The last name "Arntson" is a familiar one in the Helena sports scene and brothers Troy and Ryan Arntson are taking the family name and football tradition to the next level.
Helena High football head coach Tony Arntson is in his 24th season leading the Bengals. His sons, Troy and Ryan, were recent stars but never played on the Bengals varsity team at the same time. Now, they’re football teammates for the first time at Carroll College.
“It was a blast watching them both compete and they’re two complete different personalities in a lot of ways. Both of them have grown at it different and ended up in the same place and that’s really neat,” said Coach Arntson.
Troy played quarterback growing up before earning all-state honors as a junior wide receiver for the Bengals. He is excited to have Ryan as a teammate but he let his brother make his own decision about where to continue his football career.
“I wanted to let him pick where he wanted to go, let him choose what he wanted to do, and it ended up being Carroll and I’m proud for him,” said Troy.
Ryan's first love was the outdoors and he grew into his passion for sports during middle school before becoming an all-state running back for Helena High. He credits Troy with helping him get up to speed in the college game.
“You know, everything’s a little bit faster. I’m still learning the offense a little bit and whenever I struggle he comes over and helps me and it’s just nice to have his support,” said Ryan.
Fighting Saints head coach Mike Van Diest says the Arntson brothers set a good example for their teammates.
“They’re out there doing it all every day. They’re trying to make their team and their school better and they’re coach’s sons. If I could recruit coach’s sons every year, those are the type of guys that you want in your program,” said Saints head coach Mike Van Diest.
Their dad, Tony, says his sons are both fierce competitors, But they also support others.
“I’m telling you right now those two have never, as far as I know anyway, been those two brothers that fought a lot or argued really about anything. The thing I’ve loved about both of them, watching them grow up, is how they treat other people. That’s the one thing that my wife and I are the most proud of,” said Coach Arntson.
He’s also proud to watch his sons play at Carroll.