WIGGINS, Colo. — Broncos guard Dalton Risner wouldn't be where he is today without "Mama Bear."
Not even close.
Most people say the pride of Wiggins, Colorado is Dalton, but maybe it should be his mother, Melinda Risner.
9NEWS recently caught up with Dalton and Melinda to reflect on their special relationship and what Mother's Day truly means. For Dalton, it's all about his mom's warm personality.
“You want to know a little about my mom? She’s one of the most tenderhearted people you’ll ever meet. She sure did love having boys and she was the perfect mom to have five boys," Dalton says.
Yes, five boys for Melinda and her husband Mitch Risner, who met at Nederland High School and now live on a ranch just outside of Wiggins on the Eastern Plains.
“That was always my passion, to be a mom. It’s the greatest gift that I have by far. They all have very different personalities so that made it a lot of fun," Melinda says.
As you can expect Melinda had to be super mom when the boys were growing up. Dalton describes how she helped run the booster club, keep stats at football games, cook meals all while being a volleyball coach.
And while Melinda kept plenty busy, she always made sure to let her boys know the expectations in the Risner household.
“My mom was my biggest supporter but at the same time my mom had no problem with telling me when I was doing something wrong," Dalton says. "She was definitely more strict on kindness and grades and how you treat people than anything else.”
That way of parenting created a very happy child growing up.
“He honestly was always smiling. There’s very few pictures I could find where he isn’t smiling ear to ear, just a very happy soul," Melinda says.
While Risner is a bully on the football field as one of the Broncos most promising young players, you wouldn't know that mean streak exists off the field.
“The thing that I’m most proud of Dalton is his unique love for people. It doesn’t matter who you are and where your from, he genuinely loves people and cares about them and their happiness. I feel like he puts that above himself," Melinda says.
Dalton knows the credit, quite simply, goes to mom.
“I love you so much Mama Bear. I owe her big time for sure and I’ll never be able to repay her for how she raised me and what she instilled in me."