From featured top BYU recruit to rugby drama in Australia, Mormon athletes making headlines

Published: Monday, Aug. 1 2011 5:00 a.m. MDT

Cole, who served eastern Canada, said he couldn’t have been better pleased with the circumstances that the selection placed him. The Blue Jays franchise is located within his former mission boundaries.

“It was too good to be true,” Cole told The Province in British Columbia. “When they selected me, it almost felt like a Cinderella story.

“I grew up to love the country, I grew to love the people. The whole time, I was thinking, ‘What if I could go back there and play?’”

Cole posted a 2.99 ERA in 16 appearances with BYU last season.

The Kingston Whig Standard reported that Cole will be wed to Madilyn Fitzpatrick Dec. 2 in the Las Vegas Temple.

A Mormon Night was July 22 at Dodger Stadium, one of five faith-themed games held at the stadium this season, the Daily News wire report said.

Former National League MVP and stake president Dale Murphy spoke at a youth conference July 21 at State College of Florida, reported Jeff Rice of the Centre Daily Times. Speaking at the conference, as well as several other speaking engagements that Murphy is involved with, is a pleasure for him, he said.

“For kids growing up in the Mormon church and not always knowing public figures who share similar beliefs, I think it’s always great to see that there are other people out there who think about things the same way you do,” Murphy said.

Rugby

In the land Down Under, The Australian reported that although Mormon Will Hopoate is soon to be serving a mission of his own, his current rugby club, Manly, is looking to contract him through his service so that he remains a part of the team upon his return to Australia.

The news of the likely transactions followed a Syndey Morning Herald report about Manly official Peter Peters defending his star player after Scott McRae — an on-field announcer for Penrith, Manly’s July 24 opponent — had allegedly made a derogatory comment about Hopoate.

''There was an insinuation about Hoppa, and the kid doesn't deserve that,'' Peters said. ''Saying 'typical Hoppa' and things like that. Saying, 'You're going to have to yell louder than that for us to get a penalty,' I think is degrading.

''There were comments made the whole game. Before the game, even inciting our fans, saying, 'Manly people here, it's a bit out of your way, you don't travel.'

''It's just unsportsmanlike stuff that shouldn't be mentioned. A great club like Penrith doesn't deserve that. I don't know who he is, but he shouldn't be behind a microphone.

Email: rwilkinson@desnews.com

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