Lincolnton struggled on offense at the start of the season, but its defense was solid in all 14 games thanks in part to one of the region’s most sought-after players.
No matter where the Wolves went, the stands were packed for two reasons: To see a program that has become one of the most storied in Western North Carolina, and to see Darian Roseboro, a junior who has received more than a dozen scholarship offers from major Division I programs.
Roseboro was used all over the field by 14-year head coach Scott Cloninger. On defense he lined up along the line and at linebacker. He was even used in short-yardage and special situations as a fullback on offense. His versatility made offenses fear him to the point of a decline in defensive stats this season, and it made defenses wary of the fact that his 6-foot-5, 265-pound frame was in the backfield.
Roseboro had 124 tackles, 10 sacks, 22 tackles for loss, four forced fumbles, three recovered fumbles and seven passes batted down in 2013. He rushed for 219 yards and four touchdowns on 49 carries, and helped Lincolnton knock off and upset top-seeded Winston-Salem Carver in the second round of the state playoffs with a season-high 48 yards and a score.
2013 highlight reel: North Carolina head football coach Larry Fedora made a recruiting visit to Lincolnton to scout Roseboro in its final non-conference game, and did so arriving in a helicopter. Duke head coach David Cutcliffe came to town in an 18-wheeler owned by the school to try to entice the prized recruit. Roseboro has received offers from Auburn, Duke, Georgia Tech, Michigan, North Carolina, N.C. State, Ohio State, South Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia and Wake Forest. He was voted the league’s defensive player of the year, and in the fourth quarter at Carver he carried the ball 11 times for 45 yards and led the Wolves to two scoring drives.
Coach’s thoughts: “He’s one of those players who, everybody we play respects him because he’s seeing double teams and triple teams and that’s a tribute to him and I think he’ll continue to get better. He’s a leader on and off the field. He was very vocal after we lost to Maiden, and I think that helped us in our stretch run in the playoffs.” –– Scott Cloninger