NEWARK, NJ – Montclair’s Elijah Robinson was awarded top honors from The Men of Essex during an awards ceremony at the Marriott on May 20 for his academic and athletic accomplishments.

Student athletes from across Essex County were recognized for their accomplishments both on and off the field, with Robinson receiving the highest recognition given. The Essex Award is given to one athlete each year that demonstrates outstanding career achievements bestowing highest distinction upon leading scholar-athletes, and athletes, representing Essex County high schools, public, private and parochial.

Formed in 1958, The Men of Essex has been honoring scholar athletes across Essex County for 57 years since. The Men of Essex, Inc. is a service organization of African-American professionals and businessmen.

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Stephen Baker, the “Touchdown Maker”, delivered the keynote address. The wide receiver who played with the New York Giants from 1987-1992, helped the Giants win Super Bowl XXV.

Robinson, who chose to graduate early in December 2014 after signing on for a spring scholarship, will be eligible to compete for the starting quarterback position for the Boston College Eagles in the fall.

Robinson was recognized along with 40 of his contemporaries who have achieved distinction for their outstanding achievements during their high school careers.

During Robinson’s high school career, he won three state titles and held a 23-1 record as a starter with two back – to - back First Team All - State Selections. He finished with 1,842 rushing yards and 25 touchdowns, adding another 1,699 yards and 16 touchdowns through the air. In two seasons as quarterback, Robinson made 84 touchdowns and gathered 6,541 all-purpose yards.

With his mom, twin sister and Head Coach John Fiore sitting next to him, Robinson approached the podium humbly thanking the organizers and saying to the other athletes, “ Anyone of you were clearly qualified to get this award, so it is a great honor for me to accept this award.” He thanked his coaches, friends and those around him who helped him along the way. “What I do, is what anybody can do with the right people around them, but getting this award tonight reassures me that I’m on the right path.”

Robinson’s mom spoke following her son. She stated that she and her husband are grateful for the recognition. “Elijah is a great son. He has made parenting very easy.” She also stated that they try to instill core values in their four children.  She added that she tells them, “Set goals, reach high, in every thing give thanks, put God first, don’t say you can’t, and always give back. We’ve set our expectations of him very high. …I can say, up to this point in life, Elijah has exceeded our expectations of him and we are very proud of him.”

As a recent New Jersey Maxwell award recipient, Robinson was honored not only for his on field success but his leadership and dedication to his community.

While a part of the Montclair Mounties Football team, Robinson helped his team to produce three consecutive state championship titles and was inducted into the National Honor Society with a 3.97 GPA.

Also in attendance supporting Robinson was Montclair Mayor Robert Jackson, Deputy Mayor Robert Russo and Board of Education Vice President Anne Mernin.

The Men of Essex presented awards in the following categories: Essex Award, Outstanding Athletic Achievement and Scholar-Athletes. Other Montclair Athletes include:

Essex Award

Elijah Robinson                                                           Montclair High School

Outstanding Athletic Achievement

FOOTBALL (Defense) - Josh Allen                                  Montclair High School

SWIMMING (Girls) - Charlotte O'Leary                            Montclair High School
VOLLEYBALL (Girls) – Kennedy Robinson                     Montclair Kimberley Academy

DeAna Oliver                                                                   Montclair High School

Chanse Riley                                                                   Montclair High School

Daniel Yanes                                                                   Montclair Kimberley Academy