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Prep Football Preview: Robbins poised to lead Sultana
HESPERIA • Ever since he can remember, Andrew Robbins has dreamed about his senior season at Sultana.
Robbins has grown up around the Sultans, with his father Blake serving as a coach at the school since it opened in 1995.
He watched the games from the stands as a toddler. He became a ball boy when he was old enough, roaming the sidelines at Jay Reed Field. Soon he was a high schooler himself, and he became the starting quarterback last season like he had always dreamed of, playing under his father.
Now, it’s Robbins’ time to lead.
“This is the year I’ve been waiting for my whole life,” Robbins said. “I’ve been dreaming about this since I was a little kid. I’ve been waiting 17 years for it.”
The 6-foot-4 signal caller had a strong debut last season, recording 21 total touchdowns while turning it over just eight times and leading Sultana to it’s first winning season since 2005.
For Robbins to follow up that success and have the senior season of his dreams, he’s going to have to step up his game even more.
He’s one of only three returning starters on the entire team, along with wide receiver/cornerback Chris Gooding and linebacker Raul Avila. He won’t have a single returning offensive lineman in front of him and the roster doesn’t include a running back who has more than five varsity carries or a receiver who has caught more than 15 passes in a season.
That said, Robbins has some chemistry with the newcomers from their days on the junior varsity.
“It feels likes JV because we’ve grown up together and now we’re back,” he said. “This is the same team that really started to turn things around when we went 6-4 in JV my sophomore year.”
Just because there are new faces doesn’t mean the Sultans will be conservative on offense. Head coach Blake Robbins said that his team will run a hurry-up, no-huddle, shotgun offense that will hopefully wear defenses down over the course of the game. He said his goal is for the team to run about 65 plays a game, about 20 more than an average high school offense.
“We’re going to try to use (speed) to make the defense run,” he said. “We’re going to make them cover the whole field, run sideline to sideline.”
While there isn’t much experience on offense, there are a pair of exciting playmakers for Robbins to throw to.
The most intriguing option is senior Jaelen Spencer, the All-American triple jumper who decided to play football this season for the first time since his freshman year.
“I’ve been thinking about it a long time,” Spencer said. “It’s my last year and a lot of college coaches like to see versatility. They like to see athletes who can do different things and stay active. ... I’m hoping that I can help the team and that it will help me.”
Another player to watch is junior Stephan Sanford, a speedster who Blake Robbins thinks has Division I potential. Robbins was also very high on lineman Kyle Alberts, another potential Division I prospect who is built like a brick wall.
The defense is a work in progress that is short on both size and experience, particularly the linebackers and the secondary. Andrew Robbins played safety in practice and will be a starter there unless someone else steps up, while Alberts, Sanford and Gooding provide some athleticism.
While the defense has a big learning curve ahead of it, Andrew Robbins is ready to get his offense rolling. With his talent, poise and experience, the Sultans are prepared to air it out.
“We’re capable of having over 5,000 yards,” Sanford said. “I have big hopes with all the tools we have.”
Now that would be a dream season, for Robbins and all of Sultana.
Kyle Glaser can be reached at email@example.com or (760) 951-6274.