By Seth Vanderwest

MONTAGUE–Montague football standout Andrew Kooi will swap one big cat mascot for another when he dons the Davenport Panther football jersey next fall.

The senior 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 his childhood in Mexico, where his parents are missionaries. He played soccer and developed a strong leg.

He moved to Montague in high school and was a dual sport athlete in the fall (soccer and football). This past year, however, Kooi gave up soccer to focus on football and took over as the starting quarterback along with his kicking duties.

Kooi had some big shoes to fill as signal-caller, replacing last year’s Division 5-6 Player of the Year, Drew Collins, who graduated last spring.

Kooi seemed unfazed and finished the year with more than 1,200 yards passing, 14 passing touchdowns and four rushing touchdowns. He earned himself all-state honors for his kicking. He had 16 touchbacks on kickoffs and 36 successful PATs.

Andrew did a great job stepping in and starting at quarterback this year after starting at wide receiver as a junior,” Montague head football coach Justin Dennett said. His ability to kick touchbacks was a weapon for us all year. He is another senior that we will miss just as much for his leadership as his on the field ability. Andrew always kept his composure in tough situations,” Dennett said.

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.