By Seth Vanderwest
MONTAGUE–Montague football star Andrew Kooi will swap one big cat mascot for another when he dons the Davenport Panther football jersey next fall.
The eldest signed his national letter of intent to be a kicker in what turned out to be a rather unusual path to college football.
Kooi spent much of her childhood in Mexico, where her parents are missionaries. He played football and developed a strong leg.
He moved to Montague in high school and was a dual-sport athlete in the fall (soccer and football). Last year, however, Kooi gave up football to focus on football and took over as the starting quarterback with his kicking duties.
Kooi had big shoes to fill as a signalman, replacing last year’s 5-6 Division Player of the Year, Drew Collins, who graduated last spring.
Kooi seemed unfazed and finished the year with over 1,200 passing yards, 14 passing touchdowns and four rushing touchdowns. He earned himself all-state honors for his kicks. He had 16 touchbacks on kickoffs and 36 successful PATs.
“Andrew has done a great job stepping in and starting at quarterback this year after starting at wide receiver as a junior,” said Montague head football coach Justin Dennett. “His ability to hit touchbacks has been a weapon for us all year. He is another senior who will be missed as much for his leadership as for his abilities on the pitch. Andrew always kept his cool in difficult situations,” Dennett mentioned.
Kooi has a 3.3 GPA at Montague and plans to major in marketing at Davenport.
He is the son of Matt and Becky Kooi.