Ground Zero: 25-20, 25-16 and 26-24.

“I think when we are playing our style of volleyball, we’re hard to beat,” Dewayne Roberts said. “When we’re on and in the system, I think we are probably the best team in the state. I’m not going to shy away from that. That’s been the goal all along. It’s been chewing on all of us. I and my coaching staff watched last year’s championship game and made corrections on what we needed to do and make corrections from there. We’re on a mission. We want that Blue Trophy.”

Goddard begins their quest for the Blue Trophy today at the Santa Ana Star Center at 4:45 p.m. on Court 4.