BENNINGTON — Mount Anthony's Gavin Johnson has been selected to participate in the Hawaii Tiki Bowl, a high school football all star game held in Honolulu, Hawaii. The game is scheduled for Jan. 3, 2021.
Johnson hadn't heard about the all star event until Wednesday, when he received a text message that he was invited to play.
Johnson felt honored to receive the invitation out of the blue.
"It was really cool being recognized for an all star game like that out in Hawaii. I was really happy, the first person I told was my mom," said Johnson.
Johnson said he is unsure at this time if he will go to Hawaii and participate in the Tiki Bowl. The total cost of the six-day trip, which ranges from Dec. 30 until Jan. 4, is $2,995. That price includes everything from hotel costs to team events during the trip. Johnson said he plans to apply for financial aid through the company that hosts the Tiki Bowl. He is also considering setting up a GoFundMe to help raise funds for the trip.
The Patriot wide receiver said he has visited Hawaii twice before on family vacations.
Johnson's high school coach, Chad Gordon, isn't surprised that his play has landed the junior some national recognition.
"He's clearly a very talented athlete, but he also works hard for his talent," said Gordon.
At 6 feet 4 inches tall, Johnson likes to use his height to his advantage.
"He likes to go up and challenge for the ball, and when he gets the ball he likes to score touchdowns," said Gordon.
He's good at it, too. Johnson shattered MAU's single-season receiving touchdown record in 2019. He registered 12 scores through the air last year for the Patriots, breaking Geoff Silver's previous record of eight. Johnson also holds the career record for receiving TD's at MAU with 17, breaking Silver and Ryan Lacasse's record of 16. Johnson, a junior, still has one more year left at MAU to add to his already recording-breaking statistics with the Patriots.
Johnson was awarded for his stellar play in 2019, being named to the Vermont Division II first-team at wide receiver.
College coaches have the MAU player on their radar, including one ACC school.
Wake Forest is one of a handful of schools in contact with Johnson. Some other schools that have shown interest in him are Trinity College, University of Rochester and Castleton University, among others.
Johnson is a multi-sport athlete. Along with football, he plays basketball for MAU. He also planned to play baseball this year, until the coronavirus canceled all Vermont spring sports.
Despite being well rounded, Johnson has his eyes on playing college football.
"I would absolutely love to play football at the next level. That's my hopes and dreams."