Big jumps help CDO grad prep for big leap - Tucson Local Media: Sports

Big jumps help CDO grad prep for big leap

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Posted: Tuesday, June 22, 2010 11:00 pm

Josh Robbins won the state championship in the high jump with a leap of 6 feet, 4 inches, was second in the long jump with an effort of 22 feet, 10 inches, and was runner-up in the triple jump with bounce of 44 feet, 4-1/4 inches.

Not a bad way to close out his high school career at Canyon Del Oro … especially when you consider track is his second sport.

"I always did track in middle school," said Robbins, who is preparing for a freshman football season at the University of Arizona. "They had a meet at CDO. I was always one of the fastest kids. I knew track would get me faster for football."

Paul Virgin, assistant track coach at CDO, has worked with Josh for the last three years. "He's a really good competitor," Virgin said. "He decided to come out for track, but he has a scholarship to the U of A in football. He enjoyed competing in track so much."

With Robbins, track is second only to his love for football.

"Our track coach, LaTanya Sheffield (a former Olympic hurdler) trained me, not for track, but for football," he said. "I've been the most flexible that I've ever been."

Josh's father Randy Robbins was an NFL defensive back for nine years, eight with Denver, after graduating from the U of A. Last week, Josh began to orient himself to his next move, hoping to continue the success he enjoyed on the gridiron at CDO as a wide receiver and a defensive back.

During his senior season, the Dorados won the state title, defeating Sabino 40-0 in the championship game, which happened to be played at the U of A. It completed an amazing 14-0 season for the Dorados, who were so dominant they never won a single game by less than 13 points.

"They (Sabino) made some comments before the last game," Robbins said. "We got fired up." The Sabercats had come closest to CDO during a regular season game, in which the Dorados won 34-21.

"Winning the state championship was always my dream," Robbins said.

Robbins did his share with a team-leading four catches for 46 yards, and he also intercepted a pass.

During a season in which teammate Ka'deem Carey rushed 224 times for 2,738 yards en route to Southern Arizona player-of-the-year honors, Robbins led the Dorado passing attack with 28 receptions for 332 yards, and also picked off a team-leading six interceptions.

"Me and Josh have become pretty close," said CDO head coach Dustin Peace. "The biggest thing about him is his competitiveness. His athletic ability is going to skyrocket."

Robbins' competitiveness showed up on the big stage in the Dorados' semifinal win over Cienega. In a hard-fought defensive game, the Dorados actually trailed at halftime, 3-0, and the Bobcats' Trent Simon had six catches for 125 yards before intermission.

"Simon kept jumping over our corners," Robbins said.

Simon is 6-foot-3. Robbins, at 6-2, was given the second half assignment of covering him. It worked beautifully, as Robbins was able to hold the junior star to two catches after halftime.

"I could jump with him," Robbins said. "It was one of my best man-to-man games for sure." As a team, the Dorados had five interceptions that night, two of them by Robbins.

Peace was only in his first year as the head man, but he was no newcomer to the CDO program. He had already served as the defensive coordinator.

"He changed some things for sure," Robbins said. "He would make adjustments.

"He really knows his defense. He's one of the greatest defensive coaches I'll ever play for."

How likely was it that Robbins would stay at home and attend the U of A? "My mom and dad went to the U of A. My dad coached for the U of A. I have two brothers. We were always so competitive. I just love the game."

Arizona coach Mike Stoops "is doing a good job turning the program around. Going to bowl games opened eyes, for sure.

"Why not go to a school that's been there?"

What about starting for the Wildcats?

"If I get an opportunity to start, I'll work my tail off," Robbins said. "Try to show up and make plays. I know it will be a big change at the college level."

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