J’Cobe Scott said a prayer before every game he played for the Hahnville Tigers, with the knowledge his one-time mentor is looking out for him.
“I say Vernon, play through me,” Scott said. “Tonight, I’m gonna do what you taught me.”
Scott, a senior offensive lineman Hahnville Tigers football team, is calling upon his cousin Vernon Robiskie, who in 2011 passed away at the age of 33. Robiskie, the nephew of former NFL star Terry Robiskie, was a member of the 1994 Hahnville Tigers football team that won state championship honors, a talented offensive lineman who went on to play collegiately at Southern University and then played professionally in the Arena Football League.
He also taught Scott much of what he knew about playing the position. Scott played this season – the 25th anniversary of that 1994 state champion – in his honor. He also wears uniform number 76, which was Robiskie’s number as a member of the Tigers.
“He was my big cousin, and he taught me how to play the game of football,” Scott said. “He taught me my technique and made me the player I am. I remember him every time I play. I wear 76 because of him.
“Every time I go on the field, I want to make him proud.”
Earlier this season, when Hahnville High honored members of the ’94 team during a halftime ceremony, Scott stood at midfield with Robiskie’s mother and Scott’s cousin to represent him.
“It was real emotional,” Scott said. “I saw the love people had for him.”
While Scott said his father introduced him to the game and helped foster his love of it, he said Robiskie’s tutelage was what propelled him to continually improve and refine his technique. Last season, Scott was a first team selection to the All-District 7-5A team, and seems likely to repeat that feat this season.
“He taught me to stay low and be physical,” Scott said. “He taught me to never be soft. If you’re soft, you’re not gonna win in the trenches.”
Beyond the game, other parts of Robiskie are reflected through his young cousin today.
“I taught them both, and J’Cobe exemplifies the same traits and characteristics that Vernon did,” said Hahnville teacher Denyse Keller. “Hard-working, dedicated, a loyal kid. He loves Hahnville High School and he loves football, just like Vernon did.”
Scott said Robiskie’s passing was tough for him, and that he’ll get emotional when he thinks of his cousin and what he meant to him. But he also smiles when recalling memories of him.
“He was serious when it was time to be serious, but he was funny too,” Scott said. “He motivated me a lot. He’d see me being lazy in a drill and he’d get me right.”