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CMR’s Grinde Named Gatorade Montana Football Player of the Year

Junior running back rushed for over 2,100 yards this season

By Beacon Staff

Andrew Grinde, a junior running back at Great Falls C.M. Russell, is the 2014-15 Gatorade Montana Football Player of the Year, the company announced Thursday.

The 5-foot-11, 215-pound Rustler rushed for 2,180 yards and 20 touchdowns on 328 carries this past season, leading CMR to a 10-3 record and the Class AA state championship game. Grinde also caught 31 passes for 489 yards and three touchdowns.

Grinde has maintained a 4.0 GPA in the classroom. Vice president of his graduating class, he has served as an elementary school tutor in addition to volunteering locally on behalf of the Special Olympics, the United Way and a youth soccer team.

The award recognizes outstanding athletic excellence and high standards of academic achievement and exemplary character demonstrated on and off the field, distinguishing Grinde as Montana’s best high school football player this season.

“Grinde is the best back I’ve seen in a long time,” said Paul Klaboe, head coach at Billings West High. “He’s strong and fast and hard to bring down. All 11 guys know he’s getting the ball and still can’t bring him down.”

Grinde is the third Gatorade Montana Football Player of the Year from CMR, alongside Ben Drinkwalter (1996) and Dave Dickenson (1990-91).

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