GREAT FALLS — Great Falls High’s Elijah Davis made his college decision months ago.
The two-time Class AA state champion, will wrestle at powerhouse program Grand View (Iowa). The Vikings have won nine consecutive NAIA national titles, and Davis is thrilled to join a program with such rich history.
“I’m super excited, it’s going to be another tough chapter in wrestling,” Davis said. “But that’s why you do it, you know? It’s tough.”
But Davis, who is in the middle of another stellar wrestling season, didn’t make the decision public until this week.
And he has a good reason why.
“They’re an awesome program and I made it official with them a while ago but I wanted to wait until Ethan (DeRoche) was ready to go,” explained Davis. “I waited until he decided what he wanted to do for football or wrestling, just so we could do that together.”
DeRoche is another two-time state champion at heavyweight for the Bison. He’s also an all-state defensive lineman who had multiple football offers as well. But this month, DeRoche made the decision to stick with wrestling and sign with his former high school coach, Steve Komac, who now leads the program at the University of Providence.
“I’ve seen the program and I really enjoyed how they work out. I really like this town, and I have a bunch of people that could help me. And I really know Komac,” DeRoche said. “I really love football and I really love wrestling. But I made the conclusion, it’s time to put down the helmet and shoulder pads and stick with wrestling. Tough decision, but this is where I wanted to be at.”
For Komac’s part, he’s thrilled to have DeRoche joining the Argo program, where he’ll add strength to the room at heavyweight.
“He’s going to continue to add to the legacy that we have and we want to build around here,” Komac said.
But given Davis and DeRoche’s history on the wrestling mats and the football field, it was only fitting that they held their signing day ceremony together this week in the gym at Great Falls High, flanked by current Bison coach Luis Carranza, friends and family.
“We’ve won all of our state titles together so far, we’ve worked really hard with each other and pushed each other to do the best we can and travel together,” Davis said. “It just felt right to sign together.”
But there’s still one more chapter to write before they go their separate ways. The friends are gunning for their third consecutive individual titles and hope to help the Bison repeat as state champs next week at the Class AA tournament in Kalispell.
“It’s going to be super tough. Every state tournament is tough, everybody is fighting for a state championship,” Davis said. “But me and Ethan have been working hard in that room, and that’s all you can do: put in everything you got and hope it works out.”
DeRoche plans to seek a business degree from Providence, while Davis will study pre-med at Grand View.