According to Scotland High School varsity football coach Richard Bailey, Fighting Scots’ outside linebacker Artemis Robinson showcased every bit of the poise and maturity that defined his 2012 senior season as he accepted his latest award.
Standing in front of television cameras and a room filled with fellow celebrated athletes, Robinson was the recipient of WPDE Channel 15’s ‘North Carolina Player of the Year’ honor along with Richmond defensive end Devontae Covington.
And as he reflected on the football season that was, Bailey credits Robinson’s work ethic and quiet leadership as the catalyst for the success he enjoyed in his first season helming the Scots.
“When you have leaders like Artemis on your team that understand the bigger picture, it makes it a lot easier to be a football coach,” Bailey said. “You often go as your leaders go, and Artemis leads by his actions and the passion that he puts into every game. He’s got that star quality about him, and he just embodies everything you want high school football to be about.”
When the 2012 season concluded for Scotland in the fourth round of the 4A state playoffs, the Fighting Scots had compiled a 12-2 record and a spot in nearly every poll’s top teams in North Carolina. And on a team loaded with talent, Robinson was arguably Scotland’s best player, as he finished his senior campaign with 153 total tackles, three sacks, three forced fumbles, two interceptions and five passes defensed. The Fighting Scots’ defense, en route to earning the reputation as one of the most lauded in the state, held opponents to just 12 points per game this season.
Robinson’s most recent award (which he accepted via a one-hour television special which aired Dec. 9) comes in a string of postseason accolades for the NC State University-bound linebacker. Earlier this month, Robinson was recognized as the Southeastern Conference defensive player of the year when all-conference selections were made.
The on-field accomplishments of Robinson have been well-documented. But for Bailey, one instance towards the end of the regular season best exemplified the character lying at the core of his defensive stalwart.
“Because of a school field trip, Robinson and a couple others were late to a Thursday practice before our home game against Purnell Swett,” said Bailey of Scotland’s 49-0 victory over the Rams on Sept. 28. “It killed me to sit him for a couple plays, but it’s something I’ve always done throughout my career. Artemis got up in front of his teammates, apologized and accepted responsibility. He handled business the right way, and when your best player is willing to be held accountable, it shows you that you got the right type of kids leading your football team.”
Before Robinson calls it a 2012, he will don his football pads one last time as a member of the Fighting Scots. This Saturday Dec. 15 at Wofford College, Robinson and Scotland defensive back Malik Diggs will take part in the Shrine Bowl after being recognized as two of North Carolina’s top prep football players. It’s an honor bestowed upon a select few players each year, and Robinson will undoubtedly add this experience to his still-growing mantle of senior season accomplishments. The game is slated to begin at 1 p.m.
And looking ahead to Scotland teams of the near and distant future, Bailey sees Robinson as an enduring example of a player symbolizing how to do things the right way during their high school playing career.
“If you want to be great and earn these distinctions, then you have to work at it, and Artemis will outwork just about anyone,” Bailey said. “He epitomizes everything the younger guys want to be, and hopefully the other groups to come along will see how Artemis did things and want to emulate him.”