By Dillon Tabish, 2-17-12
The Orediggers officially added six football players from the Flathead Valley to the roster on Friday.
Montana Tech head football coach Chuck Morrell announced a group of commitments from Kalispell, Bigfork and Columbia Falls for the 2012 football season. The group includes: Bigfork’s Austin Cantrell; Flathead High School’s Travis Oakason and Nicholas Riley; and Glacier High’s Mac Sutherland, Logan Connolly and Trent Halsted.
“These young men are all quality individuals on and off the field that will give us opportunities to succeed in the Frontier Conference,” Morrell said in a press release.
The new recruits join Columbia Falls’ Nate Thompson on the Diggers’ roster.
Cantrell, a 6-1, 256-pound offensive and defensive lineman from Bigfork, will play defensive line for Montana Tech. Cantrell was first team all-state at defensive tackle and defensive MVP in both 2010 and 2011. In addition to athletics, Cantrell is a volunteer at the Ferndale Fire Department and Swan-Mission Search and Rescue and has a 3.5 GPA.
Oakason is a 6-2, 265-pound offensive lineman from Kila. He will play offensive line for the Orediggers. Oakason was second team all-conference and an honorable mention at the all-state level as a left tackle. Oakason was named to academic all-state three years while carrying a 3.6 GPA.
Riley, a 6-2, 260-pound offensive guard, will play that same position for Tech. Riley was first team all-state this year. He was selected to play in the Montana Shrine game as a starter. In addition, he will start in the Badlands Bowl this year. Riley has a 3.2 GPA.
Sutherland is a 5-11, 240-pound offensive and defensive lineman from Glacier High School. Sutherland will play offensive guard for Tech. Sutherland was a successful multi-sport athlete as well as in academics. This past year, he was second team all-state at offensive guard and earned second place at the state wrestling tournament recently. Sutherland holds a 3.95 GPA.
Connolly, 6-2, 275-pounds, will continue to play on the line for Tech. Connolly carries a 4.0 GPA in high school, was named academic all-state in football three times and is a member of the National Honors Society.
Halstad is a 6’2” 285 pound left tackle. He will play that same position for the Orediggers. Halstad was second team all-conference and an all-state honorable mention. Halstad has a 4.0 GPA and was academic all-state for football.
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