Lake Highlands grad Desmond Roland will be back on the gridiron Saturday after missing Oklahoma State’s last game against Kansas State. The star running back’s mom, Carolyn, passed away October 31, and Desmond flew home.
“My mom was my rock,” says Desmond. “She was my mother and my best friend. We talked about everything, and she was hard on me because she knew I could be someone special in life. It will be hard to play without her, seeing that she was at every game I played in my sports life, but I know she will be there in spirit.”
Carolyn had grappled with health issues, Desmond says, and he’s grateful that he was given the ability to return home and be at her side.
“My coaches have been supportive with me in this process. They flew me out when I needed to and let me be with my mom when I needed to. They are very supportive of family, and I thank them for that.”
Desmond isn’t the only one missing Carolyn today.
“You could tell she was very proud of Desmond, and rightfully so,” remembers Sandra Zorn, whose son, Ricky, played quarterback with Desmond on the Wildcat team. “He’s a great football player. I just remember her sitting in the stands at every game, cheering him on.”
“Carolyn was Desmond’s biggest fan,” agrees Deah McCoy, who sat with Carolyn at games and served as football advisor to the Wildcat Club. “She was beautiful on the inside and outside. She was a devoted mother and friend, and she will be greatly missed.”
This week, OSU plays UT in Stillwater. Without Desmond, the Cowboys lost to K-State 48-14, and Texas is coming off a 33-16 win against West Virginia. Roland leads the team in rushing with 512 yards. The game kicks off at 6:30 p.m.