(Editor’s note: Carroll College media release)
HELENA – Carroll College football coach Troy Purcell released the Fighting Saints’ initial 2019 signing class on Wednesday.
“We’re excited to introduce the first wave of recruits for the class of 2019,” Purcell said. “We were able to identify and fill a number of key positions for our football program. All of these young men are not only outstanding players, but are also great students and have excellent character. The average GPA of our freshman signees is 3.71 and there are 10 team captains in this group. They are great fits at Carroll College on and off the field.”
The class stretches across the western United States with signees from Montana, Oregon, Idaho, Nevada, California and Arizona.
“I was pleased that we were able to sign recruits from our key recruiting areas,” Purcell said. “Recruiting here in Montana was a huge emphasis for us. Having nine Montanans among our initial signees, that’s big time. Add on the fact that seven of them were all-state performers and four were members of state championship teams, we’re happy about the Montana recruits we’ve added thus far. Being able to add in a few key recruits from Idaho, Oregon, Arizona and Nevada was crucial in finishing this initial group off with elite talent.”
The Saints’ football program is partnering with Sports 94.9 and Jason Walker to present the 2019 class on Feb. 18 at 6:30 p.m. at Muni’s at Bill Robert’s Golf Course.
Purcell expects to continue adding to his inaugural signing class throughout the year.
“We’re still actively recruiting for the Class of 2019,” Purcell said. “We’re thrilled for this initial group to lead the way and look forward to announcing new additions in the weeks to come.”
The current class can be seen below.
Devan Bridgewater, QB, Eagle, Idaho
Bridgewater comes to Carroll College after spending the fall of 2018 at Colorado State University-Pueblo. Bridgewater attended Eagle where he was the 5A SIC Player of the Year as a senior and was voted Team MVP. In addition to serving as a team captain, Bridgewater was also first team all-SIC as a junior and honorable mention as a sophomore. Bridgewater is the son of Carrin and Mark Bridgewater and has one sister (Kendall). He intends to major in English.
Bridgewater on why he chose Carroll College: “I fell in love with the campus, and the coaching staff is the best.”
Michael Maafu, DL, Phoenix, Arizona
Maafu comes to Carroll College after spending the fall of 2018 at University of Idaho. He attended Saguaro High where he was an all-region defensive lineman and honorable mention USA Today All-Arizona Selection. In addition to helping Saguaro fifth consecutive AIA 4A state title. Maafu has represented his native Tonga in international rugby competition. Maafu is the son of Sisilla and Tom Maafu and has four brothers (Ofa, Nafi, Alan, Tali) and one sister (Aloi). He plans to major in business.
Maafu on why he chose Carroll College: “I chose Carroll for its great academic programs and the outstanding football tradition.”
Matt McGinley, DB, Helena Capital
McGinley is joining the Saints this spring after having attended Carroll College this fall. He attended Capital High School where he was an all-conference performer at quarterback and cornerback. McGinley was also a three-year track captain, two-year basketball captain and the recipient of the Bob Bean Award, given to the best athlete at Capital. Off the field, McGinley was an academic all-state performer and a member of the National Honors Society. He is the son of Mary and Mike McGinley and he has one sister (Mara). He plans to pursue a degree in secondary education.
McGinley on why he chose Carroll College: “The great football tradition and the academic excellence.”
High School Signees
Matthew Burgess, RB, Junction City, Oregon
Burgess was a team captain and played running back and safety at Sheldon. After compiling 1,829 yards and 26 TDs as a senior, he was named first team all-state and first team all-league at running back. He was also the Southwest Conference Player of the year and a finalist for State Player of the Year. Off the football field, he was named as an Outstanding Scholar Athlete as a 4.0 GPA student. Burgess is the son of Shannon and Mike Burgess and has one sister (Makenna). He plans to pursue a degree in engineering.
Burgess on why he chose Carroll College: “It was the perfect fit for me with a tradition of great football and having a great academic program.”
Jacob Clinton, DB, Lewistown
Clinton was an all-state Safety in 2017 and 2018 at Fergus County High. Clinton was all an all-conference selection in basketball in both 2017 and 2018, and an all-state baseball player in 2018. Off the field, Clinton was a four-year academic all-state performer and a Wendy’s Heiman State Finalist. Clinton is the son of Monica and Jim Clinton and has one brother (Luke). He plans to be a pre-med major.
Clinton on why he chose Carroll College: “The school, coaching staff, philosophy and atmosphere were all the perfect fit for me.”
Trent Durfey, LB, Umatilla, Oregon
Durfey was a team captain and a second team all-state linebacker and league Defensive Play of the Year at Umatilla. Durfey was a two-time league champion in basketball and finished fourth in the Oregon 3A State Track Meet in the 110m high hurdles. He has also been named to the 2019 Oregon East West Shrine All-Star Football Game. Off the field, he received the Presidential Award for Academic Excellence and is a member of the National Honor Society. Durfey is the son of Jody and Dan Durfey and has one sister (Taylor). He plans to major in health sciences.
Durfey on why he chose Carroll College: “The strong academic program offering and the first-class football program that has amazing coaches, committed players, and facilities making it a fun place to play.”
Brady Grigsby, OL, Helena High
Grigsby was an honorable mention all-state offensive lineman in 2018 at Helena High. Grigsby was also an all-conference pick in 2017 and 2018. Off the field. Grigsby was a two-time academic all-state selection. Grigsby is the son of Terri and Jim Grigsby. He has one sister (Hannah). He plans to major in environmental science.
Grigsby on why he chose Carroll College: “… because of the tradition that has been established there for so many years… and I’m still in my home town to see my family and friends.”
Luke Jensen, WR, Butte Central
Jensen was an all-conference performer at wide receiver at Butte Central. Jensen earned four varsity letters in football, baseball and track while in high school. Off the field, Luke has been a four-year academic all-state performer, a member of the National Honors Society, and a part of the Bishop Thomas Scholars Academy. Jensen is the son of Peggy and Rick Jensen. He intends to be a pre-med major.
Jensen on why he chose Carroll College: “I could instantly feel there was clearly something special about Carroll football when I stepped on campus. I liked how the coaches were former Saints. As I walked through campus it just felt right to become a Saint.”
Sebastian Koch, OL, Kalispell Flathead
Koch was selected as a first team all-state offensive lineman as a senior at Flathead. In addition to being named second team all-state at defensive line, Koch was named to the 2019 Badlands Bowl and 2019 Montana East-West Shrine Game. Koch is the son of Amy and Tom Koch, and has one brother (Jordan). He plans to study medical sciences.
Koch on why he chose Carroll College: “The atmosphere and culture were really appealing to me. I could tell from the short amount of time with the team that they had something special going on.”
Duncan Kraft, RB, Billings Central
Kraft helped lead the Rams to the 2018 Class A State Championship as an all-state performer at running back while at Billings Central. Kraft was a team captain, Co-Team Offensive MVP and a three-year letter winner in track. Off the field, Kraft serves as the student body president and is a member of the National Honors Society. Kraft is the son of Koreen and Eddy Kraft and has two brothers (Josh and Jake). Josh is a member of the Fighting Saints football team. Kraft plans to major in secondary education.
Kraft on why he chose Carroll College: “Faith based education. It’s an amazing academic opportunity, and I wanted to be a part of the next generation of Carroll Football’s winning tradition.”
JJ Lindsay, LB, Billings West
Lindsay was a first team all-state and first team all-conference linebacker at Billings West. Lindsay was a team captain for the state champion Golden Bears and was named to the 2019 Badlands Bowl. Off the field, Lindsay was a two-time academic all-state performer. He is the son of Melody and Todd Lindsay and has two brothers (Tommy and Robbie). He plans to major in pre-physical therapy.
Lindsay on why he chose Carroll College: “It felt like home.”
Cayden Loveland, WR, Gooding, Idaho
Loveland was a three-year captain, a two-time first team all-state performer at wide receiver and an all-state defensive back as a senior at Gooding High. Loveland was a two-time USA Today All-Idaho receiver and was named the Gooding Player of the Year in basketball. Off the field, Loveland was a member of the honor roll and the Senator Football Student Athlete Award winner. Loveland is the son of Rachel Faulkner and Chad Loveland, and has two brothers (Colston and Cash). He intends to major in civil engineering.
Loveland on why he chose Carroll College: “Carroll has everything I ever need. The coaches, the facilities, and academics are top notch. Helena is a beautiful place and I know I can thrive in a place like Carroll.”
Hunter Mecham, OL, Las Vegas, Nevada
Mecham was a second team all-conference tackle as a senior at Green Valley. Hunter also finished third in the Nevada state championships in 50-meter freestyle swimming. Off the field, he was a member of the honor roll at Green Valley. Mecham is the son of Jen and Mark Mecham and has one brother (Jake). He plans to pursue a degree in anthrozoology.
Mecham on why he chose Carroll College: “Carroll was a great fit for me because of the great academic programs and the coaching staff.”
Nathan Olmes, DL, Benecia, California
Olmes was a two-time first team all-league performer at St. Patrick-St. Vincent. He was a state champion as sophomore and was voted as his team’s most valuable lineman as a senior. Off the field, Olmes is a member of the National Honors Society and received first and second Scholastic Honors. Olmes is the son of Mary and Frank and has seven brothers (Alex, Anthony, Luke, Kolbe, Caeden, Blaise, and Jackson) and 1 sister (Lauren). Anthony is a member of the Fighting Saints football team and Alex runs track at Carroll. Nathan plans to pursue a degree in business.
Olmes on why he chose Carroll College: “The amazing academics to the Catholic environment to the beautiful scenery… The football program is one that can’t be matched.”
Maverick Roberts, OL, Billings Central
Roberts was a two-time first team all-state offensive lineman at Billings Central and led the Rams to a 2018 Montana Class A State Championship. Roberts was a two-time Billings Central offensive line MVP and was selected to play in the 2019 Badlands Bowl and the 2019 Montana East-West Shrine game. Roberts was also selected to the Montana Super State Team as a senior. Off the field, Roberts was a three-time academic all-state performer and a member of the National Honors Society. Roberts is the son of Tara and John Roberts and has three brothers (Mason, Maddox, and McCain) and one sister (Millie). He plans to major in business.
Roberts on why he chose Carroll College: “It is a tremendous school and has a strong faith community. The school and the football program have a winning tradition. The coaching staff has the passion and dedication I was looking for. I want to be a part of the return of this program to a championship status.”
Zach Spiroff, DB, Helena High
Spiroff was a team captain and a first team all-state corner as a senior and second team all-state as a junior at Helena High. Spiroff was a first team all-state as a punt returner as a junior and was named to the 2019 Badlands Bowl and 2019 Montana East-West Shrine Game. Off the field, Spiroff boasts a 3.75 GPA. Spiroff is the son of Kimberly and Wayne Spiroff. He intends to pursue a degree in business.
Spiroff on why he chose Carroll College: “It’s incredible winning tradition and the excitement around the program.”
Jake Walk, DL, Boise, Idaho
Walk was a team captain and a first team all-conference performer his senior year after being named second team all-conference as a junior at Capital. Walk was picked as team MVP at defensive line and played in the Idaho East/West Shrine All-Star Game. Walk is the son of Amy and Gary Walk and has one brother (Kody). He intends to be a business major.
Walk on why he chose Carroll College: “The location surrounding the school and the activities that come with it, the coaching staff, good school reputation and the good football program.”