HALL OF FAME
ATHLETE OF THE MONTH
Viking senior honored by IFCA
December 5, 2012Huntington North High School
Viking senior honored by IFCA BY MATT WILSON firstname.lastname@example.org | Tuesday, December 4, 2012 Huntington North senior Austin Garde was named to the Indiana Football Coaches Association Class 5A All-State team. Huntington North senior offensive lineman Austin Garde always thinks about team goals first, but he also came into his senior season on the football field with some individual goals. Garde recently met one of those goals when he was named to the Indiana Football Coaches Association Class 5A All-State team. “That is just a great honor for him,” Huntington North coach Trent Fine said. “He is always a team-oriented person, but he also had individual goals coming into the season, and one of those was to be named All-State. He went to some football showcases during the offseason, and that really helped him out.” Garde is a three-year varsity lineman for the Vikings and has started his last two seasons. The 6-foot, 5-inch 265 pound offensive tackle helped the Huntington North offense set four records during the regular season. Garde was the leader of the Viking offensive line that protected quarterback Drew Schnitz, allowing him to throw for 1,726 yards and 27 touchdowns during the regular season. Schnitz threw for a state-record nine touchdowns in the Vikings 62-49 victory over Anderson on Sept. 14. Garde also was part of the offensive line that allowed three Vikings to rush for more than 100 yards on the season. Schnitz led that charge by rushing for 749 yards and seven touchdowns. Austin Rosen had 242 rushing yards and one touchdown, while Braydin Stell had 181 rushing yards and two touchdowns. “He really did a good job on the offensive line protecting for the quarterback,” Fine said. Also playing a left tackle on defense, Garde was a two-way starter for the Vikings. He finished the regular season with 20 tackles and assisted on 12 tackles. He also had one forced fumble and one fumble recovery. His best defensive game came when he had nine solo tackles, four tackle assists and one fumble recovery in the Vikings’ 30-12 loss at Richmond on Oct. 5. Richmond went on to win the North Central Conference title. Garde also assisted on four tackles in Huntington North’s 44-29 loss to Kokomo on Sept. 7. Being named to the IFCA First Team All-State is one just of the multiple honors Garde has received. He was named to the All-North Central Conference squad as an offensive lineman, and will likely be named Academic All State when that team is released. Garde ranks in the top 15 in his class academically. He also is a scholar athlete, having a grade-point average of 9.0 or above as of Oct. 18. Fine said Garde is interested in playing college football, and being named First Team All State will only help in that area. He has had some offers from NCAA Division II schools, but is focused on the small-school Division III level. “Austin just really likes the small-school atmosphere,” Fine said. “Getting named First Team All State will open up some new doors for him and this will be a fun process for him and he is going to enjoy it. I’m really looking forward to seeing where he decides to play next year.” Huntington North finished 5-5 overall and tied for second in the NCC with a 5-2 record.