Football: Moorestown to honor Dave Robinson


By Phil Anastasia

There's a bronze bust of Dave Robinson in the Pro Football Hall of Fame in Canton, Ohio.

A small group of Robinson's family and friends are working to see that Moorestown High School gets one, too.

The group is raising money for a likeness of the former Quakers' multi-sport star to be created and displayed in the high school's trophy case.

"Dave Robinson was a great athlete but also a great student," said Gregory Gray, chairman of the fundraising committee. "We want Moorestown students to understand he was a true scholar-athlete and a great person as well."

The fundraising project coincides with a "Moorestown Celebrates Dave Robinson" event set for Sept. 12 at the Moorestown High School football team's season opener vs. Seneca.

Robinson's No. 89 jersey will be retired at a ceremony at halftime.
According to Moorestown athletic director Neil Rosa, the football jersey will be the first one ever retired by the school.

In addition, Robinson, who lives in Akron, Ohio, is expected to speak to a school assembly that afternoon and address the Moorestown team before the game.

The school also will sell commemorative programs of the event signed by Robinson.

The halftime ceremony will include a proclamation by the Moorestown town council.

Robinson is a 1959 Moorestown graduate who was a star football, basketball and track athlete during his high school career.

"He also was a straight-A student and member of the Dean's List at Penn State and earned his engineering degree," Gray said.

Robinson was a member of three undefeated teams at Moorestown: the 1958 and 1959 basketball teams (which went a combined 44-0) and the 1957 football team (which went 9-0).

Robinson played football at Penn State and was a star linebacker for the Green Bay Packers during that franchise's historic championship run under coach Vince Lombardi in the 1960s.

Robinson was a member of the Green Bay teams that won the first two Super Bowls and he was named to the NFL's All-Decade team for the 1960s.

Robinson was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in August.

In conjunction with the Sept. 12 event, a group that includes Robinson's neice, Rayette Smith -- whose son Tyreek is a standout two-way lineman for this year's Moorestown football team -- has commissioned an artist to create a bust of Robinson for the trophy case.

Gray said that John Giannotti of Woodbridge has been commissioned to create the bust.

Giannotti, the former chairman of the Rutgers University Fine Arts Department who created the one-ton dinosaur sculpture in downtown Haddonfield, is going to unveil a rendering of the bust at the Sept. 12 football game, Gray said.

The group estimates the cost of the project to be $9,000. About $3,600 had been raised as of Tuesday.

Anyone interested in donating to the project can do so at the website -- the link to the "Dave Robinson Moorestown Bust Fund."

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