HELEN – After one of the most decorated high school footballing careers you’ll find in the state of Montana, Gavin Vandenacre is a saint. Townsend’s wide, defensive-back announced his engagement at Carroll College on Saturday morning, becoming the state’s fifth rookie in the Saints’ 2022 recruiting class.
“I’m really excited,” Vandenacre said. “It was a big decision for me. I made my decision a little later than most people, but I was taking everything into account and looking for where I would be happiest and where I felt I would fit in. best, Carroll ended up being that place.
Vandenacre said in addition to Carroll, he received offers from Frontier Conference Montana Western and Montana Tech teams, as well as preferred opportunities with Montana and Montana State.
Some of Vandenacre’s family reside in Helena, which means they only have a short drive to Nelson Stadium to witness the next step in his career. Vandenacre said that played into his decision a bit, but in the end he just felt better about the football culture Carroll had in place and the experience it offers.
“They are all very professional and stylish in everything they do,” Vandenacre said of Carroll’s players and coaches. “The coaches there don’t just pick good footballers, they pick people with good character. It’s kind of the environment I wanted to be in. I wanted to be around people who cared not only about how good you are as a soccer player, but also who you are as a person.
Vandenacre has been selected three times by all states on the football field. He ended his high school career in Townsend with a quarterfinal appearance in the Class B State Playoffs and was All-Conference on both sides of football. – wide receiver and defensive back.
He set new Townsend records with 49 receptions, 1,130 yards and 16 touchdowns last season. His 210 receiving yards against Big Timber this season also set a new record.
“Gavin is a guy that we at Carroll have watched for a while,” said Carroll recruiting coordinator Alex Pfannenstiel. “He had a great career in high school at Townsend. Have a trainer [Travis] Rauh over there. Joe Horne is the defensive coordinator – former Carroll Saint, Carroll Hall of Famer. He was a guy that they kind of let us know he was pretty talented. He has had a very successful career playing both sides of the ball. “
For his career, Vandenacre caught 140 passes for 2,738 yards, Townsend’s two football records.
“Gavin is a versatile and explosive athlete,” said Pfannenstiel. “Obviously he’s tall. He can run. He is good at playing football in the air and following it. When you watched Townsend play this year it was obvious that he was sort of the backbone of what they did offensively. Everything was presented either to get the ball from Gavin or to use Gavin to provide opportunities for other people.
Vandenacre, like many of Carroll’s rookies, has had a Saints game day this season. He was on campus for the Tech game in early September and witnessed a Carroll 31-17 win. Vandenacre said it was great to see all the fans in the stands for a rivalry game and, for him, it showed how committed the community is to the football program.
Vandenacre also hosted a home visit for Saints head coach Troy Purcell, a visit that helped Vandenacre see just how determined Carroll was to get him in purple and gold.
“He came here and he told me very clearly what his plans were for me and what Carroll had planned for me,” Vandenacre said. “It was really special to know that he took the time to come and find out more about who I am as a person and to know more about who I am as a football player as well. It had a huge impact. , huge on me.
The 6-foot-3, 180-pound future Saint joins Spencer Berger (Billings West), Forrest Suero (Helena), Kade Schlepp (Helena) and Jacob Sweatland (Missoula Hellgate) as Carroll’s current engagement in the state to the class of 2022.
Jack Foster (Idaho), Dylan Pullen (Utah), Zack Schlottmann (Oregon) and Johnny Amezcua (Washington) are the four known out-of-state engagements for the Saints, bringing the total number of known engagements of the Saints to nine. program to date.
“I want to bring a work ethic,” Vandenacre said. “I want to learn the playbook inside and out, I want to be on the same page with everyone on my team. I want to go out there and make an impact and make sure I help my team win. I have never been someone who wants – individual stats are cool and all – but at the end of the day the only stat that matters, in my opinion, is what the dashboard says at the end of the day. I’m not coming to work just for myself, but to work for my team and everyone who has relied on me so far.
Vandenacre said he plans to study corporate finance and accounting at Carroll.