BUTTE — Troy Andersen's low-key reaction to being Montana State's highest drafted player in five decades wasn't a surprise to Dillon's current crop of high school football players.
"Troy's pretty special," said senior Treyton Anderson. "He acts like it's no big deal at all and everyone thinks it's awesome It's pretty special for a small town to have something like that."
A group of Beaver football players were in Butte on Saturday to compete at the John Tomich Invite at Charlie Merrifield Track. Andersen also made his mark in track and field, winning the 100 and 200 at the State A meet as a high school senior in 2017.
On Friday, Andersen was drafted by the Atlanta Falcons in the second round of the NFL Draft with the 58th overall pick. Suffice it to say, Dillon's current players were paying attention.
"I was watching the draft," said Kee Christiansen, who guided the Beavers to the Class A playoffs as a sophomore quarterback last season. "It was pretty amazing to watch Troy go."
"I'd go to games when I was younger and you'd think about that group that won numerous state championships," said junior Caden Hansen. "You wanted to be like them."
Andersen's exceptional talent was evident long before he become one of the most dynamic players in Montana State football history. It was especially clear to the younger players in his hometown that he mentored and inspired.
"You knew he was going to be something special," said junior Treyton Graham. "When he hit high school, sophomore and junior year, you just looked at him and were like 'that kid's gonna be something great someday.'"
Andersen's rise from a ranch kid in Dillon to the NFL carries with it a timeless message —with perseverance and belief, greatness can come from anywhere.
"Work hard and it'll pay off," said Hansen. "It shows you can come from a small town like Dillon and you'll be able to accomplish your dreams."