Shrine Game lists five local players

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Travis Knoll, who helped Bigfork capture its first ever Class B state football championship last month, is one of five area players selected to participate in the 65th annual East-West Shrine Game next summer.

Joining Knoll on the West roster are: Bryan Chery, Glacier, cornerback; Joel Horn, Glacier, tackle; Jeff Markavage, Flathead, wide receiver; and Nate Thompson, Columbia Falls, running back.

Senior players are nominated for the Shrine Game by their high school coach, and then are voted on by coaches across the state.

Next year's game will be played July 16 in Laurel. Butte hosted last summer's game, which raised over $103,000 for the Shriner's Hospital for Children in Spokane.

Knoll, a 6-foot, 170-pound running back, caught a game-winning 7-yard touchdown pass with 8.6 seconds remaining to rally Bigfork over Fairfield 24-21 in the title game on Nov. 20 in Bigfork.

Knoll finished the season with over 2,000 yards rushing.

Thompson also had a banner season, leading the Wildcats to the Northwestern A conference championship and a trip to the Class A playoffs. He rushed for 1,668 yards and 12 touchdowns.

Chery, 5-9, 160, and Horn, 6-5, 242, were two key members helping Glacier advance to the Class AA playoffs for a second-straight year. Both players were also honored for their senior-season play by being named to the first-team all-state team.

Chery led the Wolfpack in interceptions with five and had 50 tackles.

Horn will play football at Montana State University next fall on scholarship.

Markavage, 6-3, 195, was the second-leading receiver for the Braves with 48 receptions for 563 yards and three touchdowns.

Five other area players have also been selected as alternates to the West squad for the Shrine Game. They are: Kyle Bagnell, Polson, receiver; Boyce Ballard, Glacier, inside linebacker; Kaleb Johnson, Columbia Falls, wide receiver; Jake Konen, Glacier, tackle; and Mike VanArendonk, Flathead, quarterback.

Troy Purcell, who led Bozeman to the Class AA state title last fall, will coach the West team.

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