Humility, positivity lead Montgomery to success

Herald File Photo by Sarah Ann Jump
Southridge sophomore quarterback Colson Montgomery (2) is often seen with a smile on his face, especially when he's celebrating with teammates on the field after a big play. While Montgomery has quickly become one of the rising high school stars in southern Indiana, it's hard to tell as the young Raider has remained humble all while making sure he's always got a smile on his face — or putting one on somebody else's.


Whatever way you look at it, Colson Montgomery is a star.

The Southridge sophomore three-sport athlete has played in AAU basketball tournaments in places such as New York City and Los Angeles while mingling with NBA players such as former Indiana University standout Eric Gordon and traveled to Georgia for a week-long baseball camp that was chock full of scouts — and that’s just what he did over the summer.

Montgomery began to gain attention as a freshman as he helped lead the Raider boys basketball program to their first sectional title since 2007 and first ever IHSAA state finals appearance for baseball. Now, he’s helping guide the Southridge football program to their second straight regional appearance in his first year as the Raiders starting quarterback.

Whatever way you look at it, Colson Montgomery is a star — but judging off of his humble personality and laid -back attitude, it’s hard to tell.

“Anytime I talk to people about Colson it’s one of the very first things I mention,” said Southridge head coach Scott Buening about Montgomery’s humbleness. “He’s got God-given ability and he’s been blessed naturally but when you have the combination of those gifts and humility, it’s a pretty noble trait especially for such a young man.”

This season has been a very enthralling experience for Montgomery and he says he feels lucky to be one of the key contributors for the Raiders that’s helped get them to this point. Southridge (9-3) heads into the regional round to face Paoli (12-0) at home this Friday at 7:30 p.m.

“I’m humbled, I’m happy that I’m the one that gets to be in this position,” Montgomery said. “Last year we had a great quarterback in Jayce (Harter) and he was great for that team and now we have a new team with some new guys so I was happy to jump into that role and I’ve just went with it.”

Along with Montgomery’s humble attitude, it’s also safe to say that almost every time you spot the young quarterback he’ll greet you with a rather large smile on his face.

He always seems to be full of positive vibes — no matter the score or no matter what happened in the most recent play on any given night. It’s an attitude that he’s had for as long as he can remember but the positive spark definitely grew last season under one of his role models.

“I don’t really ever see a need to be down on myself or anything, I just always see the positives in things,” Montgomery said. “I really kind of got a lot of that from Jayce (Harter) too because I was always around him and he always had that type of an attitude so I just built off of that.”

Buening added: “If you watch film or catch him during a game, if you see someone make a play (Montgomery) is always excited for them and it’s genuine, sincere excitement. When you have a quarterback like that with the abilities along with getting excited for his teammates when they do something, that’s pretty special.”

Something else that hasn’t gone unnoticed is Montgomery’s work ethic. Transitioning almost seamlessly from football to basketball to baseball isn’t an easy task for anyone, but he managed quite well last season and his work ethic is helping him tremendously on the gridiron — he currently has 851 passing yards and 11 passing touchdowns and has also racked up 1,011 rushing yards and seven touchdowns (he’s rushed for over 100 yards in four games including the sectional semifinal and championship).

The lesson of a strong work ethic was something he learned from his father T.J. growing up.

“My dad used to always tell me that there might be someone else working while you’re working but you could be working twice as hard as them,” Montgomery said. “I just never try to get over-stressed about anything. I pretty much just lay low season to season and just get in extra reps whenever I can.”

There’s been no shortage of mentors on Montgomery’s journey of playing the quarterback position. While he grew up playing running back (which Montgomery recalls enjoying because he was ‘faster than other people’), coaches began to take notice of his arm strength and he began playing quarterback upon entering middle school where Montgomery says coach Jason Lange helped teach him a lot about the position.

Once he reached the high school level, Montgomery was grateful for the help of coaches such as Buening and Kelly Murphy while many of the current players such as Tucker Schank and Matt Price helped him gain confidence in the starting role as well. He also still continuously texts former starting quarterback Jayce Harter whenever he has any questions about what to do as he tries to learn from Harter’s past experiences.

But as the famous saying goes, “Experience is the best teacher” and if anyone has any past experiences to build off for this year’s postseason football run it’s Montgomery.

“Last year learning as a freshman through all those experiences was crazy,” Montgomery said. “Sectional basketball was crazy and then state baseball was crazy too and then the travel basketball part, I mean every game was a big game and there’s so many people watching and there were cameras everywhere. It gets you to not be nervous because once you’re in those situations, you pretty much get used to it.”

Montgomery will have another one of those situations in this Friday’s regional against Paoli. While he does have experience playing in a football regional (his first varsity touchdown came on an 84-yard run in last year’s 47-7 regional rout over Providence near the end of the game), this time he’ll be in a whole new role as the Raiders prepare to take on the undefeated Rams with Montgomery at the helm.

But the composed, humble sophomore will take this game play-by-play like any other game of the season and do what he knows how to do best — stay positive and lead by example.

“I just take everything day-by-day and practice hard no matter what,” Montgomery said. “I’m happy we’re in regional but I want to go to semistate and we know we have the ability to do that — we just have to take everything day-by-day and continue to work hard.”

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