A lasting legacy for a Robinson Flag Football fan

TAMPA, Fla. – While most people in Tampa Bay were still asleep, the Robinson High Flag football team had one last practice session before playing for their sixth straight state championship.

what you need to know

  • Robinson High School’s flag football team won six straight state championships
  • The Knights credit their success to the support of their fans
  • Despite some losses, they keep going

Since the sun hardly peeked out that day, the knights ran at every turn.

When you win as much as the Knights, the dynasty doesn’t even define their program. Two days after that early morning practice, Robinson won his sixth straight title and seventh overall. And shortly after hoisting that championship trophy, the team held its annual year-end banquet.

It takes a village to run a well-oiled machine like the Robinson Knights, and these Knights have plenty of support. You have it from the start. Early on, before Robinson had blossomed into a dynasty, the Knights had a super fan, Janine Dorsey.

“She was really proud of us and really proud of the sport,” said Kelly Dorsey.

Janine’s daughters, Erin and Kelly, played for the Knights and that was what initially sparked their fandom. And she’s been very vocal in her support.

“If you wanted to find out where the Robinson flag team was, all you had to do was listen to their voice,” Kelly said.

This voice ended on May 11, 2021. Janine and her boyfriend Peter Yore were mowed down by a drunk driver while riding their tandem bike on the Pinellas Trail.

Such a full and vibrant life was suddenly over. And the Robinson Knights wanted to honor one of their biggest fans.

“Janine was one of those guys who said, coach, just tell us what you need and we’ll make sure you have it,” said Robinson head coach Joshua Saunders. “She was one of those things that said we spare no expense for our children. Whether with time or money or effort or energy. And she gave us a lot of energy from those stands.”

Every year a scholarship is awarded in Janine’s name to a player who embodies all of her outstanding qualities. This year, just two weeks after the one-year anniversary of her mother’s death, Kelly presented the award.

Many tears flowed. And lots of laughter. A celebration of another championship. And a celebration of a life that left this earth far too soon, but one that left an enduring legacy that will forever be honored by the Robinson Flag Football Team.

“Obviously it’s a big hole that we’re missing,” Kelly said. “But I think if for some reason she had to pick a scholarship to do this, this would have been her favorite. Her memory will live on and she will be bound to something she held so dear.”

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