C of I football recruit puts his best foot forward

When the reinstated College of Idaho football team returns to the field next fall, there’s a chance Cesar Montes will be the first Coyote to touch the football. Montes, a kicker and punter from McCall-Donnelly High School in north-central Idaho, is the latest member of Coach Mike Moroski’s initial recruiting class, and he’ll also play soccer at the College.

None of it would have been possible without Cesar’s mother, Gildarda Montes. For 18 years, Gildarda has worked tirelessly to make sure Cesar and his two younger siblings have a chance to receive a quality education. When her son signed his Frontier Conference Letter of Intent, that dream became a reality.

“It really means a lot,” Cesar Montes said. “I know it means the world to my mom because she works so hard. Being able to receive an education at this level is really honored in my family because no one really has done it before. I know when I graduate and receive my degree, it’s going to be a special moment.”

After years of waitressing, Gildarda went back to school herself and became a dental assistant. She now works at a dental office in McCall and still waits tables on the side to make sure her family’s needs are met – all with the goal of teaching her three children the importance of a college education.

As the eldest child, Cesar is blazing a trail for his 17-year-old brother and 12-year-old sister.

“It’s really important to set that precedent,” Montes said. “Hopefully, my brother and sister can learn from it and know how much work they’re going to have to put in to be successful.” 

Montes is an active, well-liked student and multisport athlete at McCall-Donnelly – in March he received the Distinguished Student Award from KTVB Channel 7 News – and he looks forward to carving out a similar niche at the C of I. And whether the Coyotes kick or receive to open the new chapter of C of I football, Montes looks forward to being a part of it.

“I guess I haven’t thought about being the first one to touch the football,” Montes said. “I have thought about kicking that last-second field goal for the win. You never know what could happen, but I do know that when kickoff comes in 2014, it’s going to be really exciting.”

Click here to see KTVB’s feature on Montes.