Alan Robinson, a two-sport standout at Widener University, is finding that one problem with setting goals is surpassing them and having to adjust one's sights.
Robinson, who lives near Randallstown and is a graduate of McDonogh School, will be in center field when Widener opens its Middle Atlantic Conference baseball schedule with a doubleheader at Johns Hopkins this afternoon.
"My goals are always changing; I have to keep resetting them," Robinson, a senior football and baseball player, said recently. "Really, my goals are based on what I've done in the past. When I first came here [Widener], my goal was just to be able to play. Then, when I realized I fit in, I wanted to do better, to be the best I could.
"That was one of the reasons I chose Widener. Although it is Division III, I have played for four years. If I had gone to a I-AA school for football -- James Madison and Towson State talked to me -- and not played, I would have been disappointed. I wanted to play right away."
RF Robinson played football and baseball his first three years at Wid
ener, then skipped football last fall to concentrate on his academics. At the end of this year, he will have to complete one more semester of work for a degree in hotel management.
"I'll have a tough workload, but I would like to finish my football eligibility," said Robinson, a 6-foot, 185-pound tailback.
Robinson, one of three area players on Widener's baseball team -- outfielder Keith Dukes (Cardinal Gibbons) and catcher Lloyd Pussenberger (Aberdeen) are the others -- has professional aspirations, too. He said several major-league baseball teams already have scouted him. If baseball does not materialize, Robinson said, he would like to get a pro football tryout.
Mike McMillan, Robinson's coach at McDonogh, recalled: "When things are not going well, he has an inner reserve that enables him to get the job done."
Robinson has been a four-year starter in baseball, earning all-conference and All-Eastern College Athletic Conference honors in 1989 and 1990. Two years ago, he was the ECAC-South Player of the Year. A career .361 hitter, he is tied for second on the school's list for career home runs with 14. He has led the team in walks each of the past three seasons, and has been hit by a pitch 16 times.
Until last Wednesday, he had not been caught stealing since his freshman season, running up a streak of 32 successes in a row. A week ago, Navy catcher Mike Griffith stopped him.
Robinson is a versatile football player. He has scored 15 touchdowns rushing (he is eighth in career rushing yardage for the Pioneers with 1,502 yards, a 5.6-yard average). Against Juniata two years ago, he threw a 20-yard touchdown pass in a 29-19 win that helped the team go 9-2 and qualify for the Division III playoffs. He also had receptions for 89 and 50 yards that fall.
As a junior, he led the team in touchdowns with 10, and set the school record for career kickoff return yardage at 26.3. In the playoffs, he added a 76-yard kickoff return for a touchdown in a loss to Moravian.
"In college, I wanted a good education, to play sports and hope something good happened, and have fun," Robinson said. "I don't have the highest batting average or the highest grade average, but I think I've done a good job of balancing the two."