When you think about sports at Fair Park high school the name Robert Rochelle comes right along with it. However, there may be a lot about the senior star football player and track star that you may not know.
"I'm not afraid of anything but God. That's the only thing I'm afraid of," Robert said when asked what he was afraid of.
While fear may not be a emotion Robert puts much thought into, his pain can’t be ignored.
LaBrinta Rochell, Robert’s mother, said, "If he hurts his ankle, I can fix it. If he goes hungry, I can feed him. If he needs some money I can give it to him. I can't take that pain away."
On July 7th, 2009, Robert Franklin was shot on Darien St. in Shreveport during a drive-by shooting.
"My grandmother she called me and it was bad news, it hurt," said Robert.
Robert Franklin was Robert Rochell's father.
LaBrinta said, "I had to tell my son. My son dropped to his knees and started praying. He let off a scream. It was gut wrenching, I still hear it. It was probably one of the worst days of my life, one of the worst days of my life."
When asked what he would say to his father today, Robert responded, "I love you, that's what. I never got to tell him I loved him."
Unfortunately, that tragedy was a sad trend for Robert's uncle and his two cousins on his father's side.
"They're deceased, everybody except him," LaBrinta said as she pointed to a picture in the family’s living room.
"They got killed, all of them got killed, senseless, senseless, senseless shootings. All of them."
It would have so easy for Robert Rochell to fall into that dangerous cycle, but not with this mother.
"I have faith in the lord and he said you can't worry and have faith because it doesn't work so my faith really takes me through."
It's that faith and Robert's resilience, that has caused the Fair Park senior to be one of the most sought after football and track athletes in the region.
"So the mail comes and I'm like aww Robert's not here. Oh well he's just going to have to be mad,” LaBrinta said with a smile as she sorted through letters colleges have sent to Robert.
Robert said, "It's very important because I know I'm doing the right thing to have a decent influence on other people's life to show that they can do it just like I'm doing it. To put more attention of Fair Park, to make them think there is an opportunity over there and people over there that's trying to go somewhere in life."
So, while there is pain is Robert's eyes, there's also persistence. And, for a single mother who works 4 jobs to provide for her 4 children love conquers all.
"As long as he sees me doing it then, he'll do it. So, I learn from him to keep on going no matter what."
Robert said, "They sky is the limit so I know if I put my mind to it I can do it."
As he accepted his Athlete of the Week trophy, Robert said, "Thank you very much I just want to thank all my coaches, my mother and the people that's rooting for me from the city. Thank you and I love you all."
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