By Chris Langrill
The Idaho Statesman
Forward John Lammers took a timeout from all the hysteria in the locker room after Idaho won the Kelly Cup and took Benny Ball into a corner for a few moments. The reason: Lammers used his cell phone to call Benny’s mom, Shelly, who lives in Boise.
Benny yelled, “We won the Kelly Cup!” into the phone while Lammers held the receiver up for his mom to hear.
The players took Ball, a 25-year-old highly functioning autistic, under their wings all season. Ball, who proudly wears the title of assistant equipment manager, was one of five people who flew on a private plane to Dayton for the clinching Game 5, Shelly Ball said.
Steelheads general manager Eric Trapp insisted that Ball be on hand in case the team won it all.
Ball left Boise with plenty of spending money, but came back with all but about $10 of it because the players bought his meals.
When it came time to take the team photo on the ice after the win, Ball was front and center.
“They have been so good to my kid all season long,” Shelly Ball said.