Sunday, June 2, 2013

Damion Roberson: the most unexpected of heroes

Damion Roberson: the most unexpected of heroes

By Bing Haarhuis
The Daily Magi
November 22, 2045

No one expected Mitakihara Magi quarterback Damion Roberson to be the hero that he ended up becoming this season for longtime head coach Tatsuya Kaname and his son, quarterbacks coach Akiyuki Kaname. But don't tell that to the outspoken, sometimes vulgar, sometimes brash Roberson, who argues that he saw his shot at glory coming before the season even started.

"My father always told me, 'Son, you'd better be ready to get your ass out on the field and deliver for your team,'" said Roberson while on the road to San Diego ahead of this week's game between the Magi and the San Diego State Aztecs. "He told me to be watchful and take advantage of an opportunity that arises because that's what he did when he was young."

Roberson, a devout member of the Southern Baptist Convention, dedicates his career and his life to his family, specifically his parents who sought a better life by moving west.

"I was born in an extended family of 17 in Selma, Alabama," said Roberson. "At the age of two, I moved with my mother and father to Mountain View, California, at the heart of Silicon Valley. My father became an employee at Intuit and my mother became a schoolteacher.

"I believe at the age of four, I got my first tablet. I still have it with me, even though it doesn't work anymore and I have more updated, more modern tablets. I have a strong fascination with creating computers and designing web sites for many business. So when I enrolled at Mitakihara University, I did so as a computer engineering major because the program there is one of the best in North America. Down the road, I want to work in Santa Clara Country and design computer hardware.

"I like to play football, though, and I first played flag football at age six. In the South, football is a way of life, and being from the Deep South, I wanted to be a football player, period. I decided to be a quarterback because a lot of leaders on the football field are quarterbacks and I wanted to be one of them.

"I was a star for the Spartans of Mountain View High School, located next door from my dad's work at Intuit. So after Dad gets off from work on Friday during the fall, he would head over to the stadium and watch me play. I passed for 7,567 yards and 110 touchdowns while rushing for 1,456 yards and 67 touchdowns. At MVHS, the offensive is more pass-oriented. It's not like the option attack here at Madoka, where mobility is prized.

"But I was a pretty mobile quarterback and I scored a lot of rushing touchdowns. Coach Kaname liked my athleticism and asked me to visit the school during Magia Day 2042 against the team that the backups are gonna be starting against, the Aztecs. They ended up running up the score on San Diego but I was more concerned about the itinerary for my visit and the way the players performed in running the system.

"Turns out, I was impressed during my visit and I decided to sign with them. Initially, I was used as a backup quarterback and a punt and kickoff returner. Heading into this year, I was a third-string quarterback. But when Anonymous [Anonymous] and Andre [Spence] went down to injury, I was called up to take over to run the offense.

"At that point, the prophetic words of my father took center stage, and I delivered."

Now Roberson is in the running to win another Heisman Trophy for a school that has made a habit of winning Heisman Trophies, in addition to national championship.

"I feel blessed to be a quarterback for Mitakihara," said Roberson. "To me, it's been a dream come true and to get results like this is simply amazing, simply eye-opening. I am confident that I will be able to steer this team to another perfect season because I proved to everybody that I am ready to take the initiative. I am ready to take the lead."

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