When Ennis High School senior Dalton Bullock received First Team All State honors this fall for his efforts on the football field, he admits he wasn’t that surprised. And as his father Brad Bullock watched the Mustangs make a successful run through their schedule this season, he wasn’t too surprised either; having received the same honors himself nearly thirty years earlier.
Dalton was named 2012 Class C Montana First Team All State and All Conference after leading the Ennis Mustangs on the football field as quarterback for the last two years. When Brad played for the Mustangs back in the early 1980s, he was named All Conference for football every year, winning a state championship in 1982 as a junior under then head coach Bob Cleverly and going on to make First Team All State the next year as a wide receiver. As Brad watched his son play from the stands this fall, it was easy to see that the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree.
“There is nothing neater than watching your son do what you did, especially the same uniform, the same town and the whole works,” said the elder Bullock. “As a parent watching your son go through his senior year, it’s the last year to watch him, but it is awesome.”
The younger Bullock displayed the makings of a champion football player from the start. Going back to his first season of organized play as a third grader in Salt Lake City, Dalton’s team won the state championship out of 70 other teams. Today, at 5’9” and 155 pounds, Dalton is still small in stature but continues to excel on and off the field with the heart of a champion instilled by his father.
“I wasn’t exactly the biggest kid when I was in third grade,” Dalton said. But “he always told me he wasn’t the biggest kid, either.”
“He always gave me that motivation that size doesn’t matter and just to be the biggest athlete I can be,” he continued. “He’s always pushed me to be the best that I can be and obviously it’s helped.”
Dalton also credited his coaches and teammates for his success this season.
“Football is a huge team sport,” he said. “I love being with my friends, I love the coaches. They teach me so much.”
Brad also knows that the lessons learned on the gridiron spill over into every day life.
“We pushed him in the right direction, we started him at a younger age and just kept him involved,” he said. “One hundred percent of Dalton is all his determination in the weight room and his desire to be a good football player, and that’s just how he’s always been.”