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A Legacy of More Than 100 Yards 

The SUNY Brockport football team give Vishion a kind welcome. (Photo Credit: Haley Brown/Brockport Athletics)

A moment caught on camera captures the culture of Brockport Athletics. 

On Saturday, Sept. 3, the SUNY Brockport Football team welcomed Jay Vishion to the field to be an honorary captain at the team’s home opener. Captain Ben “Benny” Marshall has been seen across all of Brockport Athletics’ social media feeds embracing Vishion.  

The culture Brockport Athletics upholds reaches far beyond the campus. Giving back, providing opportunities for others and hearing their stories sparks a greater purpose. Following suit, the Brockport football team invited 12-year-old Vishion to the field in hopes of leaving him with a memory he will have for life. Born with Spina bifita, Vishion has not been afforded the same opportunities as other athletes. Head Coach Jason Mangone emphasizes this. 

“It is important to us that we have young people at our games that never had the opportunity to run onto a field. We want to give them the opportunity to be part of our team, even if only for a game,” Mangone said.  

The spotlight was on Vishion. However, nothing caught on camera goes unnoticed. Whether it was Instagram or Twitter, people saw Marshall.  

Coach Mangone describes Marshall in just three words.  

“Leader, Effort, Competitive,” Mangone said. 

On and off the field, Marshall stresses the importance of making the best decisions for the team and program. As an athlete, he understands the role he plays not only within the endzones, but in the community.  

“I want people to take away that I put people first and always uplift them instead of tearing them down,” Marshall said. 

Marshall creates a culture that reflects both the football program and the Brockport community as a whole. Capturing a moment such as this demonstrates that the purpose of the sport is bigger than itself. When asked if he felt he was making an impact on Vishion, Marshall opposed the idea.  

“It’s more of an impact on me than him. It puts into perspective how lucky we are to play the sport. It means so much to see the joy and smile on his face from just having a conversation with him,” Marshall said.  

SUNY Brockport sophomore Anna Lee, a fellow Brockport athlete and friend of Marshall, says how his actions speak volumes.  

“Benny Marshall is who we want representing Brockport. He’s a beast on the field, cares about everyone, and is one of the nicest people you’ll ever talk to. He shows how athletes everywhere can be competitive but also agents of the community,” Lee said.  

People inside and outside the athletic program can see that Marshall’s legacy is bigger than football. Earning the title of captain is not taken lightly in the sports world. It comes with a great deal of responsibility and leadership. 

For Benny Marshall, this is just the beginning.  

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