N  I  A  G  A  R  A      G  A  Z  E  T  T  E   Oct. 29, 2008

Published: October 29, 2008 11:23 pm

HS FOOTBALL: Robinson a solid second option for Grand Island

By Nate Beutel

GRAND ISLAND — With Alex Neutz seemingly hauling in anything launched in the air these days, Lance Robinson’s name hasn’t been heard from too much. But that’s just the way the Grand Island senior wideout likes it.

“I enjoy having that secondary role actually,” he said. “I’m under the radar.”

That’s not to say Robinson is not confident. In fact, he’s just the opposite.

“If teams want to double- or triple-team Alex and they leave me 1-on-1, I have the confidence that I can beat them and make a play,” he said.

GI coach Dean Santorio has similar faith in Robinson, who does have a couple of key touchdowns to his credit this fall.

“Lance would be anybody else’s best receiver,” the coach said. “We are willing to throw it to him at any time because we believe he can make plays with the football.”

That same playmaking ability has transferred over to the defensive side of the ball, where Robinson has excelled at the safety position.

“He’s had a real nice year defensively,” Santorio said. “We moved him from corner to safety so he could be more free and use his speed to make plays on the ball all over the field.”

Robinson said defense has now become his trademark.

“I love playing ‘D’,” he said with a huge grin. “You get to pop people, knock them down and then do it again the very next play.”

Robinson’s role on special teams, though, has been an area where Santorio has sought improvement, as evidenced by his, at times heated, discussions with Robinson on the sidelines. But unlike most teenagers that would sulk in the wake of criticism, Robinson said he uses it as motivation.

“The coaches here are like second fathers to me and sometimes I need guidance like that from them,” he said.

Santorio said that kind of response shows exactly what type of kid Robinson is.

“We might get into it a little bit, but 15 minutes later we’re fine,” the coach said. “He’s a really nice kid. He brings a lot of energy to the table, he’s light hearted, funny and bright.”

With a loose, yet focused attitude, Robinson and his teammates are eying up a Saturday showdown with Iroquois and a chance to return to Ralph Wilson Stadium for the first time since 2005.

“We have great chemistry on this team,” Robinson said. “That has been a huge reason for our success and that will continue to be a huge reason for our success.”