Two mainstays of the Holy Cross football program capped off stellar careers donning the green and white Saturday night at Hofstra University to participate in the Empire Challenge.
The game marked the end of the line for Dale Robinson and Victor Parsley, two Queens stars who performed brilliantly on the local football circuit, as well as the turning of the page for coach Tom Pughs defense, anchored by Parsley and Robinson the past two years.
The linebacker Robinson registered 106 and 109 tackles the last two years in steadying the Crusaders defensive attack.
Its a good experience to come and play in this game, said Robinson. There were a lot of great players out there today.
Dales a player, said Pugh. The guys all over the field. Ive been coaching a long time and hes probably the best linebacker weve ever had at Holy Cross.
Robinson, a St. Albans native, will attend CW Post next season after being pursued by Connecticut, New Hampshire, Massachusetts and Georgia Tech. He feels that he will be able to raise his teams level of play at the next level.
I think I bring quickness to a team, said Robinson. Im a team leader. Somebody that can help the team win and take them to the next level.
Pugh likes his players prospects of excelling at the college level.
Playing alongside a lot of great players in college, a guy like Dale will really shine, the coach said. Hell be unbelievable [at the next level].
Parsley snuffed out Long Islands final attempt at a score in the games waning minutes, intercepting a pass tipped by Commack wide receiver Bryan Tornee to seal the 17-10 victory for New York City.
When it got tipped, I knew I had it, said Parsley. I dont know how or why I was on my knees, but I got it.
Parsley isnt the first in his family to play in the summer classic.
It feels good to have played in this game, said Parsley. I watched my cousin play in it three years ago and to be in it really feels good.
Parsley, who lives in Briarwood, led the CHSAA in interceptions with nine this past season after moving from cornerback to safety, as well as pacing the Catholic league with an 11-yard average on punt returns.
Victor brings a lot of speed, said Pugh. He can play anywhere. He also brings a lot of confidence. He has a short memory, and thats something all defensive backs need to have.
I bring play-making ability, said Parsley, who will join his teammate Robinson in the fall at CW Post after turning down overtures from New Haven and St. Johns. I bring the ability to cover somebody and some speed.
As a fireworks display peppered the summer night, Pugh reflected on his time spent with these two student-athletes as their bright high school careers flickered to an end.
Im really proud of them, said Pugh. Theyre both great kids and good students. Theyve worked hard on the field, as well as in the classroom.
Reach Contributing Writer Brian Towey by e-mail at TimesLedgr@aol.com or call 229-0300, Ext. 130.
©2001 Community News Group
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