Bound for Mesabi Range College, Denfeld Football's Roberts Hopeful for a 2021 Season |

Bound for Mesabi Range College, Denfeld Football's Roberts Hopeful for a 2021 Season

Alicia Tipcke
Updated: July 13, 2020 04:44 PM

In football a lot can change. Rules can evolve, rosters turn over and coaches come and go.

For Nico Roberts, the sport has been a constant during times of transition. The linebacker and running back attended five high schools before graduating this spring.

It was his sophomore year that Roberts discovered a new home with the Duluth Denfeld football team.

"It was a family [that] surrounded me. You felt the support, you felt the love, you felt the genuine [sic] you know, in everybody's voice. From the coaches to the players, and everybody was just trying to help each other, you know, grow and be a better person overall," said Roberts, a 2020 Duluth ALC graduate.

He quickly established his skills on the field, earning a starting position with the Hunters that same year. Through the ups, downs, and a winless senior season, Roberts stayed loyal to the Hunters for the rest of his high school playing career. 

"It was never giving up. That was always gonna stick with me and go 100% and everything. It don't [sic] matter what the scoreboard looks like... whatever you do go 100%. Whatever you do, stay determined to it, because a beautiful thing can come from it," said Roberts. 

That beautiful thing, for Roberts, was committing to play college football at Mesabi Range. His plans however would change yet again.

The Minnesota College Athletic Conference canceled contact sports this fall due to health concerns. Rather than transferring to play elsewhere, Roberts is again staying loyal now to the Norseman by remaining at Mesabi Range.

"My plans now are just working hard, like not giving up on the school [and] do what I have to do to succeed."

Throughout high school Roberts discovered another support system, participating in an African American society. There he said he joined others in learning about their shared culture and ethnicity.

When searching to achieve on or off the field goals, he left some advice, "if you have a dream don't let anybody ever tell you [no], you always push for [it] and you never give up, no matter what."


Alicia Tipcke

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