(Editor's note: University of Montana Western press release)
DILLON—Montana Western head football coach Ryan Nourse announced the addition of 34 student-athletes to the program's 2022 roster on Wednesday.
"I am very proud of the class that we have put together," Nourse said. "Our staff did an excellent job of bringing in student-athletes with competitive, personal, and academic character. I believe in several years Bulldog Football will reap the rewards of this class on the field and see the immediate results in the classroom and community.
This class adds physicality, athleticism, speed and depth to our roster. We placed an emphasis on improving our ability to pass rush and cover, and I believe we did just that with the additions in 2022.
"As always, Montana is our home base, however we were able to secure commitments from exceptional talent all over the region, which adds diversity to our team and extends our footprint out further, opening up more areas to recruit from in the future," Nourse said
Of the 34 recruits, 12 are from Montana, 13 are from Washington, five are from Idaho, three are from Utah, and one is from Tennessee.
"Our staff did the extra work to get this class. They got to know these young men and build a relationship with them. We know who is coming to UMW and what they are about. These guys will help us continue to build great teams and have success because of this approach."
The Bulldogs are coming off a season in which they earned a share of the Frontier Conference title and earned an at-large bid to the NAIA playoffs.
Bridger Polk | P/WR | 5'11 | 180 | Great Falls, Mont. / Great Falls HS
Polk is a punter and wide receiver from Great Falls, Mont. He is a two-time first team all-conference punter and second team all-state punter. He also played basketball, track and field, and was a 2021 team captain. He plans to major in modern history and secondary education, and minor in anthropology and sociology. Polk is the son of Bill, UMW football alum, and Nina Polk.
Carter McDowell | WR/DB | 5'11 | 170 | Great Falls, Mont. / Simms HS
McDowell is a wide receiver / defensive back from Great Falls, Montana. He was all-state (2021), first team all-conference offense (2021), first team all-conference defense (2021), and offensive honorable mention (2020). McDowell also competed in basketball and track. He plans to major in health and human performance and minor in psychology.
Keyon BraidedHair-Fisher | RB/LB | 5'10 | 195 | Busby, Mont. / Hardin HS
BraidedHair-Fisher is a running back from Busby, Montana. He was a second team all-conference selection, second team all-state selection, team MVP, and defensive MVP. He also participated in wrestling and track and field at Hardin High School. He plans to major in biology and minor in coaching.
Thomas Brown | WR/DB | 5'11 | 200 | Washougal, Wash. / Washougal HS
Brown is a wide receiver / defensive back from Washougal, Washington. The team captain was an all-league honorable mention wide receiver in 2021. His 3.75 GPA earned him all-league academic team his sophomore, junior, and senior years. The son of Aaron and Jennifer Brown plans to pursue a degree in health and human performance with a minor in business.
Josh Stern | DB/WR | 5'10 | 165 | Spangle, Wash. / Liberty HS
Stern is a defensive back / wide receiver from Spangle, Washington. The three-year varsity player was an all-league second team receiver and an all-league first team defensive back. He also played basketball in his high school. Stern held a 3.9 GPA during his senior year and is planning to major in elementary education.
Kody Colvin | DE | 6'3 | 210 | Pocatello, Idaho / Highland HS
Colvin is a defensive end from Pocatello, Idaho. He totaled 23 solo tackles, 73 assisted tackles, and 12 sacks during his senior season and was a second team all-conference defense selection. His team finished second and fifth in the Idaho 5A State Playoffs in 2021 and 2020, respectively. Colvin intends to major in biology.
Kyle Lawson | DB / WR | 5'10 | 160 | Hot Springs, Mont. / Hot Springs HS
Lawson is a defensive back / wide receiver from Hot Springs, Montana. Lawson is the brother of Montana Western football alumnus, Kane Lawson. In his high school career, Lawson totaled 1,484 rushing yards, 34 touchdowns, 161 receptions for 2,180 yards, 250 tackles, 10 interceptions, and 14 fumble recoveries. He was a three-time all-state selection, three-time all-conference selection, and four-time academic all-state. Lawson intends to major in Ecology.
Carson Golding | DE | 6'3 | 215 | Spanish Fork, Utah / Maple Mountain HS
Golding is a defensive end from Maple Mountain High School in Spanish Fork, Utah. He earned the recognition of first team all-region and his team reached the state semi-finals. Golding also participated in track and field and wrestling. He plans to major in Business while at Montana Western.
Cameron Kitchens | QB | 6'2 | 165 | West Richland, Wash. / Richland HS
Kitchens is a quarterback from West Richland, Washington. His team competed in the state playoffs his senior year, and was selected as all-conference honorable mention and team Offensive MVP. The son of Scott and Beth Kitchens intends to study physical education and health K-12.
Hayden Hedges | RB | 5'10 | 185 | Cut Bank, Mont. / Cut Bank HS
Hedges is running back from Cut Bank, Montana. He earned the title of second team all-conference running back, KSEN Athlete of the Week, and four-time academic all-state. In 2020, he was voted team MVP and offensive player of the year. In 2021, he was selected again as his team's offensive player of the year. The son of Michael and Jessica Hedges plans to major in health and human performance.
Kollin Gifford | OL | 6'1 | 250 | Yelm, Wash. / Yelm HS
Gifford is an offensive lineman from Yelm High School in Yelm, Washington. He is a two-time all-league selection, a first team all-area selection, and second team all-area selection. Gifford said, "[I chose Montana Western because] the academics are a perfect fit, I love everything about the football program, and I fell in love with Dillon when I first got there." Gifford plans to pursue a degree in physical education and health K-12.
Mathew Heer | LB | 6'1 | 215 | Tekoa, Wash. / Lewis and Clark HS
Heer is a linebacker from Teko, Wash. The four-year varsity player was a first and second team all-conference selection in his senior and junior years, respectively. Heer also participated in basketball and track. He intends to study physical education and health K-12 at Montana Western.
Braydon Flood | LB | 5'11 | 215 | Zillah, Wash. / Zillah HS
Flood is a linebacker from Yakima, Wash. His team appeared at the state playoffs all four years of his career. He was an all-state linebacker, league defensive MVP, first team running back and linebacker, and team MVP. Braydon was on the honor roll and plans to major in physical education and health K-12.
Aiden Prado | DB/WR | 5'11 | 165 | Spokane, Wash. / Mount Spokane HS
Prado is a defensive back/ wide receiver from Spokane, Wash. He was selected as all-purpose league MVP and his team finished fifth in state playoffs. Prado also played four years of varsity basketball. The son of Andy Prado and Marlene Prado plans on majoring in biology and minoring in kinesiology.
Trey Hoveland | QB | 6'1 | 180 | Townsend, Mont. / Broadwater HS
Hoveland is a quarterback from Broadwater High School in Townsend, Montana. He is a two-time all-state quarterback and has a career total of 5,793 passing yards. Hoveland intends to study business while at Montana Western.
Cody Kuhl| OL | 6'5 | 310 | Greenacres, Wash. / Central Valley HS
Kuhl is an offensive lineman from Greenacres, Washington. He was a two-year starter on the offensive line, playing center, guard, and tackle. Kuhl received the Outstanding Offensive Lineman Award on his team. He also played basketball, baseball, and participated in trap shooting, where he was the National Trapshooting Champion USAYESS. Kuhl plans to study secondary education and K-12 education at Montana Western.
Jon Kirkley | WR | 6'2 | 185 | Dillon, Mont. / Beaverhead County HS
Kirkley is a wide receiver from Dillon, Mont. During his time at Beaverhead County High School, his team was the 2019 Divisional Champions and he was selected as an all-state outside linebacker, a two-time all-state wide receiver, and three-time academic all-state. Kirkley is the son of Jack and Brenda Kirkley and intends to study business at Montana Western.
Layne Cooney | DE | 6'3 | 220 | Missoula, Mont. / Hellgate HS
Cooney is a defensive end from Hellgate High School in Missoula. On both sides of the ball, he was selected as honorable mention all-state and second team all-conference. Cooney also participated in wrestling and track and field, and was the State AA Discus Champion in 2021. He intends to study health and human performance at Montana Western.
Kaleb Olivares | OL | 6'1 | 260 | Stansbury Park, Utah / Stansbury HS
Olivares is an offensive lineman from Stansbury Park, Utah. He was a second team all-region selection and lettered three years in football. His team went undefeated and were region champions, and finished third in the 5A state division. At Montana Western, Olivares plans to study environmental science.
Cash Salsbery | LB | 5'11 | 215 | Malta, Mont. / Malta HS
Salsbery is a linebacker from Malta, Montana. He is a three-time first team all-conference selection and a two-time all-state selection. Salsbery represented his school at the East-West Shrine Game. He plans to pursue a degree in health and human performance and minor in biology.
Andrew Pareigis | OL | 6'4 | 280 | Franklin, Tenn. / Fred J Page HS
Pareigis is an offensive lineman from Franklin, Tennessee. His team made it to the playoffs every year of his high school career, and they made it to the finals his senior year. The Son of Charles and Annie Pareigis plans to major in environmental science.
Justin Ketzenberg | DL | 6'3 | 245 | Maple Valley, Wash. / Tacoma HS
Ketzenberg is a defensive lineman from Maple Valley, Washington. He was named 2021 NPSL Defensive Linemen of the Year, 2021 NPSL First Team Defense Linemen, and was a 2021 all-area selection. In addition, he appeared at state in wrestling for two years. Ketzenberg plans to major in business.
Raef Newbrough | WR/ DB | 6'0 | 180 | Great Falls, Mont. / Great Falls CMR
Newbrough is a wide receiver / defensive abck from Great Falls, Montana. In the 2021 season, he recorded 596 receiving yards on 36 receptions, five receiving touchdowns, and nine rushing touchdowns. He was a first team all-state selection and was academic all-state in the 2019, 2020, and 2021 seasons. Newbrough plans to study biology at Montana Western.
Cooper Cleveringa | LB | 6'2 | 220 | Yelm, Wash. / Yelm HS
Cleveringa is a linebacker from Yelm, Wash. He is first team all-league selection and a second team all-area selection. During his senior year, his high school team made it to the quarterfinals at state. Cleveringa plans to major in business at Montana Western.
Carson Arnold | TE | 6'4 | 225 | Willard, Utah / Box Elder HS
Arnold is a tight end from Willard, Utah. He is a two-time first team all-region selection and an all-state honorable mention selection. His team made it to the second round of playoffs during his senior season. At Montana Western, Arnold plans to study kinesiology.
Dylan Shipley | WR | 6'0 | 170 | Maple Valley, Wash. / Tahoma HS
Shipley is a wide receiver from Tahoma High School in Maple Valley, Wash. He was a first team all-league wide receiver and his team had two playoff appearances. Shipley intends to study physical education and health K-12 at Montana Western.
Kooper Klobucar | RG/RT | 6'6 | 300 | Butte, Mont. / Butte HS
Klobucar is a right guard from Butte High School in Butte, Montana. He lettered two years at Butte High and also participated in basketball and track. At Montana Western, he plans to study ecology.
Brendan Wagner | DB | 6'0 | 185 | Whitehall, Mont. / Whitehall HS
Wagner is a defensive back from Whitehall, Montana. He has received many all-conference and all-state honors, including first team all-conference and first team all-state defensive back and second team all-conference tight end and returner. Wagner has been on high honor roll for four years. He will major in business and minor in guiding at Montana Western.
Tyler Fitte | DE/TE | 6'1 | 210 | Salmon, Idaho / Salmon HS
Fitte is a defensive end / tight end from Salmon, Idaho. He was named the number one defensive end in his district for the 2021 season and has received academic awards from 2018-2022 for a GPA above 3.0. Fitte intends to study ecology at Montana Western.
Dace Jones | DB | 5'10 | 165 | Oakley, Idaho / Oakley HS
Jones is a defensive back from Oakley, Idaho. His team won the Idaho 1A State Championship in 2020 and 2021. Jones was a first team and second team all-state selection, an all-conference selection, and an all-conference defensive player of the year. In addition, he was a two-time state qualifier for wrestling. At Montana Western, Jones plans to study business.
Cody Isakson | WR | 6'5 | 185 | Moscow, Idaho / Moscow HS
Isakson is a wide receiver from Moscow, Idaho. In 2020, he was named all-league defensive back and in 2021, an all-league wide receiver. Isakson also participated in basketball and baseball at Moscow High School. He intends to study business at Montana Western.
Parker Strahm | DE | 6'4 | 230 | Idaho Falls, Idaho / Watersprings HS
Strahm is a defensive end from Idaho Falls, Idaho. He led his team in tackles his junior and senior years and led his team in sacks his sophomore and junior years. He was a two-time all-state selection, a first team all-conference selection, and second team all-conference selection. Strahm also acted as a student body representative for two years at his high school. He intends to study business administration at Montana Western.
Taten Ells | LB | 6'0 | 175 | Tacoma, Wash. / Stadium HS
Ells is a linebacker from Stadium High School in Tacoma, Washington. He was a two-time honorable mention selection, a two-time all-league selection, and a two-time Defensive Player of the Year for Stadium High School. Additionally, Ells led his team in tackles and fumbles, and received the Most Valuable Teammate award. The National Honors Society Student plans on studying business.
Jake Humphrey | RB | 5'9 | 180 | Walla Walla, Wash. / Walla Walla HS
Humphrey is a running back from Walla Walla, Wash. He is a two-time all-conference selection, a three-time offensive MVP, and a four-year varsity starter. Humphrey's mother, father, uncle, aunt, and grandfather are all Montana Western athletics alumni. He intends to study business at Montana Western.