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For week ended January 30, 2000 Posted 24 Feb 2001
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Summarized by Kent Larsen

LDS Family has 3 sons playing football for Wyoming
Casper WY Tribune (Laramie Daily Boomerang) 26Jan00 S2
By Bob Hammond: Laramie Daily Boomerang

RAYMOND, ALBERTA, CANADA -- An LDS family in Raymond has raised 3 sons that are outstanding athletes, excelling in football, basketball, baseball and track. In football, the brothers led the Raymond High School team to a four-year, 48-game winning streak. Now, all three brothers will play football at the University of Wyoming.

Dustin, 21, Brock, 19, and Brent, 17, Ralph played nearly every sport available at their high school. In football Dustin played halfback, Brock wide receiver and Brent wide receiver turned quarterback in his junior year. All three played safety on defense. And each brother played on teams that won provincial championships and all three were named Most Valuable Players of their league.

In basketball, all three were guards and Dustin and Brett were named All-Stars. In baseball all three were named All-Stars, Dustin playing shortstop and left field, Brock center field and Brett shortstop, catcher and pitcher. Brock was even drafted by the Baltimore Orioles in the 15th round. And, all three competed in track.

When Dustin's senior year came, the family expected that he would be recruited, but only Canadian colleges seemed interested. The Ralph family soon learned that they hadn't really understood the process, "We were quite naive about the process," said Jim Ralph, their father and the coach at their high school. "We didn't know much about sending out tapes and things like that. Since we are LDS, it was natural that we were looking at BYU. It was late in the recruiting process, and they wanted him to come as a preferred walk-on." Dustin spent a year as a redshirt at BYU before leaving to serve a mission in South Africa.

When Brock came along, however, the family had learned about the process. He drew interest from BYU, Duke, Washington State and Wyoming, but finally settled on Wyoming, thanks to the recruiting of former Wyoming assistant coach Mike Van Diest. Brock spent his first season as a redshirt, and while he wasn't playing, he concentrated on persuading Dustin to come to Wyoming after his mission, "The boys have always been close, and since Brock was there at Wyoming, he wanted Dustin there too," said Jim Ralph. "Dustin had the opportunity to go back to BYU, but Brock started campaigning to Dustin. There were a few tense weeks, but Dustin decided to go to Wyoming with Brock.

"Brock just had so many positive things to say about Wyoming. If Dustin would have gone back to BYU, he would have been a defensive back, and the thought they might be going head-to-head wasn't appealing to them because they are best friends. The idea that they could play together was a dream come true."

During this past season the two brothers did get some playing time, but since Wyoming had six senior wide receivers, their time was minimal. Brock played all 11 games, and Dustin played five games. And both brothers spent some time trying to convince Brett to come to Wyoming also. They seem to have been successful, since Brett has told Wyoming that he will sign a letter-of-intent with the Cowboys on February 2nd.


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