Cranks My Tractor

Published: Wednesday, November 27, 2013 at 09:20 AM.

Ryan’s brother, Todd, is the quarterback for the Bison.

What Walter Ripley didn’t tell me was that he was quite a famous quarterback at Gallaudet also.  He was a quarterback that truly epitomized President Abraham Lincoln’s quote, “I will prepare and some day my chance will come.”

It was 1979 and Gallaudet University listed five quarterbacks on their depth chart - #1 Mike Paulone, #2 Jerry Belew, #3 Ken Clark, #4 William Lush and #5 Walter Ripley.  With four fellows in front of you, you would think that your chance would never come.

The first two quarterbacks on the depth chart suffered season-ending injuries in the first game of the 1979 season. Two games later, the third quarterback went down for the season, then quickly afterwards, the fourth.  All season-ending injuries, leaving Gallaudet with the only quarterback left on the depth chart – Walter Ripley.

Ripley finished up the season and established a proficient passing attack with rookie tight end Andy Bonheyo.  I think the passing attack must have been really a great combination – Walter married Andy’s sister.

Ripley and Bonheyo had good careers as Gallaudet football players. As noted, Walter Ripley is currently the Athletic Director at the Alabama School for the Deaf.  Andy Bonheyo is the Athletic Director at the Maryland School for the Deaf.

I’ll be pulling for the Bison this Saturday and you can bet I’ll have this story ready to pull out if anyone needs a good story about being prepared and never knowing when their chance may come.

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