From an early age it was obvious that Roosevelt “Rosey” Robinson was going to be an exceptional athlete. Whether it was kicking a ball into the houses across Walnut Street from the Arthur Street playground in sixth grade, or when kicking off in an eighth grade football game and having it go through the uprights at Montgomery School, something very special was in the making. No other Ashland High School athlete has been the school’s leading scorer in football, leading scorer in basketball, and leading hitter in baseball all in the same year.
As a sophomore on the undefeated 1963 football team, Rosey was First Team All Cardinal Conference, all Ohio Honorable Mention and United Press International All Star Honorable Mention. With 936 yards rushed and 98 points scored Roosevelt and Jim Minnich created the best one-two punch in Ohio high school football that year. In basketball that year he scored 244 points and was the teams most improved player.
In his junior year Roosevelt exceeded all expectations in three sports. In football he rushed 1,963 yards, scored 166 points and scored 22 touchdowns setting their Ashland High School records. In the Wooster game he set another record by a rushing record 323 yards in a single game. The honors bestowed upon him that year included First Team All Cardinal Conference, First Team All Ohio and Ohio’s Back of the Year, First Team United Press International All-Star Team, and Sports Illustrated “Faces in the Crowd” award.
In basketball Rosey scored 341 points to make him the teams leading scorer with honors of Ashland Times Gazette’s Most Valuable Player and Second Team Cardinal Conference. He concluded this year by leading the baseball team in hitting with a .395 batting average.
During his senior year in football Roosevelt rushed for 1,186 yards and scored 144 points and for the third year in a row was All-Cardinal Conference. For the second year in a row he was named First Team All Ohio and Ohio’s Back of the Year and First Team United Press International All-Star Team. He was also placed on the Scholastic Magazine All American Team and was Second Team All American Parade Magazine. In basketball he was once again the leading scorer with 351 points and had the most assists. He again was the Ashland Times-Gazette’s Most Valuable Player and made First Team All Cardinal Conference.
After 40 years Roosevelt’s record of career yards rushed 4,085, total points 408, total touchdowns 56, and single season rushed 1,963 still stands. He also is the seventh all time leading scorer in basketball, fourth on the list when he graduated. Denny Rubright, author of “A Century of Excitement” the 100-year history of Dover Ohio’s football is quoted as saying, “Roosevelt “Rosey” Robinson was probably the most recognized athlete to ever come out of the Cardinal Conference.” For those lucky enough to see Rosey run, shot, or hit they will always remember the poetry in motion.
Following graduation Roosevelt enlisted in the Marines and was also recruited by the Buffalo Bills. Rosey currently resides in Ashland and is employed by Don Coburn Industries.
Nominator: Noel Watson, Tom McNaul, & Rebecca Smith