Robinson is the No. 1-ranked grappler in the 170-pound weight class in Class 2A.
Wrestling has been Quenteen Robinson’s life since he was a toddler. Growing up in Johnstown, a small town in southwestern Pennysylvania’s Cambria County, Robinson was first introduced to the game by his father when Robinson was 4 years old.
However, he used to cry when he’d step out onto the mat for a match, Robinson recalled. But he quickly fell in love with the sport.
His dad started a wrestling club. He practiced three-to-four times per day, went on extra runs and practiced various moves around the house.
Wrestling is a one-on-one type of sport. So, Robinson says, what you put into it is what you get out of it. Hard work is a must.
“I’m just trying to be the best that I can be,” he said. “I’m just trying to work hard and get better every day.”
The Robinson family moved to Palm Coast the summer before his sophomore year. He enrolled at Matanzas High School and decided to participate in both football and wrestling. However, midway through the season, Robinson was injured during a junior varsity football game. Some of the cartilage in his knee had chipped off. His football season was done, and he missed most of the wrestling season.
Still, Matanzas’ coaches so no problem throwing him into the mix when Robinson returned to full strength. He returned late in the 2017-18 season and was a match away from qualifying for the state tournament.
“When you get in a match, you hope that it comes down to his weight," said Matanzas head coach T.J. Gillan, who was an assistant at the time. "He’s a big part of what we’ve been doing.”
Robinson decided to refocus on his goals before his junior year. He gave up football. He wanted to pursue only wrestling.
“Wrestling is what I wanted to do,” he said. “It’s what I wanted to be in life.”
Last year was one of Matanzas wrestling’s most successful seasons ever. The Pirates made history by becoming the first Flagler County wrestling team to qualify for the Florida High School Dual Wrestling State Championship, where they finished in a four-way tie for fifth. The Pirates beat crosstown rival Flagler Palm Coast, traditionally one of the top teams in the state, 51-24 on Jan. 23 for the Pirates’ first win over the Bulldogs in 10 years. And Robinson was one of three Pirates to qualify for the state tournament, where he finished in fifth.
He learned valuable lessons from the experience.
“I learned not to get too ahead of myself,” he said. “I can’t do moves that are going to put me in a position to lose a match.”
Now a senior, Robinson is the No. 1-ranked grappler in the 170-pound weight class in Class 2A. He’s played an integral part in the resurgence of Matanzas wrestling, and he hopes to not stop there.
“There’s a lot of work to be done,” he said.