This fall, Sekou Roland ’22 joined Deerfield for a postgraduate year. A star on the football field and a valuable community member off of it, Roland has been an integral part of Varsity Football’s successful season.
Roland has been playing football since he was four years old. Before Deerfield, he attended The Haverford School, an all-boys school in Philadelphia, then Cox Mill High School in North Carolina, where he played for two years. One of his favorite hobbies, especially back home in North Carolina, is fishing.
As a postgraduate, he loves Philosophy and Religion Teacher JanMr. Flaska’s Religions of the World class, and, of course, being a part of Deerfield’s football team. Roland said, “There’s a lot of leadership on our team. Cooper, Jeff, Elic Ayomanor ’22 and Joe do a great job of leading our team.” While he held leadership positions on previous teams, Roland mentioned that he greatly appreciates the dynamic this year’s captains have created.
Roland primarily lines up on defense. He has played both middle and outside linebacker this season with the Big Green. In his first game, against Lawrenceville, he recorded an interception in Deerfield’s 49-7 win. Since then, he has been racking up tackles and sacks, making defensive plays, and being a leader in ways that aren’t visible to spectators.
Varsity Football Assistant Coach Raymond DeMartino said “[Roland] leads by how he practices. He gives great effort during practice and plays hard,” adding that he “shows the younger kids how you should play.” Coach DeMartino also noted that “he’s got a great football IQ, [and] he’s got great instincts.”
Roland is currently committed to the admissions process at Princeton University, where he plans to play football, although he has not yet finalized these plans with a signature. When asked about his journey to being a committed athlete, he said, “I came here to play football; I was coming in here with 0 offers and picked up offers over the summer.” Roland received offers from multiple Division 1 and Ivy League football programs, including Lehigh and Brown University.
Coach DeMartino concluded about Roland’s future, “I think the sky is the limit.” Roland has a nagging shoulder injury that has been hindering him slightly, but if he can get fully healthy, Coach DeMartino believes Sekou has even more potential to tap into. We wish Sekou the best of luck as he continues his football career, wherever it may take him.