Sheriffs and Deputies, Quarterbacks and Back-ups

Photo via Pam Davis

Quarterbacks are kind of like the ex-outlaw gunslinger in an old western movie who becomes a sheriff. They are hired by the mayor to clean up the town.

That concept seems kind of crude by today’s method of determining who is sheriff; ballot boxes are stuffed and election officials are bribed, however, the residence of boot hill are still registered voters.

Recent History of Boise State Gunslingers

Anyway, last year Mayor Bryan Harsin hired a gunslinger from Kansas named Montel Cozart to come in and help Sheriff Brett Rypien. Sure enough, one Saturday night some wranglers came into town and Sheriff Rypien took a beer mug upside the head.

Boise State Broncos footballWith Sheriff Rypien ailing, Mayor Harsin called on Cozart to fill in for Sheriff Ryp. He did good; best deputy since Chester.

Rypien took over as sheriff couple years or so back for former sheriff, Ryan Finley. He sustained a gunshot wound from some rustlers who rode into town from eastern Idaho with nothing else on their minds than to smash things up.

There were a couple other boys who hung around the sheriff’s office who thought the sheriffin’ job should go to them, Deputy Thomas Stuart and Deputy Alex Ogle.

Stuart was a spunky little guy not afraid to take on anybody twice his size and if two showed up he was twice as happy. Ogle was the tall quiet sort with a big heart but an unsteady aim.

In the opinion of Mayor Harsin, none of them had what it took to be a permanent replacement for the bunged-up sheriff. The badge, as we know, went to the young dashing gunslinger, Brett Rypien.

Harsin and Rypien got along great. The bad guys were kept out of town and the townspeople were generally content.

Mayor Harsin is aware boot hill is overpopulated with good sheriffs and it’s only a matter of time before Sheriff Rypien takes up full-time residence there, thus he hired a young gunslinger from California, Jake Constantine.

Time To Mosey

The recovering Finley sees his chances of returning to his former job becoming less and less likely. He heads back east and finds work there. It’s a good job and he made a good name for himself.

Deputy Ogle feels the town is not quite for him. He decides to drift for a while. He finds work in Arizona for a little pocket change but finally latches on to a good job as sheriff in a small town back east. It’s quiet but so is he; all and all a good fit.

Deputy Stuart sees himself as being nothing more than a deputy the rest of his days. Deputies usually don’t even rate a tombstone on boot hill. He, like the others, finds a quiet little town back east where he becomes the sheriff. He does okay for himself too.

When Mayor Harsin brings in a brash, young, and fast gunslinger named Chase Cord, Deputy Constantine suddenly realizes the Mayor may want to pin the badge on someone else someday. Constantine takes off.

You can’t blame him; he just wants to lock people up and shoot ‘em. Like Ogle, he drifts, first to California before finding a small place in the Utah Territory that’s a needin’ a worn shinny holster and all the chambers full of led.

In fact, that’s all those other guys want to do; Finley. Stuart, Ogle, and Constantine—lock ‘em up and shoot ‘em. They’re gunslingers, that’s what they do.

They Did Good

Ryan Finley enrolled at North Carolina State and this year will be his third year as a starter. Thomas Stuart decided to take his remaining year of college eligibility to Duquesne. He started there and finished his career on a high note. Alex Ogle transferred to Arizona Western College before settling on Tusculum last year. Constantine road off into the sunset and to Ventura College for a year.

He is now enrolled at Weber State as a sophomore where all indications are he’ll start this year and for the next two.

It really is a tribute to the players and the program that these young guns were able to take the experience they had at Boise State and use it to its full elsewhere.

When each of these young men signed their letter of intent to enroll and play at Boise State they had the highest of hopes. Yet, it did not pan out as they had hoped.

Fact is, a town can only have one sheriff. However, it’s nice to have a good handy deputy or two around also.

Here is a glimpse at how our former gunslingers did last year at their respective schools.

G Comp Att Pct Yds TDs INTs
Finley 13 311 478 65.2 3514 17 6
Stuart 11 198 297 66.7 2405 27 8
Ogle 10 156 277 56.3 2056 14 7
Constantine 11 195 285 68.4 2385 28 6


About Kenton Lewis

Kenton Lewis
Kenton lives in Boise. He is the former publisher of the Boise State sports site, Smurf Turf; writing exclusively about Broncos football and basketball. He is also a novelist and short story writer.

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