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Vern Marshall, Jr.

School: Benson

Sports Played: Football, Basketball, Baseball

High School Honors: 3-year Football Letterman, PIL 1st Team Senior Defensive Back; PIL Champions, Senior. 3-year Basketball Letterman. PIL Champions Sophomore, Junior; State Champions, Sophomore. 3-year Baseball Letterman, PIL 2nd Team Senior, Outfielder; PIL and State Champions, Senior; team leader in doubles and stolen bases. MAC Scholar Athlete Award, Sophomore. Student Body President.

Post High School Career: Portland State University, Bachelor and Masters degrees. 31 years in Portland Public Schools, 5 as PE Instructor and 26 as Assistant Principal in three middle schools. Officiated High School and College Football and Basketball games; 2001 NFL replacement official. Benson Hall of Fame, 2014. Current High School Football official, Phoenix, Arizona.


I was very fortunate to have so many encouraging adult role models like outstanding varsity coaches Mike Lopez (Football), Dick Gray (Basketball) and Bill Ranta (Baseball) and great assistant coaches Vern Melvin, Stu McNeil, Floyd Simmons, Wes Burch, Bob Wilson and Hugh Pennington. They treated the athletic fields and courts as a reflection and extension of the classroom. I learned life lessons regarding leadership, communication skills, putting the team above individuals and dealing with negative situations in a positive way.

I'm deeply grateful for my parents who taught me "perseverance is success in disguise...if you work hard enough and long enough, good things will happen." Also for my teachers and administrators at Benson for guidance and direction and my teammates for your commitment and dedication. Special thanks to my family, relatives and friends for your love and support.

The best part of sports, in my opinion, are the many people you meet and compete with establishing lifelong relationships. A great example? My wife Gay who attended Monroe High School. Best win for me in the most important game of all, the game of life! The kick-offs, jump balls, hits and runs, will all come and go; but the memories last a lifetime.

One of my favorite quotes is from the late, great, Jackie Robinson: "A life is not important except for the impact it has on other lives." My life has been impacted by so many amazing individuals at Benson High School and the Portland Public Schools and for this I'm extremely blessed and grateful.

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