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Wofford, Moore set to play for colleges in Montana
Two Gila Ridge Hawks are ready to spread their wings in the Big Sky state.
Blake Wofford and Austin Moore have signed letters of intent to play football at four-year schools in Montana this fall — the first two Gila Ridge football players to do so.
“The main thing is that they get the opportunity to go on to school,” Hawks coach Jay Denton said. “They're both good students and it gives them the opportunity to play something they like — play football. You can't beat that.”
Wofford, a defensive back, has signed with Rocky Mountain College in Billings and will report on Aug. 8.
“I honestly feel kind of blessed,” Wofford said. “I'm just taking it day by day. I'm glad that I had a coach like coach Denton who just relentlessly worked and worked and worked until he got me to that level. Without him, I probably wouldn't have been able to get anywhere near the college level.”
Moore, also a defensive back, signed with Carroll College in Helena and will face off against his former teammate in the Fighting Saints season opener.
“It'll be new because I've played sports with him since we were, like, 8,” Moore said. “We've always been on the same team — like in hockey. It's going to be weird seeing one another in a different jersey.”
Moore and Wofford will face several new challenges besides playing on the college level. The pair will be about 1,200 miles away from home in a new climate — complete with snowy winters.
In his college days, Denton attended Eastern Montana University, now known as Montana State University-Billings. But even with his experience, he said he couldn't prepare two boys from the desert for Montana's climate.
“It's going to be a really big change for me,” Wofford said. “I'm not really used to the cold. It's going to be exciting and really different — I'm up for a challenge. I just have to get ready for it.”
Moore is a little more familiar with Montana, having frequently visited his family members who live there.
He will report to camp on Aug. 2, giving his body a few months to adjust to his new climate before the chill sets in.
“I'm going to freeze up there,” Moore said. “I've been up there a couple times but I've never had to shovel snow or anything. I guess I'll just have to dress in layers.”
Despite any challenges the weather and the distance may present, Moore said he just can't wait to get back to the sport he loves.
“I'm just looking forward to putting on pads again and playing football.”
Erin Redmond can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 539-6880. Find her on Facebook at www.facebook.com/YSERedmond.