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Super paths: Barrett, Wegher provide both sides ties to the Midlands

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Denver linebacker Shaquil Barrett
Brandon Wegher

Brandon Wegher, a rookie running back from Morningside College and Sioux City Heelan High School, played in one game for Carolina.


Nine-year-old Myles Wegher had a choice.

Take the family’s planned vacation to Mexico or watch big brother Brandon, a rookie running back for the Carolina Panthers, at Sunday’s Super Bowl.

“He immediately said we’re going to the Super Bowl,” dad Rick said. “He’s really proud of his brother.”

Dom Barrett is, too.

His big brother Shaquil is an outside linebacker for the AFC champion Denver Broncos.

Dom isn’t sure if he’ll be at the game, but if not, he has his own way of celebrating with his friends and housemates at Boys Town.

“With every good play that he makes, I do a dance called the dab,” Dom Barrett said. “It’s like a Heisman pose, kind of. Then I jump in front of the TV and say, ‘That’s my brother.’ ”

At Morningside College, where Wegher set several NAIA rushing records, coach Steve Ryan said everyone is excited. He’s proud, too, of what Wegher has accomplished.

“It’s been a long road for him,” Ryan said. “I’m sure that there is a lot of people who doubted he could do it, and now he’s in the Super Bowl.”

Wegher, who grew up just outside Sioux City in Dakota Dunes, South Dakota, has played in one game his rookie season. But Ryan thinks that’s because no one ahead of him has been injured. His understanding is that coaches also think Wegher might need another year to get used to the speed of the NFL.

But, he points out, they think highly enough of him to keep Wegher on their 53-person roster.

“He’s loving it. He’s making money and he’s playing football,” Ryan said. “He’s having a great time. I’m sure he’s working hard. He’s living his dream. It was his dream to play in the NFL, and he’s doing it.”

Rick Wegher said his family will head out Friday for the game. The Panthers have done everything they can to make things easy for families.

They helped make arrangements for them to stay in San Francisco, and players were able to get tickets at a reasonable price.

Tickets for relatives range from $1,200 to $1,800 compared to an average of $5,217 for the general public.

An even bigger fan than Myles is Brandon Wegher’s son, 5-year-old Brody, who will also be at the game with his mom, Megan Glisar.

“He’s got Panther gear on every day,” Rick Wegher said. “He’s a big fan of his dad and rightly so.”

Bronco gear is what Dom Barrett hopes to score if big brother can’t afford to bring him and other family members to the game in Santa Clara, California.

“He can keep his money,” Dom Barrett said. “Give me the Broncos gear, I’ll be fine watching it on TV. A nice jersey with his name on it; some sweatpants that match. Everything that says Barrett, No. 48.”

If he’s not watching the game with his brother Kevin, who this year rejoined the UNK wrestling team, he’ll be watching with the other kids at his house.

He lives with family teachers Brian and Kathleen Phillips. Brian Phillips plans to have a Super Bowl party, where they’ll have lots of food and show the game on a projector with a sound system.

“We’ll try to hype it up as much as we can,” he said.

Phillips said he’s one of the most excited people at Boys Town. But Dom Barrett said everywhere he goes people are asking about his brother.

They want to know how it feels to have a brother in the NFL and if it’s the greatest thing that’s ever happened in his family.

Dom said he talked to his brother right after last week’s 20-18 triumph over New England, and he said he was happy.

“Then he said the next day it was time to get down to business,” Dom Barrett said.

Shaquil Barrett has seen considerably more playing time than Wegher. He played in 16 games and started six, racking up 50 tackles, 5½ sacks and four forced fumbles.

Dom Barrett said there’s no doubt in his mind who is going to be victorious Sunday.

“The Broncos are going to win, of course,” he said.

Contact the writer:

402-444-1034, marjie.ducey@owh.com

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