By George Ferguson/Havre Daily News Sportsemail@example.com
Havre High School senior Coda Tchida has decided to take his football talents to the state of North Dakota and the Dak-10 Conference. Tchida recently signed a letter of intent to play football for the University of Mary in Bismark, N.D.
Tchida had a tremendous senior season and helped guide the Havre Blue Ponies to a Class A state championship. He was heavily recruited by several NAIA schools in the region like Montana State University-Northern and Northern State, before eventually settling on the Marauders.
"They just made me feel like they really wanted me to come there," Tchida said. "The coaching staff treated me really well when I visited, and I just felt really comfortable there. Plus, they felt that I was a good fit for their offense or their defense."
Indeed, it is not yet known what side of the ball Tchida will play on when he starts his collegiate career next fall. That is because he is a standout on both sides of the ball. Tchida earned first team all-conference and all-state honors as a cornerback and wide receiver as well as a return specialist this past season. On offense he racked up 1,010 receiving yards and caught 16 touchdown passes. Defensively he picked off five passes. On special teams Tchida returned three punts for scores as well as a kickoff. Those accomplishments also landed him a spot in the 2005 Montana East/West Shrine Bowl this coming summer, as well as a place on the prestigious Tribune Super State team.
Tchida's senior season also led to his recruitment by successful Mary head coach Myron Schulz, who is more than excited to have Tchida join a Marauder program that also includes former HHS standout Tyson Roe.
"We're excited to have this talented athlete on our team," Schulz said. "We believe Coda will help us carry on our winning tradition on the local and national level."
The Marauders have been one of the most consistent NAIA football programs in the Western region over the last 10 years. Mary went to the playoffs seven consecutive seasons, and last year it was 9-2, falling to eventual national champion Carroll College in the opening round. That success was part of what enticed Tchida to head east to the plains of North Dakota.
"Mary has a great winning tradition and I am really excited to be a part of it," Tchida said. "They have a great coaching staff and I also like their offense because even though they are pretty balanced they like to throw the ball down the field, and I love to run down the field and catch the ball. So it just seemed like the right fit for me."
Tchida is a three-year letter-winner in football. In his junior season he was named first team all-conference and second team all-state cornerback. Coda also lettered in basketball this season and is a three-year letter winner on the HHS tennis team. Tchida plans on majoring in computer information systems at Mary.
Coda is the son of J.R. and Mim Tchida. He also has a younger sister, Tana, who is a freshman at HHS.