Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Pair Gets Extra Points; Sharing Football Part of Family Fun

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Pair Gets Extra Points; Sharing Football Part of Family Fun

Article excerpt

Byline: Teneshia L. Wright, Times-Union sports writer

Eleven-year-old Nicholas Robinson thinks his mom is cooler than his friends' moms.

When Sherine Robinson is not cooking, baking or helping her three kids with homework, she gets down and dirty during football games with her two sons in the back yard or at a field up the road.

And most moms can't say they play professional football.

Robinson, 33, is a defensive tackle for the Jacksonville Dixie Blues, the local women's pro football team, and she boasts a world football championship from last season.

"One of my friends thinks it's unbelievable, surprising," Nicholas Robinson said. "He said, 'I didn't know that one day women would play football.' It's pretty cool."

With it being the offseason for the Dixie Blues, Sherine Robinson is able to relax more instead of rushing home from a full-time job to cook dinner and tutor her kids before bolting to practice when her husband arrives.

Oletha Mathis is also getting a welcome respite. For nearly a decade, she has driven to various states and moved out of town to support the athletic careers of her sons, Roderick, Jerry and Rashean. Now, she gets to settle back into Jacksonville and watch her youngest son, Rashean Mathis, play for the Jaguars. He was the team's second-round pick in the NFL Draft last month.

"I think I blew up four or five cars going back and forth to games, so now I'm walking," the divorced mom said.

Not for long.

Today is Mother's Day and Mathis plans to do something special to tide his mother over until he signs his contract and can buy her a new car.

"Basically, it's whatever she wants, but she's not going to ask for anything," he said. "Whatever you need, she'll try to get for you. She's just willing to do anything, whatever."

Oletha Mathis, 43, moved to Orlando four years ago to be near her youngest son after he signed a scholarship with Bethune-Cookman College out of Englewood High School. He said it eased his transition into college life because he visited her frequently and she cooked sometimes and attended all but two of his games.

"She has always been a supportive mother even though she was a single parent," Rashean Mathis said. "She made it her business to be on booster clubs."

Oletha Mathis said "something was wrong" if she missed a game. She has always dropped everything to support her kids. She moved back to Jacksonville a month ago to assist her youngest child, Ronneta Mathis, through her pregnancy. When she got pregnant with her first child, Oletha Mathis cut her college basketball career short. When her kids were in high school, she took a break from her job in Ponte Vedra Beach to bring food to Englewood, even though she gave each child $5 a day for lunch.

"She wanted a reason to be at the school every day," Rashean Mathis said. …

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