North Fulton County

Community gathers to say goodbye to Roswell star quarterback Robbie Roper

WOODSTOCK, Ga. — Family, friends, coaches and teammates gathered to say a final goodbye to Roswell’s star quarterback Robbie Roper Tuesday.

Roper died unexpectedly last week after being hospitalized. The 18-year-old dreamed of playing college football.

Channel 2′s Chris Jose was in Cherokee County, where hundreds of people attended Roper’s celebration of life. Teammates, coaches and classmates filled up First Baptist Church in Woodstock. Speakers reminded the crowd to “live like five,” which is the number Roper wore on the field.

James Roper told the crowd that despite rumors, his son’s recent surgery in Florida had nothing to do with his death. He didn’t say how his son died.

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“Robbie was everything I wish I could be,” James Roper said.

James Roper had one request of Robbie’s friends Tuesday.

“If they have any video of Robbie, or pictures, if they can send it to his phone so we can have it forever, I’d really appreciate it,” James Roper said.

Coach Hudson said Robbie’s work ethic combined with his talent on the field got the attention of college coaches.


“He’d always say, ‘One more throw. I can’t leave on a miss,’” Hudson said. “That’s who Robbie was. A perfectionist.”

Breanna Roper, Robbie’s sister, called him an exceptional football player, but also an exceptional brother, son and friend. She encouraged everyone to “live like five.”

“It means being a selfless human being, teammate and friend,” Breanna Roper said. “It means going out of the way to make someone’s day a little bit brighter.”

Breanna Roper said God drafted Robbie too early.

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Robbie’s girlfriend, Annie Bowers, also spoke to the crowd.

“Robbie, I promise to love you for the rest of my life, and live for you,” Bowers said. “You always told me we were going to be together forever.”

Coaches said Roper was an “A” student while leading his team to the playoffs and winning Region 5 7A offensive player of the year.

A scholarship created in Robbie’s name has already raised nearly $50,000.