Just a few days ago, I asked Marana High School senior Makayla Roebuck a question about her brothers. A multisport athlete herself (wrestling, beach volleyball, basketball), I figured that she would have little trouble answering this question: Which of her brothers is having the best football season so far?
She had just returned from North Dakota where she got to see her older brother, Isaiah, catch the winning touchdown pass to lead his Jamestown University to a win. Only a sophomore, he is already a star on the football field and baseball diamond for the Jimmies. Yes, the Jimmies.
Her youngest brother, Little Sean, is not so little anymore. He played quarterback and safety and handled the kicking duties for the Marana Middle School team and led them to an undefeated season. But the one who may be having the greatest season so far is her sophomore brother, Dezmen, who has helped to lead his Marana Tiger team to a No. 6 spot in the Class 5A Power Points ranking at the midpoint of the regular season. Their only blemish was a bizarre 59-58 loss to Mesa Westwood, a wild football game that ended in a basketball score.
Heading into an Oct. 14 game with winless Nogales, the Tigers were hoping to avoid a repeat of last year when they had a playoff spot all but sewn up only to lose their final two games and fall just outside of the Top 16. Other than an upcoming matchup with 3-2 Sunnyside, the remaining teams on the Tigers’ schedule have a combined record of 3-17.
Dezmen makes bruising tackles while on defense and spectacular catches on offense. He is the favorite target of Tiger quarterback Elijah Joplin, who survived a brutal facial injury this past summer and has made an improbable comeback.
Meanwhile, Dezmen’s numbers jump off the page:
Seven catches for 133 yards and two touchdowns in a 35-0 win at Buena.
Eight catches for 109 yards and a TD against Marana Mountain View.
Ten catches for 104 yards and a TD in the 40-37 win over previously unbeaten Canyon Del Oro.
When asked if he prefers offense or defense, he answers with the former. However, it’s not like he doesn’t appreciate playing defense. Last year, as a freshman on the Marana Varsity basketball team (coached by his dad, Sean), he was the 5A Region Defensive Player of the Year.
Life is good for the high-school sophomore who turned 16 on Oct. 11. So, what did he get for his birthday? A car?
“I don’t even have my permit yet. I’m too busy with sports and school.”
He does have a college scholarship — something not many high school sophomores have. In fact, he has two. UNLV offered him first and that was followed by a full scholarship offer to play wide receiver at the UA. The UA coaching staff had one of the top recruiting classes in the country this year and the Wildcat coaching staff’s recruiting acumen is unquestioned. To offer a local (sophomore) kid a scholarship speaks volumes about Dezmen’s ability and potential.
However, before we see him in a Wildcat uniform (we hope), he has the rest of this season, then next season, and then the season after that to continue to put up insane numbers. At the current pace, he could become one of the top receivers in Southern Arizona football. And then maybe get a driver’s license.