La Center’s Hiller will be an Oredigger

La Center lineman Jack Hiller (75) was named the Trico League’s Most Valuable Player this season. Photo courtesy of photographybysuefox.com
La Center lineman Jack Hiller (75) was named the Trico League’s Most Valuable Player this season. Photo courtesy of photographybysuefox.com

Lineman opts to play college football at Montana Tech

LA CENTER — For Jack Hiller, any day could have been signing day.

There are no designated signing periods for athletes attending NAIA schools, so La Center High School celebrated Hiller’s decision with a ceremony Tuesday at the school.

Coaches, administrators, teachers, and a few friends and family members gathered around Hiller as he made his commitment to Montana Tech official.

Hiller made a bit of history for La Center football this past fall, earning the Trico League’s MVP award as an offensive and defensive lineman. He also was named ClarkCountyToday.com’s Lineman of the Year for small schools.

And while he could have played for a bigger program, could have gone to an NCAA school, Hiller said he will fit in just perfectly at Montana Tech, joining his older brother, Max Hiller, on the Orediggers’ roster.

“I kind of like the small school and everything it has to offer, academic wise,” said Hiller, who wants to study mechanical engineering. “It was the best option for me. I get to have fun playing football and get an education.”

Interestingly, Hiller had his signing ceremony the day before the new early signing period for NCAA football players. Many of the country’s elite high school football players are signing national letters of intent today.

That is a change from the traditional signing day, which had always been in February. That day will remain a big one, but it is now the second signing period for football players.

La Center’s Jack Hiller, an offensive and defensive lineman who was voted the MVP of the Trico League, has decided to stick with a small school for college, too. He will play for Montana Tech, an NAIA program. Photo courtesy of photographybysuefox.com
La Center’s Jack Hiller, an offensive and defensive lineman who was voted the MVP of the Trico League, has decided to stick with a small school for college, too. He will play for Montana Tech, an NAIA program. Photo courtesy of photographybysuefox.com

It appears most, if not all, of Clark County’s Division I recruits are waiting until February to sign. Cole Grossman of Skyview — who has offers from Montana, Wyoming, Hawaii, and Portland State — and also has had interest from even bigger programs, said he is waiting until February.

Hiller had no need to wait for any specific date, and has no regrets about going to a small school. He grew up in La Center, after all.

“We’re all family. We’re so close,” Hiller said of his teammates at La Center. “Even after the season, we’re always talking and hanging out together. That’s really cool.”

He added that the unity associated with La Center football “motivated me throughout high school and helped get me where I am.”

That small school feel, he hopes, will continue at Montana Tech.

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About The Author

Paul Valencia joins ClarkCountyToday.com after more than two decades of newspaper experience. He became the face of high school sports coverage in Clark County during his 17 years at The Columbian. Before moving to Vancouver, Paul worked at Oregon daily newspapers in Pendleton, Roseburg, and Salem. A graduate of David Douglas High School in Portland, Paul enlisted in the U.S. Army, serving three years as a soldier/journalist. He and his wife Jenny recently celebrated their 20th anniversary. They have a son who has a passion for karate and Minecraft. Paul’s hobbies include: Watching the Raiders play football, reading about the Raiders playing football, and waiting to watch and read about the Raiders playing football.

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