Notorious for his high school
state pole vault championship, with a school
record vault of 12’ 6” in 1937, Virgil
Robinson is another in Centralia’s long
line of multi-talented athletes. He also
tied for second in state his Junior year
with a vault of 12’0”. The Southeast
Illinois District pole vault record of 11’8”
was set by Robinson in 1937.
Robinson was a member of the 1936 C.H.S.
undefeated football team. That team, one of
seven to be undefeated in C.H.S. history,
was 11-0 and outscored their opponents
As a member of the basketball teams at C.H.S.
in 1936, and 1937, he contributed to records
of 18-14, and 26-4. The 1936 squad made a
state tourney (Sweet Sixteen) appearance,
falling in the first game to Danville, the
second place finisher.
Away from high school, Robinson was also
quite a performer. He set a Demolay senior
division pole vault record. In 1939, he
pitched for the state championship Demolay
softball team, hitting a home run to win the
deciding game. Also that year, he pitched
for the Lion’s Club City softball
champions and again hit a home run to win
Robinson was an outstanding pitcher in the
Industrial League at that time, pitching for
Mobil Gas. In 1957, he pitched for the city
slow-pitch champs, Richard’s Tank. In
1944, he was the leading scorer in the
Industrial Basketball League, playing for
Ohio Seamless Tube.
While in the military in 1944, Robinson
played tackle for the 11th Regiment Invaders
football team out of Camp Fannin, Texas.