STAMFORD — It was the right decision and the right place at the right time.
King School senior running back Matt Garavel will be playing college football at Pace University in Pleasantville, N.Y. in the fall.
Garavel, who had a recognition ceremony Friday in the King gym before members of the King football program, is one of 23 recruits in Pace’s Class of 2019.
“I’m very relieved. Going through the process I had doubts of finding the right college. But when I made my official visit to Pace, it all came together very quickly,” Garavel said. “The football program has been on the rise the last three-to-four years. And I’m part of a really good recruiting class.”
Garavel, a Ridgefield native, was part of King football’s back-to-back NEPSAC Class C championship teams in 2016 and 2017.
King was 4-4 in 2018 and Garavel’s season was interrupted by injuries. The 5-foot-8, 165-pound Garavel also played three years with the King boys basketball team but is focused on football now.
“When I came to King after middle school at Ridgefield Academy, I was a basketball player first,” said Garavel, whose brother Mark will be entering his junior season with King football. “But the King football program made me love the sport. After this past season looking at colleges I didn’t want to go another year without football.”
Pace coach Andrew Rondeau just completed his fifth season with the football program. Division II Pace is coming off a 7-3 season and third place finish in the Northeast-10.
“The Pace football program is on the rise. It gives Matt a chance to see the field quicker if he works hard,” said King’s veteran football coach Dan Gouin. “Knowing Matt for four years, being close to home is important. He’ll also benefit from Pace’s great business program. Overall, it’s a great opportunity for him.”
Garavel is the third King football player and eighth King student-athlete to sign a national letter of intent to play college athletics.
“What I’ll miss most at King will be the great athletic atmosphere and the bond everyone has for each other,” Garavel said. “The decision to come to King has worked out well for me in so many ways.”