(Player Spotlight) - Clifton Roberts #36 - Cornerback, Kickoff Returns, backup Tailback, and Specialty Teams
Cliff was a senior transfer student in 1984 from Okinawa, Japan where he had spent most of his life. Coming onto our Viking football team he quickly earned a reputation as a great player. He earned a starting position as a cornerback, kickoff returnee, and a backup to our tailback, Bryan Batchan. Football teams have all sort of players, some rough-looking like the trench crew, and others who just look good when they play well. That was Cliff. He was fast, had quick moves, could stick like a freight train, and still look good doing it. We needed some pizzazz on our squad, and that was Cliff. Many opposing players, though, underestimated him and paid for it. Cliff was another jovial guy who could make me smile when the play on the gridiron was getting trying. A calming force when you needed him most. Those are the players I appreciated, because it was easy to lose it on the field and let aggression become the dominating factor. Cliff was level-headed and always did what we needed him to do—move the ball up field on kickoffs or shut down passing games. Cliff did both well. Against Galt, a school bigger than ours with more players suited, Cliff ran back a kickoff for a touchdown, and he looked good doing it. He caught the ball while running, zigging and zagging, breaking tackles, and dodging opponents, and scampered 82 yards for the touchdown. Cliff did it with style and pizzazz. Thanks for the memories, Cliff. You took names.