This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2011, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.
It's over for Braiden Despain.
In two years as a starting running back, the fiercest piece of an unbelievably talented small-town school, he accumulated nearly 3,000 rushing yards, 30 touchdowns and two state titles.
Even with four brothers who passed through the program before him, no member of the family may be as fondly remembered as Braiden, the The Tribune's Class 1A MVP.
"What I say is, 'How many of you guys have rings?' " Despain said.
The answer is just one. And none has two. Family is an important undertone to Braiden Despain's career.
His father, Keven, died unexpectedly last October, a 50-year-old man whose organs stopped the night before he was going to go camping with his sons.
The truck was already packed.
"I just kind of just decided not to think about it," Despain said. "The thing that made me feel better was football."
While the top players from larger classifications know their football careers will continue, Despain may have taken his pads off for the last time this fall.
One of the state's toughest runners, he hopes he can catch on at Dixie State or Southern Utah.
Otherwise, he'll hold on to his two years starring at a small school in the Uintah Basin, doing some things his brothers did, and others they didn't.
He'll have the memories.
"My favorite feeling," he said, "is after I run someone over. You hit them, and it doesn't hurt you and you see them on the ground."
He'll have the memories. And two championship rings.