Chris Peterson Havre Daily News email@example.com
After a stellar career for the Havre High football team, Kyle Finneman is taking his act to the next level. On Wednesday, Finneman, a senior at Havre High, signed an NCAA national letter of intent to continue playing football at the University of Montana for head coach Bobby Hauck.. He decided to accept a scholarship offer from the Grizzlies after turning down a pair of other offers from NAIA schools. Carroll College and Montana State University-Northern both showed interest in Finneman, as both a receiver and defensive back, as well as a punter, but the opportunity to play for Grizzlies, a Football Championship Subdivision power, was too good to pass up. “I am really excited about it,” Finneman said. “I am going to have a chance to be the punter and holder. I think I will also get a chance to play defense, but I am not sure where yet.” Finneman is three-sport star that earned all-state honors as a running back, following the 2006 season. He was also an all-conference punter and linebacker, while leading the Ponies to an 8-2 record and a Central A conference championship. Before the 2007 season, Finneman was moved to quarterback, but garnered interest from recruiters because of his outstanding athlete ability and his punting skills, which earned him all-state honors. In addition to an outstanding football career, Finneman is also a standout track athlete, and he has captured the Class A state titles in the 100 and 200-meter dashes. “I have thought about it a little but I am not really sure about track,” he explained. “We haven’t really talked about it too much but it's something I might be interested in.” Finneman also does well in school, earning a 3.2 grade point average at Havre High. He is also a key player on the Havre boys basketball team, averaging 9. 4 points per game to go along with 5.9 rebounds. Montana will look for Finneman to come in and contribute as the punter and holder. UM lost two-time All-American punter Tyson Johnson to graduation after the 2007 season, so the job is wide open. Due to his uncanny athletic ability, he may also have a future on defense, in the secondary or as a linebacker. “After (Montana) showed interest in me I went down there for a visit,” He said. “Then I thought about my choices and decided to go there about a week later. It’s a good chance for me and I am really excited about it.” Finneman is part of one of the largest recruiting classes in UM history. On Wednesday, the Grizzlies announced the signing of 33 players, including 12 players from Montana. Finneman is also the second HHS football player to join the Grizzlies program in the last four years. Former HHS standout Marc Mariani is currently a sophomore at UM and is projected to be a starting wide receiver for the Griz this season. Also on Wednesday, Harlem's Rick Haluszka accepted a scholarship offer to play quarterback for Montana State University in Bozeman. Haluszka was a four-year starter at Harlem, and twice earned all-state honors at quarterback and on defense. Haluszka will start for the East team this summer in the Montana East/West Shrine Game in Great Falls. Haluszka was part of a 25-player recruiting class announced by Bobcats' head coach Rob Ash on Wednesday. The Cats signed 11 Montana preps.