Robbie Roper immortalized at Roswell High school: Team retires the late Quarterback’s jersey

September 3, 2023
1 min read
Robbie Roper immortalized at Roswell High school: Team retires the late Quarterback's jersey

In the months before his tragic death in December of 2021, Robbie Roper took the Georgia high school football scene by storm.

Roper entered his senior year at Roswell as an unheralded quarterback, but by the end of a breakout season, he had become a name to know in the world of recruiting. He was suddenly a coveted prospect for some of the nation’s top college football teams, communicating with coaches from Florida and Ole Miss after putting up huge numbers in the passing game, but his life was cut short. 

On Dec. 22, 2021, Roper’s family announced via social media that Robbie passed away. The beloved Roswell quarterback suffered from complications due to shoulder injury which might have been exacerbated by a rare genetic condition called urea cycle disorder (UCD), his father told USA Today Sports.

Nearly two years later, the Roswell community honored and remembered Roper as the Hornets retired his No. 5 jersey at their 2023 home opener, which they won 51-14 over Marietta.

Roswell won the game in dominant fashion to remain undefeated this season and earn the 500th win in the program’s 74-year history. 

The jersey retirement ceremony and 500th win came one week after current Roswell quarterback KJ Smith, the former backup of Roper, broke the late quarterback’s school record with seven passing touchdowns in a win over Centennial. 

“The moment was surreal, being able to come out and play the way we played from the opening kickoff hours after learning that [Roper’s] number would be retired,” Smith told Score Atlanta

Roswell (3-0) will host longtime rival Milton (1-1) on Sept. 8. 

(Feature photo by Josh Major)

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