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Brock Ramias, wearing his trademark number 23 yellow and green LCI Rams jersey in 2011.

#LiveLike23 football tournament carries a legacy

Many young men have a passion for football, and a love of the game and all it entails becomes part of who they are. This was the case for Brock Ramias.

As a student at Lethbridge Collegiate Institute, Brock stood out for his prowess on the field, his leadership, and his support of his teammates.

From the LCI Rams, he went on to play for the Calgary Colts, primarily as a running back or defensive back. He played both sides of the ball and on specialty teams.

Brock’s jersey number was 23.

His football family was very important to him and some of his best friendships were forged on the field. He was known for his hard work, competitive drive and sportsmanship. He left everything out on the field every time he played and he was always working to be better. While Brock worked at a number of jobs, his life’s occupation was football.

These words are from Brock’s obituary. He died Oct. 18, 2015, at the age of 20.

“His superpower really was relationships,” says Brock’s mom, La Vonne Rideout.

She and Brock’s grandparents, Tom and Carol Ferguson, are well known for their community service in Pincher Creek.

 

Indoor and outdoor view of wedding venue — the Cowley Lions Campground Stockade near Pincher Creek in southwestern Alberta.

 

Sharing laughs and memories over a day of football and a Mexican fiesta has become a way to celebrate a young man who made a difference in the lives of many.

Funds raised after his death created a base for the Brock Ramias Citizen Athlete Scholarship.

The $1,000 bursary is presented annually to an LCI student who shares Brock’s undying passion for their game, his kindness and determination to positively face challenges and influence others, and who values the importance of relationships with friends, family and all individuals.

“Brock was so committed and passionate about doing well, he really put all of his energies and efforts into being his best and helping those around him be their best,” says La Vonne.

“He recognized that most sports are not individual; when every member of a team does well, the whole team thrives.”

She loves the idea of a scholarship in Brock’s name. It is awarded to students who care about doing their best while helping everyone around them thrive and be the best they can be.

In 2016, the family asked people to do random acts of kindness, which led to a friendly football scrimmage. The next year, the family began hosting the Brock Ramias Memorial Flag Football Tournament, with proceeds raised to support the scholarship fund.

 

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From an adults-only game — people who played with or knew Brock and his brothers — the tournament has grown to three divisions.

Last Sunday, six adult, six bantam and two peewee teams came together for a day where the gathering of people, both players and spectators, and a motto of #LiveLike23 was as important as the game.

Cougars teams, with players mostly associated with Catholic Central High, took the top spot in all three divisions this year.

The event is like a family reunion where the family keeps growing and all are welcome.

La Vonne says it’s a labour of love for her oldest son, Brett.

“He is the one who spearheads the tournament and I try to be the best sidekick I can be.”

Family members come from all over the province and friends pitch in as well. Donations and sponsorships are beyond what La Vonne thought would ever be possible.

“I can’t thank them enough for holding Brock in their memories and hearts,” she says. “It’s not just the game, it captures the essence of a big part of who he was.”

La Vonne believes more people are understanding the “why” behind the event as it grows — the importance of relationships and of eliminating the stigma around opioid addiction.

While carrying Brock’s legacy forward, La Vonne encourages people to find something they love and do it well.

 

 

Shown at the Brock Ramias Memorial Flag Football Tournament are Pincher Creek players Ben Poloni and Will Schoening. Also donning blue Mustangs jerseys for the Sunday games at the Servus Sports Centre in Lethbridge were Brady Bonertz, Boston LeJan, Cody Querengesser, Rigdon Perry, Austin Norris, Layton Bailey and Keaton Tipple. They won the first game against the Coaldale Spartans but took a loss to the Cougars after being tied for much of the game.

 

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Faith Zachar accepts a floral arrangement from Pincher Creek Mustangs football players Will Schoening, Eric Clarke and Jake Reser.

Pincher Creek Mustangs end season with awards

The Pincher Creek Mustangs Football Club held its annual year-end banquet and awards ceremony Nov. 18 at the Pincher Creek Legion. The potluck supper event included players, coaches and parents from the club’s peewee, bantam and senior teams.

Plaques were awarded to 12 peewee team members. They were: Dillon Haidle (best offensive lineman), Dylan Anderson (best defensive lineman), Emmitt Smith (most improved player), Jake Reser (team spirit), Grady Dwyer (heart), Robbie Rochon (most valuable player), Drayton Shot Both Sides (rookie of the year), Lily Baillie (best defensive back), Ashton Webb (best running back), Seth Calf (best receiver), Robbie Rochon (offensive star) and Glen Hurst (defensive star).

 

 

Ty Borys – youth wearing dusty rose sweatshirt and a backwards cap – holds a large trophy and two plaques. With him are Clayton LeJan, Chuck Clarke and Sean Oliver.

Hoisting his awards, Mustangs bantam football player Ty Borys poses with assistant coach Clayton LeJan, left, assistant coach Chuck Clarke and head coach Sean Oliver. Ty received the Patrick Zachar Trophy for Spirit, as well as defensive star honours. He’ll move on to the senior team next season.

Photo by Dave Lueneberg

For the bantams, the award winners were: Eric Clarke (MVP), Jack Simard (rookie of the year), Ty Borys (heart, defensive star), Beau Rector-Hunink (best defensive lineman), Jakob Klinec (offensive star), Boston LeJan (best offensive lineman), Ethan Albas (best receiver), Kayson Harrison (best running back), Lander Hurst (best defensive back), Jaxon Prince (most improved) and Kaydon Harrison (team spirit).

No formal awards were handed out to the senior team, but players were recognized with certificates and footballs for their memorable efforts.

“If you’re on a football team, you really should have a football,” said head coach Adam Schoening, who doubles as the club’s vice-president.

One of the highlights of the evening was a presentation of flowers to the club’s current president, Faith Zachar, for her continued support of the football program in Pincher Creek. Faith has been involved since the Mustangs’ inception back in 1995.

 

 

 

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