HELENA -- Helena High soccer player Jackson Keller is taking his game to the next level, and in so doing is going from a Bengal to a Bruin.
Keller recently committed to play soccer for George Fox University, in Newburg, Oregon, next fall. George Fox is an NCAA Division III school, competing in the Northwest Conference.
Keller, a 5-foot-6 forward, scored a school record 22 goals last fall, which ranked No. 2 in state. He also stands eighth on the Montana High School Association's single season scoring list, and owns the rare distinction of netting three hat tricks in one year. Keller's postseason accolades included selection to the AA all-state team, and being named the Independent Record's 2017 Male Soccer Player of the Year.
"I was talking to George Fox's old coach last fall, but he retired in January, so after their new coach, Biniam Afenegus, was hired in early March I reached out," Keller recounted. "We set up a visit and time that I could play, and he said he liked what he saw and offered me a spot on the team."
Keller had looked at a lot of schools and logged quite a few flights in his search for both a quality engineering program and a good soccer program.
"I'm very excited for their soccer program; not only is the coach extremely intelligent and well-qualified, but also the Bruins players showed much better than their record," Keller said. "And the campus is by far the prettiest of all the schools I've toured. It feels spread out, but it's still pretty small."
Jackson, whose parents are Kurt and Jeannie Keller, sports a 3.625 GPA in the classroom. He intends on pursuing a degree in mechanical engineering.