McRoberts overcomes family tragedy, becomes Redhawks renaissance man

McRoberts overcomes family tragedy, becomes Redhawks renaissance man

CAPE GIRARDEAU, MO (KFVS) - Southeast Missouri State University sophomore Paul McRoberts can take on whatever challenge you throw at him.

"Pretty much anything you can name, I probably can try or do," McRoberts said.

On the football field, he was SEMO's leading receiver as a sophomore.

On the basketball court, he walked on to the Redhawks December 20, then buried a game-tying 3 against IUPUI three days later.

He can even write music and sing, collaborating with several Redhawk football teammates to record tracks.

"Me and my teammates we got a few songs, they are pretty good actually," McRoberts said with a smile.

McRoberts is a true Redhawks renaissance man, but it hasn't come easily.

When he was just nine years old, McRoberts' father, Paul Sr., passed away from a sudden heart attack, forever altering Paul Jr's life.

"When I was that young, I didn't really understand. I knew people died, but all the emotion and feeling wasn't there at first, especially my dad he told me when I was younger to be strong. I didn't even cry at his funeral because his last words were you have to be strong," McRoberts said.

His mother Sherry Tripplet raised McRoberts and his four siblings, providing any way she could for the family.

"It was tough seeing her work everyday, don't have a car transportation, catching a bus two hours all the way to Chesterfield from St. Louis," he said. "It's just a struggle man, and I've been grinding since day one just because of that."

That grind has led Sherry's youngest son to Southeast, where McRoberts is the first of his siblings to attend college.

"I'm the only hope. It's a lot of stress, built up passion in me, so that's really big for me," he said.

McRoberts' past motivates his dreams for the future: one that looks brighter by every bucket, touchdown and song.

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