College Avenue football star signs letter of intent to join NCAA D3 football team

Article content

The best advice Gavin Gall received came from a pair of College Avenue secondary school football coaches.

“Don’t have any regrets,” Ryan Stafford and Doug Mackay told him. “I want to leave it on the field and work as hard as I can to get where I need to go, and when I get to that point, I want to work even harder.”

Gall, 18, is finishing his final year of high school in Woodstock before he embarks on a collegiate football career with St. Norbert College in De Pere, Wis.

“When I started playing, I didn’t really know I was going to go to college and play football,” he said. “I wanted to but didn’t know it would happen.”

Gall was a basketball player before his parents, Chip and Michelle, and Woodstock Wolverines head coach Chris Camboia convinced him to trade in his sneakers for cleats a few years ago. Gall was mostly a fan of star wideout Odell Beckham Jr., and he cheered for the enigmatic receiver with the New York Giants and Cleveland Browns.

Advertisement

Story continues below
This advertisement has not loaded yet, but your article continues below.

Article content

Like Beckham and other NFL receivers he studies, like Julio Jones, Chase Claypool, Juju Smith-Schuster and Jarvis Landry, Gall made an immediate impact, scoring 12 touchdowns in his first season with the Wolverines’ bantams. The five-foot-10, 160-pound ball of energy was catching everything thrown his way.

“It just felt really natural,” he said, “and everything I was doing was raw talent.”

Coaches with the Wolverines, London Jr. Mustangs and College Avenue worked with Gall to harness his ability. Stafford, who coached Gall in Grade 10 and 11, said he quickly rose to MVP heights while doing whatever was asked on both sides of the ball.

“He has a strong grasp of football plays,” Stafford said. “He’s a playmaker and plays with great quickness and has excellent change of direction ability. It makes him dangerous after the catch. With a kid like Gavin, his skillset allows him to line up all over the field.”

Despite only playing two seasons at College Avenue, plus three years of minor football, Gall showed enough on tape and in the classroom to attract the interest of St. Norbert, an NCAA Division 3 school less than 10 kilometres from Green Bay. The Golden Knights offered him a roster spot in the fall, and Gall signed a letter of intent.

He’ll study sociology while suiting up for the Midwest Conference squad, whose pass-heavy and option offence will give him a chance to flash the skill that made him a star in Woodstock.

“I’m expecting to be the best like anybody would. I’m going to go down there and give it my all and don’t look back.”

Stafford said Gall’s desire to learn separates him from the rest of the pack. He also had one more piece of advice.

“I want him to learn to love the game and focus his energy on making himself the best player he can be. He’s gotta work for every inch he’ll be given. He’s a humble kid with a great work ethic. He will not stop, and he will keep going.”

cosmith@postmedia.com

News Near Woodstock

This Week in Flyers