Welcome to Patch's daily snapshot of sports in Peekskill and Cortlandt.
PHS Grad Champion
We thank our own for the below story on Peekskill graduate James Robinson Jr. We congratulate him on his and his team's incredible achievement:
Behind the construction of a Division II junior college powerhouse based in New Rochelle, is coach and mentor James Robinson Jr. of Peekskill.
Robinson, who recently guided the Monroe College women’s basketball team to a second straight National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCA) national championship, firmly believes and often repeats that “What don’t break you, makes you,” as noted on the Mustangs’ website.
Maintaining a two-year program, with its inherent turnover and with some youngsters still finding their way in life, is not as easy task, but the road to a repeat championship was not as easy task, either.
Monroe College entered tournament play as the No. 9 seed, but en route to beating Lake Michigan in the final, 78-73, the Mustangs knocked off the Nos. 8, 1, 4 and 7 seeds to cap a remarkable 31-6 season.
Having already lost a couple of players due to discipline reasons, the Mustangs’ starting point guard tore her ACL in the District tournament and was lost for the remainder of the playoffs.
That's when Robinson, who moved up to the head spot just as the season started after four years as an assistant, invoked his mantra about overcoming obstacles.
“I was going to ride the wave as far as it would take me,” Coach Robinson was quoted a few days after the championship game. “At Monroe we’ve had such success on the national stage that we actually use the regular season as preparation for the playoffs and with all we went through together, we were prepared for anything. So at the biggest moment, we were calm.”
Examining how his team could perform so well in the throes of national pressure, Robinson said, “I coach their minds first, then their bodies.”
Robinson, the father of three in a 17-year marriage, has been molding the minds and bodies of youngsters in Peekskill all his adult life. A one-time high school star at Peekskill, Robinson’s Red Devils won the Section 1 crown in 1981.
He has coached youngsters in the Peekskill Parks and Recreation leagues and some of his apprentices learned their lessons well, like NBA player Elton Brand, Mookie Jones of Syracuse, Hilton Armstrong of UCONN, and Allen Jenkins who starred at Monroe and Alderson Broaddus.
“I’ve always been about teaching young people to make the right decisions and be accountable for themselves,” Robinson said, “If you stay consistent to your values when you lead them, then they reap the rewards of making the right decisions. This national championship is as good an example of how that works as anything.”
Robinson is already pounding the hardwood looking for talent to round out next year’s squad as he attempts to take the Mustangs, who have played in nine straight national tournaments, to a three-peat.
“It's hard work. It's not easy,” he said. “But you know, what don’t break you, makes you.”
Boys Lax Poll
Isaac Cass has his latest boys lacrosse poll out on MSG Varsity, which can be seen here.
Lakeland/Panas is ranked No. 4 and Hendrick Hudson is No. 10.
Girls Lax Rankings
MSG Varsity also has its girls lacrosse rankings out for this week with Lakeland/Panas earning the top spot.
To check the rest of the rankings out, click here.
Sports Digest Weekly Poll
Who will win the American League East this year?
Will it be the hometown New York Yankees or someone else?
Let your voice be heard by clicking on to cast your vote.
4:30 PM BOYS LACROSSE JV NON-LEAGUE HENDRICK HUDSON HS @ SOMERS HS SOMERS HS
11:00 AM BOYS LACROSSE Varsity NON-LEAGUE SOMERS HS @ HENDRICK HUDSON HS WEST POINT MILITARY ACADEMY
Note-Walter Panas combines its boys lacrosse squad with Lakeland.
4:30 PM BOYS LACROSSE JV NON-LEAGUE LAKELAND HS @ BREWSTER CSD
4:30 PM BOYS LACROSSE Varsity NON-LEAGUE BREWSTER CSD @ LAKELAND HS
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