Ricks player shines in midst of sorrow

After head coach Ron Haun accepted the Real Dairy Bowl trophy Dec. 3, he took the microphone, said a few words, and gave the game ball to starting cornerback Jason Straw. Straw was then swarmed by a team hug, as tears rolled down the cheeks of many Viking players.

They were celebrating their win over Nassau Community College, but they were mourning for Straw and his family. The night before the game, Straw's father, Blaine Straw, was killed in a car accident traveling home to Salt Lake City from Kanab, Utah.Needless to say, there was a lot of emotion on the field both during and after the bowl game. Despite finding out the news at the hotel the night before the game, Straw wanted to play. And play he did. He turned in his best performance of the season, with seven tackles - one causing a fumble - a fumble recovery and an interception.

"Every down was for my dad," said Straw afterward. "He was with me every play. I know he wanted me to play."

"Our kids showed the finest in this situation," Haun said. "They took him in, gave him a priesthood blessing of comfort and showed a lot of love. It was a great experience for us to know that we belong to a Church where we know that things work out well."

"I think Straw played a game that his father saw and was proud of because it was his son," said fullback Kameron McCluskey. "Every athlete should go home and tell his father how much he loves and appreciates him because you never know when it's your time to leave this earth.

"Straw played a game that was heavenly."

Subscribe for free and get daily or weekly updates straight to your inbox
The three things you need to know everyday
Highlights from the last week to keep you informed