FOOTBALL: 14 NW players set to compete in East-West Shrine Game

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The Daily Inter Lake

Forty of the state’s best senior football players — plus two from Alberta, Canada — will convene in Billings tonight for the 71st annual Montana East-West Shrine Game.

Among those 40 players are 14 athletes from the Flathead Valley, led by four each from Glacier and Columbia Falls.

Polson and Eureka will have two representatives apiece, while Bigfork and Whitefish will both send one.

First played in 1947, the East-West Shrine game features players from all four high school classifications and raises money for the Shriner’s Hospital for Children in Spokane, Washington.

All area players will compete for Team West, which will be coached by Helena’s Tony Arntson.

Chris Murdock, the Billings Senior head coach who led his team to an undefeated season and AA state title in 2016, will lead Team East.

At least one Flathead Valley native will man every position for the West, save for defensive line and safety.

Both quarterbacks for Arntson’s squad — Columbia Falls’ Dakota Bridwell and Polson’s Tanner Wilson — are from the area.

Kickoff is scheduled for 7 p.m. at Rocky Mountain College.

Team West routed Team East 45-14 in the 2016 edition of the Shrine Game and has now won three of the past four games in the series, but the East still maintains a 38-32 overall lead in the series.

The game’s Most Outstanding Player has hailed from the Flathead Valley in two of the past three years, including Whitefish’s Luke May in 2016. May scored four total touchdowns in the 70th playing of the Shrine game, which was held in Butte.

The Northwest also produced eight alternates for this year’s game, including three from Columbia Falls and two from Flathead.

71st Annual Montana

East-West Shrine Game

Area Participants

Bigfork

Matt Farrier — specialist

Columbia Falls

Dakota Bridwell — quarterback

Braxton Reiten — wide receiver

Trevor Hoerner — tight end

Sean Miller — cornerback

Zach Baker — defensive line (alternate)

Colten Bonny — defensive line (alternate)

Zak Karlin — offensive guard (alternate)

Eureka

Cannan Smith — running back

Owen Davis — offensive guard

Joe Fehr — offensive guard (alternate)

Flathead

James Flannigan — wide receiver (alternate)

Bridger Johnson — quarterback (alternate)

Glacier

Jaxen Hashley — offensive tackle

Kellen Bemis — center

Pat O’Connell — inside linebacker

Tadan Gilman — outside linebacker

Jarrett Kesler — defensive end (alternate)

Polson

Tanner Wilson — quarterback

Matthew Rensvold — wide receiver

Whitefish

Travis Catina — inside linebacker

Tyler Cote — cornerback (alternate)

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