Umatilla signing

Umatilla’s Zayne Troeger (left) and Trent Durfey have signed letters of intent to play college sports. Troeger will run cross-country and track at Eastern Oregon University, while Durfey will play football at Carroll College.

Trent Durfey’s love of football goes back to first grade and flag football. Tackle football began in the third grade with Grid Kids, and that’s when Durfey came to life on the field.

“I like to hit people,” the Umatilla senior said. “It’s controlled aggression.”

Durfey will take his game to the college level in the fall after signing to play for Carroll College in Helena, Mont.

“They were the only one that really showed interest,” Durfey said of the Fighting Saints. “Western Oregon talked to me, but they weren’t serious.”

Durfey was one of two Umatilla athletes to sign a letter of intent to compete at the next level. Cross-country and track runner Zayne Troeger will attend Eastern Oregon University.

“Multnomah College showed a lot of interest, and I could have walked on at Idaho,” Troeger said. “It was a hard decision. I have friends going to Eastern. I know I can help the team a lot, and the distance coach (Ben Welch) has had a lot of success. There was a good connection from the start.”

The 6-foot-2, 215-pound Durfey first caught the attention of Carroll College at a showcase camp at Lewis & Clark College in Portland.

“They liked what they saw and invited me to Junior Day in July,” he said. “I liked what I saw there. I went for a game day visit and that reaffirmed why I wanted to go there.”

Durfey has a nice resume heading to college, which includes a second-team all-state honor at linebacker, and he was named the Special District 3 Defensive Player of the Year. He also has been selected to play in the 67th annual Oregon East-West Shrine All-Star Football Game in August.

“This has always been a dream of mine,” said Durfey, who will major in health sciences.

Durfey said the Carroll coach also liked the fact he participates in track.

“One coach told me he likes hurdlers who are linebackers,” Durfey said. “They have speed and good hip mobility.”

Durfey finished seventh at the 3A state meet last year in the 110 hurdles.

Troeger had a tremendous season in cross-country his senior year, finishing fourth at the 3A state meet in a time of 16 minutes, 56 seconds.

He also preformed well his junior year on the track. He was third in the 3,000, and fifth in the 800.

“My love for distance started in the eighth grade,” Troeger said.

One bonus for Troeger attending EOU: The school is building a state-of-the-art indoor facility. It should be finished this summer.

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