Ben DeLine commits to play football for CSU team

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Steve DeLine kicks off for the Colorado State University Rams in the 1980s. Steve's son, Ben, plans to follow in his father's footsteps at the Fort Collins school.

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Courtesy Photo

Steamboat Springs High School place kicker Ben DeLine has verbally committed to playing football at Colorado State University, where his father starred as a kicker.

— It's fitting that Ben DeLine verbally committed to play football at Colorado State University.

His parents, Karen and Steve, met in the dorms at Fort Collins.

The day he was born, his parents attended a CSU football game.

And Steve - who helps coach the Steamboat Springs High School football team - may be the best kicker to ever wear a Rams uniform. He kicked for Colorado State in the 1980s and still remains second all-time in school history in kicks made (42) and longest field goal (60 yards).

"It's been a dream since I could remember. I've always wanted to be a Ram," said Ben, who plans to major in agricultural business. "The green and gold is in my blood."

While Ben didn't start playing football until his freshman year in high school, he's always had the game around him.

From his dad's playing days, to goal posts set up at the family ranch, Ben's been kicking since he could walk.

"We're excited," Ben's mom said. "Last year was the first year we didn't have tickets to CSU. We're thrilled we get to go to the games again. Even the places CSU plays are relatively close."

The DeLine family moved to Steamboat at the end of Ben's eighth-grade year. Previously, the family had been staying on their farm in Fort Collins during the school year and at their ranch in Walden during the summer.

When Steve decided to start helping out the high school football team in Steamboat, Ben traded in his soccer ball for a pigskin.

The result has left Ben as one of the top kickers in the state.

Last year, Ben hit a school record 51-yard field goal against Palisade and was named a first team All-State selection.

For the rest of the summer and before football practice begins Aug. 13, Ben will continue working with his fencing business and kicking whenever he can.

Ben said his main focus will be honing in his accuracy of his kicks. After attending a football camp in Fort Collins this past week, DeLine said the coaches asked him to work on his accuracy more than anything.

Although Ben is excited to have his college recruitment out of the way, he said his main focus now remains the 2007 high school season and helping the Sailors get back to the state playoffs.

"I still got another year to be a Sailor, so I'm going to take the ball and run, do as much as I can and have as much fun as I can," said Ben, whose role will be expanded to include outside linebacker and slot receiver. "I'm super excited to be a Ram, but I'm darn proud to be a Sailor."

- To reach Luke Graham, call 871-4229

or e-mail lgraham@steamboatpilot.com

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