Carson Caya, a three-sport Summerville High School standout and Class of 2018 graduate, signed a letter of intent Friday to play offensive guard for the Montana State University Northern Lights.

Caya, 18, a first-team all-Mother Lode League offensive lineman for Summerville in his senior year, 2017-18, attended and played football at Delta Community College in Stockton this past academic year, 2018-19.

“I’ve always wanted to live in Montana,” Caya said moments after he signed his letter of intent Friday morning at Summerville High. “A friend who plays guard at Delta, he signed to play for Montana State Northern earlier this year. Coaches up there got in touch with me.”

Caya said he’d been exchanging email with football coaching staff at MSU Northern before he went to visit the school in Havre, near the Canadian border and east of the Blackfeet Indian Reservation. He was up there visiting just last Saturday.

The Northern Lights compete in the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics’ Frontier Conference.

Sean Leveroos, the Summerville Bears varsity football coach, said Caya weighs 272 pounds and his coaches at MSU Northern will want him to play at 280 pounds. Caya’s nickname since age 7 is Corndog and Leveroos said Caya will get to eat more corndogs .

Caya showed promise in some of his first practices with Summerville High School football, Leveroos said.

“Carson was an underclassman and we had a combined lines drill, two versus two and three versus three, and he gave the upperclassmen all they could handle,” Leveroos said. “At that moment we knew the future was bright for Carson.”

Caya lettered at Summerville in three sports, football, wrestling and track, and that makes a difference for student-athletes hoping to compete at college and university levels, Leveroos said. Coaches look for well-rounded athletes who stay engaged in sports year-round, it shows they can do it, and it shows they can keep their grades up year-round.

Caya was a two-time Sac-Joaquin Masters qualifier in varsity wrestling at Summerville High, said his father, David Caya. His mom, Dody Hamilton, shared photos of Caya when he played at Summerville High. Other relatives at Caya’s letter of intent signing included his grandparents.

Leveroos said Caya is one of about a half-dozen Summerville High football players in the past 20 years to sign a letter of intent to play football at a college or university. Caya is also the first in the past two decades to sign his letter of intent at Summerville High. Caya will be competing to earn a sports scholarship at MSU Northern.

Contact Guy McCarthy at gmccarthy@uniondemocrat.com or 588-4585. Follow him on Twitter at @GuyMcCarthy.

23626968