Durango High School senior Cullen Robinette took one day off between the end of his high school basketball career and the start of his final lacrosse season for the Demons. It was a whirlwind 24 hours.
Robinette scored 17 points behind three made 3-pointers to help lead the No. 47 DHS boys basketball team (10-14) past No. 18 Skyline in the first round of the Colorado High School Activities Association Class 4A state tournament. But the Demons fell 51-32 to No. 15 Pueblo Central in the second round.
“Transitioning from basketball to lacrosse was quick, but tough,” Robinette said. “It was hard at first because we had this great run to get to the second round when nobody thought we’d even make it in. We lost in a tough one, and I had just that Sunday off, and then on Monday I was back in the weight room and gym with the lacrosse guys.
“I thought I fulfilled what I wanted to with basketball and felt that I left it all on the court, and I wasn’t not satisfied with the season. I felt ready to move on to the lacrosse field to possibly try and set records and help us win.”
Robinette, son of John and Tracy, turned the page and didn’t have to look far to find motivation in the DHS lacrosse team record book that both he and his older brother Kyle have filled up. Kyle is currently a sophomore at Colorado State and plays for the club team.
Cullen is looking to become the first player in program history to finish his career with more than 100 goals and 100 assists. He already has 103 goals and needs just one more assist to become the all-time leader, as he currently has 94.
Kyle leads the program in career goals (161) and total points (255), while Cullen has 197 total points.
Based on the early season numbers, it’s safe to assume Cullen will become the first player to hit the 100/100 mark, as he already has 25 points this season with 10 goals and 15 assists. On top of it all, he already set a new single-game program record when he tallied 10 assists in Saturday’s 18-5 win over Sandia Prep in Albuquerque.
Much of his playmaking abilities come with the help of fellow senior Corbin Randle, who he has played with since they were second-graders. Randle is second on the team with 16 points on 10 goals and six assists.
“Corbin’s my right-hand man,” Cullen said. “He’s always in the right spot, and if one of my shooting lanes closes up, he always finds a way to make a move so I can find him. Our dads have been friends forever since they both coached at Fort Lewis, and him and I also have a really strong connection.”
For all the statistics talk, Cullen just wants to win.
“Yeah, my dad will throw in jokes about trying to beat Kyle in point totals or whatever, but it’s all in good fun, and, really, the main goal for me is to do anything I can to help us get back to the playoffs,” Cullen said. “We missed out last year for the first time since 2014, and it hurt. We’ve got a good group of seniors who have been together for a while now, and it’s just all about making sure that we are on the same page.”
John Robinette, who is in his eighth year as the Demons’ head coach, said his son’s passion has helped him on the lacrosse field.
“Cullen plays with a ton of emotion and has always worn his heart on his sleeve,” said John. “Sometimes it can get the best of him during the basketball season, and he’s really tried to reign it in and be a little more reserved. He’s done a much better job of moving on to the next play, and it translates well to his lacrosse game. He played every position for us last season except goalie. No matter where you put him, at the faceoff circle, attack, put a long pole in his hands and have him defend or as a (midfielder), you’ll always catch him working hard and playing with that passion.”
Cullen said his passion will always define him.
“I’m just a competitive person, and have always been that way,” Cullen said. “Personally, I just want to beat Kyle for the all-time point record. When we would play with each other, he’d motivate me to try and play better. It was the whole big brother, little brother competition. Now that he’s gone, I’ve taken the role that I do want to be better than him. He’d always tell me that when he was my age, I was better than him at that age. I just keep that in the back of my mind of how I want to beat him, in a friendly but competitive way.”
The current task at hand for the Demons is exact revenge on Telluride, a team the Demons had never lost to before getting swept last season, which kept the Demons out of the playoffs by one spot. The Demons will take on the Miners (0-0) at 4 p.m. Thursday at Durango High School.
“Yeah, Fruita (Monument) and Aspen are both good teams, but I’m looking to go up against Telluride on Thursday,” Cullen said. “They’re our main rival, and we want to get off to a good start in league, and beating them would be a huge confidence booster for us. It’s been back-and-forth with them, and it’ll be a big early-season test, for sure.”
John said both Cullen and the rest of the team know the task at hand.
“Everybody understands our goal is to try to win our conference, try to win home games, keep up the strong tradition and momentum,” John said. “But first thing’s first, we’re gonna get our field cleared, focus in and try to take care of Telluride, and we’ll be looking to settle a score with them.”