PRINCETON — The Robbins brothers made a name for themselves coming through Princeton High School in the late 1970s to mid ‘80s. Tom and Tony from the Class of 1979 were the first to come through, followed by Scott (‘83), Doug (‘85), Jeff (‘87) and Jimmy (‘90). They all enjoyed successful stints playing a variety of sports for the Tigers.
That decade has given way to the new generation of Robbins boys.
Colby Robbins, Scott’s son, was a three-sport standout at PHS this year.
He was the only athlete named as a BCR Player of the Year in two sports this year, named in both golf and basketball. He also excelled in tennis.
For all of his accomplishments, Robbins is the 2016-17 BCR Male Athlete of the Year.
Robbins is honored to carry on the family tradition at PHS. He now passes that family torch on to his cousin, Beck Robbins (Doug), who will be a junior at PHS, and has been a varsity starter in two sports thus far.
“They all grew up here, playing every sport possible and succeeding well. It’s awesome to be in that family heritage and know everything about them and following their footsteps,” Colby Robbins said.
When it was discussed previously that Colby could probably take his dad and uncles in 1-on-1 in their prime, he joked that a “few groaned, but they admitted to it.”
“I could probably give them a run for their money if we could turn back the clock,” he said.
Robbins had his share of crowning moments that define his Athlete of the Year selection.
He was the BCR Golfer of the Year, continuing to lowering his average every year down to 39.7 as a senior and First Team TRAC All-Conference honors.
He was the BCR Basketball Player of the Year, averaging 16.0 points per game as an unanimous TRAC East All-Conference selection
He was always remember the night he outscored L-P all by himself in the first quarter of play and incredibly scoring the Tigers’ first 21 points of the game.
“That was one of my games where I didn’t miss,” he said. “Everything was going in. It was super exciting. To be beating LP by myself the first quarter, it was awesome.”
He teamed up with buddy Jake Farraher to post a 25-5 record at No. 1 doubles for the Tiger tennis team.
The one accomplishment he’s most proud about is qualifying for state in golf for the first time his senior year when a drop to 1A helped get him over the hump.
“My trip to state in golf was most exciting because I’ve worked so hard the past three years and came up short. To make it senior year, that was pretty exciting,” he said.
He’s also proud he always gave it his best shot.
“I didn’t really leave ifs and buts out there. I tried my hardest to perform my best. I’m happy with that,” he said.
Robbins used to be a seasonable guy, saying whatever sport was in season was his favorite sport at the time. He’s unable to deny his passion for basketball.
“I think now I’ve been playing basketball for so long it’s so deeply in my heart. I love it so much. It kind of takes the cake over golf, especially now,” he said.
That doesn’t mean it was always his best sport.
“It used to be golf just because I didn’t have the physical attributes such as height and strength in basketball,” he said. “I used to think I was better at basketball freshman year, but I probably wasn’t. I’d say now I’m a little better in basketball since I kind of hit the growth spurt and jumped a little bit higher.”
The former baseballer picked up tennis his sophomore year just for fun — to play with his friends. He athleticism helped him making the varsity team as a sophomore at No. 3 doubles, and his love for the game took off from there.
“It was super fun, just relaxing sort of after basketball,” he said. “I played 1 singles junior year, and that’s when I started getting more serious and competitive. I just want to be the best. I worked a lot in the season, played a lot with friends, it kind of became a competitive sport for me because I wanted to win, even though it was fun for me
It doesn’t seem to Robbins that it’s been that long ago that he was entering PHS as a scrawny freshman and trying to go up against the likes of Garrett Duffin and the other seniors at the time.
“I remember playing — going against the big guys and Garrett Duffin,” he said. “He was like a role model for me. I always wanted to be better than him. Just hard to guard him, but I’d give him a run for his money nowadays.
“It’s crazy to look back at those days and think it’s all over, and I’m heading to the next level.”
The next stop in Robbins’ life adventure will be Elmhurst College, where he is signed up to play basketball for the Blue Jays. He may also play golf there if things work out his sophomore year, if not this fall.
He’s feeling all the emotions of a typical incoming college freshman.
“I’m excited, nervous, just all around emotions. It’s going to be an awesome experience going to Elmhurst,” said Robbins, who plans to major in accounting.
“I hope to get better, whether I play golf and basketball in both sports. It’d be nice to make all-conference, maybe as an upperclassman. Freshman and sophomore year really just trying to get better, stronger faster and become a better person in the classroom and develop everywhere.”
When asked how his parents will handle his impending move, the only child leaving the nest, Robbins said, “I think my dad is going to have to do a lot of fishing to get over it.”
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The Colby Robbins File:
• BCR Golfer of the Year
• First Team TRAC All-Conference golf
• BCR Basketball Player of the Year
• Unanimous TRAC East All-Conference selection
• Scored PHS first 21 points of the game vs. L-P.
• Had 25-5 record at No. 1 doubles in tennis