A Sort of Homecoming
Most homecoming games won’t take place for another few weeks, but Robinson Coach Mark Bendorf will experience a personal homecoming when the Rams play at Marshall on Thursday night. Bendorf is a 1974 graduate of Marshall.
“I’ve wanted to do that for years,” said Bendorf, who can’t recall facing Marshall during his 18 seasons at Robinson as an assistant or head coach. “I grew up in that community, my parents still live in that community. I still root for Marshall. I do. It’s beautiful now with the turf stadium and the turf practice field. All I remember is smog rolling in off the Beltway while practicing. It’s amazing my teammates and I are still alive.”
Some of those former teammates have told Bendorf that they plan to show up and heckle, so slapping on a headset might be a good idea.
Bendorf said he recalls Marshall losing only four games during his high school career. Robinson certainly will be a heavy favorite in this one. One standout so far this season for the Rams has been junior Jared Velasquez, who started in the secondary last season. This fall, also playing a key role on offense, he has rushed for 283 yards and five touchdowns.
“We have felt that he was a guy that was going to be a difference maker for us,” Bendorf said. “He’s been good on both sides of the ball. It hasn’t just been on offense. He’s making a lot of plays on defense and is good in the return game.”
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