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'I love coming back here': Troy Andersen visits Dillon, hosts youth camp

Posted at 9:07 PM, Jun 26, 2024

DILLON — Troy Andersen's abilities on a football field have carried him a long way from his hometown, but he still makes giving back to Dillon a priority.

"It's always fun to come back," said the former Dillon Beaver and Montana State Bobcat who is now entering his third season with the Atlanta Falcons. "See familiar faces, be out on a familiar field. Have a bunch of kids running around and hopefully have a little fun today."

For the second straight year, Andersen hosted a free youth football camp at his high school home field of Vigilante Stadium where some 300 kids got to run through a series of drills led by a variety of coaches and athletes from the high school through the professional level.

Former Bobcats Lewis Kidd — now an offensive tackle with the Indianapolis Colts — and Ty Okaka, a defensive back for the Seattle Seahawks, were in attendance.

Also there was Andersen's current NFL teammate Kaden Elliss, who is heading into his second season with the Falcons as a linebacker after spending the 2019-22 seasons with the New Orleans Saints.

Elliss played his collegiate career at Idaho and his senior year got to play against Andersen and the Bobcats as the Vandals had rejoined the Big Sky Conference that season.

"It was an awesome game," said Elliss of that Oct. 13, 2018 contest in Bozeman, which MSU won 24-23 after Andersen delivered a game-sealing first-down conversion from the quarterback position.

"It was fourth and 1," Elliss recalled. "We had to stop him and we'd have a chance to go score. And we couldn't stop him because Troy going for it with a full head of steam is almost impossible to stop."

Almost six years later and the two are now suiting up for the same NFL team.

"He's just an awesome person to work with and also an amazing talent," said Elliss. "So it's fun to be with him on the field because he makes some special plays."

And Elliss jumped at the chance to lend a hand with this camp.

"The fact that Troy's putting this on for the people around here — I just wanted to come out and support him because it's special," he said. "I've been in camps since I was a little boy. And now to be here and helping out, it's special, it's fun."

And for Andersen, this camp is ultimately a way to give back to the community where his dream of playing professional football began.

"There's so many people that helped shape me and form me into who I am today from Dillon and Montana in general," Andersen said. "So I love coming back here. Love seeing the kids run around, love seeing familiar faces, high school coaches, college coaches, former teammates. It's a super special time to come back and hopefully do some good and give back."