BOZEMAN — Last Friday, Bozeman Gallatin's Rylan Schlepp scored the first two touchdowns in Raptors football history
“I didn’t think about it during the game, I just needed to get into the end zone for my team to give us a shot," he said. "It’s going to be cool to say that I scored the first two touchdowns.”
His coach, Hunter Chandler, had high praise for the junior after the loss to Great Falls High last Friday.
“He came out (Sept. 11), I think on both sides of the ball, caught a lot of passes, I thought he did a good job run blocking and on defense he made a lot of plays for us," said the first-year head coach. "He’s a big kid, got motor and he’s awesome, played great.”
Last year, Schlepp missed the whole season due to a broken leg he suffered in the Bozeman High Red vs. Black game. The year before as a freshman, he suffered a pelvic avulsion where the muscle tore off the bone during track season.
“It sucked watching on the sideline," he said. "But it also gave me an opportunity to watch the game from a different place, but more eager to get back into action.”
With a lot of time to sit and learn while he was injured, the defensive end and tight end watched tape on guys like Tampa Bay Buccaneers tight end Rob Gronkowsi and New Orleans Saints defensive end Cam Jordan. When that first game action came, Schlepp was ready.
“First hit always sets the tone and I was ready for it, I worked hard,” he said.
His quarterback, Braeden Mikkelson, is more than happy to have a player like Schlepp on his team.
“He brings a lot of energy to our team," said the junior quarterback. "He’s obviously a pretty big target, big guy, he’s pretty tough. He’s an LTG for sure, definitely helps having him down on the field and being able to pass to him.
What’s an LTG? It’s a Legitimate Tough Guy.
“What makes him an LTG is he’s always pushing through, he’s always that tough guy -- no matter what, he doesn’t quit,” said Mikkelson.
Having a team of juniors and below, Schlepp and his teammates are looking to set the standard for the new school with their presence on and of the field.
“We want that winning mentality and that Gallatin High is here to stay and we’re going to be the top competitor for (Class) AA,” said Schlepp