Chandler Robinson, a former football star at Simmons High School, was angry when he first heard the news on Monday that his football season at Mississippi Valley State University had been pushed back to the spring.
For three years, Robinson had waited patiently on the sidelines for his time to come. Robinson has always dreamed about being a starting quarterback on a college football team. The years he spent training quietly outside of the limelight were about to payoff. His time was finally here, but now it was taken away from him.
Then, Robinson said he started to understand the bigger picture.
“I understand why they made the decision to postpone the season,” Robinson said. “I would rather be safe, and the most important thing is to try and make sure that everybody is healthy.”
The lessons he has learned from being a football player have also helped him get through these last few days, Robinson said.
“You learn a lot about life by playing football,” Robinson said. “You learn how to be patient. You learn how to work on your own, and you learn that nothing comes easy.”
The decision to postpone the athletic seasons for fall sports was made by the Southwestern Sports Conference Council of Presidents and Chancellors and the SWAC Sports Administrative Committee.
“There are many factors that weighed into this decision; however, the most important factor is the health, wellness, and safety of all as our nation continues efforts to curve the impact of the coronavirus pandemic in our country,” MVSU director of athletics Dianthia Ford-Kee said.
Robinson said he is now determined to keep working hard so he will be ready when the football season comes.
While he has not been able to play quarterback during games much since he graduated from high school, Robinson said he is definitely a much better player than he was in high school when he helped guide the Blue Devils to back to back state championships.
“I have definitely gotten better at quarterback since I arrived at Mississippi Valley,” Robinson said. “I have always considered myself a thinker and a decision maker, I have learned the game more, and now many times I know where I am going to throw the ball even before the play starts.”
While Robinson and his teammates will not be playing games until 2021, they are still communicating with each other constantly thanks to social media platforms, like Zoom, Robinson said.
The Delta Devils finished last season with a 2-9 record, and they have not had a winning record since the 2006 season.
“We definitely plan to have a much better season than we did last year,” Robinson said.
While he still dreams of playing football at the highest level one day, Robinson is leaving himself options for his future. He is a member of MVSU’s Army ROTC program and is considering a career in the military after college.
“My dad was in the military and I saw how he provided for our family,” Robinson said. “He taught me a lot about what it takes to achieve something in my life.”