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  • Writer's pictureJenn Brown

West All-Stars locked in for competition, cause ahead of East-West Shrine Game

After a few days of intense practice, it’s finally time for the 77th Montana East-West Shrine Game in Billings, MT this Saturday.

Shrine Game is a well loved honor for players of the year and this year’s participants do not lampoon it as they commenced practice this week at Naranche Stadium for the West All-Stars before they journeyed to the east.

‘The most important thing is being able to, the big thing is getting money to the shrine hospital,’ West quarterback Carter Kraft said, a Helena High graduate who is committed to playing college football at Sacramento State University. “And then this final game high school I am going to finish my time of being a quarterback” Yeah, it is they were kind of a lot of lasts in one place. So I’m just kind of in a way still in the process of rebuilding myself and yes that is definitely one of the things that I am so grateful for and I think I’m just trying to do my best to try and enjoy the moment.

In the same interview Coach Duchien said, You know, enjoy the little things and remember these times, they say that you’ll remember these things for the rest of your life and true enough, all these things but it is also another thing that we always have to remind ourselves because, yes, we do have a game to play on Saturday.

Some of the top talents in the western hemisphere have been decomposing and reuniting after years of intense rivalry but since the fall it going back to football conditioning that comes with learning the new blend with new talents.

I’m pretty sure all of our guys are a little out of shape, but we’re getting back in there,” said West defensive end Isaac Keim, who is a Kalispell Glacier graduate planning on attending Montana as a football letter of intent. What I mean is the fact that playing in this game is so significant you could only consider it an honor.

I am sharing a team with people I once considered as an enemy we are playing with kids that we were once fighting in the field that we are part of the same team you know it’s been a great time we are building a great relationship.

There is the combination of classification demonstrated where athletes from different schools closer the gap and then represent the game as crossing through the level of the state.

They said it has been fun especially in the social aspect because one gets to meet all these new guys from places one has never played against, in schools one has never been to, West safety Cooper Anderson stated this he is from Dillon and will be playing football at the College of Idaho. It is also entertaining to get a chance to meet those guys and just build that rapport with them because the people who are chosen are pretty awesome.

“This is something that I always wanted to do for myself since I was little kid – to come out got the Shrine, because I was actually at one probably in, 2018, and watching that, and it is inspiring to try to come and play in it. ”

Some will likely continue playing football in college and after high school but for some, this could be the final time they dress up in the sport, thus the fun.

‘This is going to be the last time I put on the pads and just fool around you know because it’s been my childhood thing forever ’ noted West labour line back Lucas Lant a product of Hamilton. It is something that is a positive thing and that is they are not to the point that it is sad like you think we have lost the last high school game we didn’t know we have lost and we still don’t feel its over yet!!! But yes, it was definitely much harder than it is now you know.

‘Just smile and joke and the game goes on; and it is up to me to have fun because if I do not, I will only end up regretting. ’

Again, when the West will play against the East All-Stars in Billings, the West is hoping to get its fourth straight win in this series but at the end of the day, the main thing for all the contenders is the fun they get playing the game, and second of all, the money they spent fundraising for the Shriners Hospital because the cause is way beyond the game.

“It really does help seeing the people we are playing for and then knowing that you’re playing for a great cause that really helps us like put our focus towards something rather than ourselves,” said West tight end Danny Sirmon who is Missoula Sentinel and will be playing football at Montana. Probably Coach has been distributing stickers, bearing the inscription, ‘BTM’ for “bigger than me” for boys who are coming with more than their individual selves in this game.

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