This is like Avengers Endgame, or for you older folk, the last M*A*S*H episode — Salpointe stars Bijan Robinson and Lathan Ransom completing their illustrious careers in Tucson after starting their careers on the football fields with TYF more than a decade ago.
Moreover, 19-year coach Dennis Bene is resigning at season’s end to spend more time with family and concentrate on his positions as vice president of Southern Arizona Paving and owner of the Ashton Company.
With Salpointe 3-0 and having only six regular-season games remaining, before an anticipated playoff run, the last go-around for Ransom, Robinson and Bene — and all the Lancers — together is coming closer to an end.
“Me and (Robinson) have seen each other grow up in front of each other, and we have become great football players and we’ve become great men, and it’s been a cool experience for us to both go on this journey together,” Ransom said Tuesday after he was presented the AllSportsTucson.com APS Digital Print/Tucson Conquistadores Player of the Week banner and plaque for his performance last Friday.
Ransom, a safety/wide receiver bound for Ohio State, rushed for 82 yards and had 89 yards receiving to help Salpointe defeat Cactus 54-8. Ransom finished with three TDs and he also collected five tackles. Salpointe plays at Tucson (3-2) on Friday.
“It’s our last year together,” Ransom continued about Robinson, who has committed to Texas. “We want to make it special. It’s also Coach Bene’s last year so we’re all trying to make it extra special and have that extra push to do something big.”
Ransom, one of the best pass defenders in Tucson history at 6-foot-2 and 200 pounds, said the thought of continuing the unbeaten season and winning a state title after reaching the championship game the last two seasons “gets him excited.”
Couldn’t do it without them ❤️ https://t.co/nROThhMfPt
The Lancers are pursuing a potential Open Division playoff spot in which the top eight rated teams from Class 4A to 6A compete in a tournament for a state title.
“It would mean everything to me and the team and the City of Tucson,” Ransom said of a title. “We fell short two years in a row and it’s been tough. This year especially with the top 8, all the schools in the state, it would be really exciting to win that one out of them all.”
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ALLSPORTSTUCSON.com publisher, writer and editor Javier Morales is a former Arizona Press Club award winner. He is a former Arizona Daily Star beat reporter for the Arizona basketball team, including when the Wildcats won the 1996-97 NCAA title. He has also written articles for CollegeAD.com, Bleacher Report, Lindy’s Sports, TucsonCitizen.com, The Arizona Republic, Sporting News and Baseball America, among many other publications. He has also authored the book “The Highest Form of Living”, which is available at Amazon.