Preps | Tim Bishop Memorial Times Athlete of the Year

L.C.'s Robinson earns Times Male Athlete of the Year

2013-07-03T17:30:00Z 2014-07-05T22:50:10Z L.C.'s Robinson earns Times Male Athlete of the YearSteve Hanlon steve.hanlon@nwi.com, (219) 933-4198 nwitimes.com

ST. JOHN | It was Feb. 16 and more than 27,000 people had pushed the doors open at Bankers Life Fieldhouse for the 75th IHSAA state championships in wrestling to see Lake Central junior Gelen Robinson deposit of Kokomo's Fletcher Miller 7-2 in the 220-pound state final.

The lights were sunburn bright. The noise in the room was Megadethian.

Robinson raised his arms, smiled for the cameras and finished his season 49-0.

The next morning, a Sunday, no one was watching. It was cold and wet. Good day to stay in bed, read your press clippings and shine your hardware.

This, though, is what Robinson has never done, which is why he is the Tim Bishop Memorial Times Athlete of the Year for the 2012-13 school year.

"Gelen got up the next day after winning state and met some of his track buddies out on a field," L.C. football coach Brett St. Germain said. "They wanted to get some throws in on the shot and the discus."

Just for good measure, Robinson, the son of former Indiana Mr. Basketball Glenn Robinson of Roosevelt, finished second at state in both the shot put (56.01) and discus (200.04).

These two remarkable finishes are not in Robinson's best sport, football. That's why Purdue, Illinois, Indiana, Ball State, Ohio, Bowling Green, Vanderbilt and Missouri have offered the defensive wrecking ball a football scholarship.

In this day and age of specialization, Robinson is as old-school as a silver Thunderbird, worn Wrangler jeans and a can of Classic Coke.

"For me, personally, participating in the other sports helps me in football," Robinson said. "Man, they keep me competitive throughout the whole year and in different ways."

Robinson was The Times Defensive Player of the Year last fall, where he led Lake Central in many categories, with almost every team spending every Friday night running away from the 6-foot-2, 230-pounder.

The two-time Times football award winner's numbers were insane last autumn: 95 tackles, 47 tackles for loss, 13 sacks, 29 hurries, five forced fumbles and two recoveries.

The little brother of Glenn Robinson III, who led Michigan to the NCAA National Championship game, and son of a legend of Hoosier Hysteria never really picked up the orange ball that bounces straight up.

"I never liked basketball," Gelen said. "I was never interested in it. I like the more physical sports. I always have."

Robinson trains at least three hours a day during school and an average of six in the summer. While he doesn't ignore wrestling or track when the sun is the hottest, summer is football time.

He plans on visiting Purdue, Illinois and Michigan State this summer, with others on his radar. Robinson hopes to make his college choice before the high school season kicks off in August.

"Gelen has done phenomenal things in all three sports, which is rare these days," St. Germain said. "Literally, he never takes a day off, but this didn't start this year. This is who Gelen is. He works unbelievably hard. Yes, he's a gifted athlete, but his work ethic is what's taken him to the level he's at right now.

"A lot of kids today do not want to put in the time that he does."

Robinson said wrestling is physical, like football, but it's a different kind of physical. He said he doesn't get beat up in wrestling like football.

And wrestling is more mental than football, so his great run on the mat, he expects, will help him in a few weeks when the 2-a-day whistles blow.

This kid is nowhere near satisfied with what he's accomplished. If he was he would've hit the snooze on Feb. 18.

"I want to get the football team ready to make a run," Robinson said. "I want us to have the best season ever. The wrestling championship was a great experience. Next year I want to defend my title. And in track, I want to win them both.

"Those are my goals and I know I have to work to get there."

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