By Lethbridge Herald on October 21, 2015.
‘Good Sport’ column by Dylan Purcell
“He used to always be in the workout room after school. He was really nice.”
That’s what a 17-year-old LCI student told me today about Brock Ramias. You may have heard of Ramias, the name likely rings a bell. He rang a lot of them as a high school football star with the LCI Rams.
He died Monday, his body found in Kinsmen Park. But those are the details of his tragic death, and shouldn’t mar memories of his life.
I can’t think of a better way to remember him than by knowing “he was really nice.”
Ramias certainly was to me on the occasions I needed him. He was the Rams best running back and best linebacker, a Lethbridge Herald trophy winner (Ram football MVP) I could be proud of. Like so many high school players I get to meet, he was polite and respectful. A credit to his family and to himself.
Although, I can’t remember whether it was him or his younger brother, Troy, who called me “Sir” once. That made me feel old.
“He was really nice.” What a great way to remember a young man.
Ramias was one of those high school players — he graduated in 2012 — who maximized limited natural talent. He wasn’t naturally a fluid, graceful athlete. His jumping ability and speed were a product of effort, not genetics. He was a perfect size for high school, a touch small for the next level. It didn’t stop him from playing a year with the junior football Calgary Colts.
He was really nice. And he worked hard. So far, that’s what we know about Brock Ramias.
He was grateful for whatever opportunity he got. I asked him after a game against Red Deer Notre Dame in 2012 why he didn’t get many handoffs. Brock was the team’s bell cow at running back and I was surprised to see Joe McKee handle most of the rushing. Ramias just said he didn’t care — they’d won 59-0 — and besides, it freed him up to play defence.
See that photo accompanying this column? That’s Brock blocking a punt before running it back for a touchdown. He had no fear on the football field and was a team player. He had his best games on the biggest stage.
I’m not done.
If you read The Herald regularly, you probably didn’t see Ramias appear in many basketball stories because to be frank, it wasn’t really his sport. But he was a Ram, and he showed up and practised and played when asked. No complaints, just service.
Baseball might have been his game, but his heart was always in football.
He came back to LCI after playing for the Colts and volunteered as an assistant coach. Volunteered, as in “gave his time freely.”
So, what do we know about Brock Ramias, based on very limited contact with him, just 20 years of life, and an amazing catalogue of high school sports achievements?
We know that he was hard-working kid. We know that he put others before himself. We know that he didn’t let earthbound constraints stop him from achieving wonderful things. He was polite and respectful.
When the Rams take the field this weekend they’ll remember how much solace that sport brought their assistant coach.
And they’ll remember he was really nice.
I know his friends will remember him this way, they knew him best.
I hope the rest of you, those that took the time to read this, do the same.
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