Gridiron standouts prepare for annual Shrine Game
MISSOULA, Mont. - As a new college football season approaches this fall, there is still time for one last prep football event. This coming weekend is the biggest high school football all-star game of the year in Montana, the 68th annual East West Shrine Game. The game will kick-off Saturday night at 7:00 in Laurel, but this week the West Team has been hard at work with practices on the Montana Tech campus in Butte. Rick Nordahl of Dillon is the head coach this year for the West squad. The game will feature the very best graduated seniors from throughout the state on the gridiron and as always, the proceeds will be going to the Shriner's Hospital for Children in Spokane. A couple athletes who will play for the Montana Grizzlies this fall spoke about what this week's Shrine Game means to them. "It's a really great opportunity. It's awesome being able to to be recognized as one of the best players of the state," said Hellgate graduate and defensive end Kole Swartz. "And then also just being able to help out the Shrine Hospital too." "It means a lot. It's an awesome experience to play with all these other good players and the coaching staff around the state," said Kalispell Glacier graduate and cornerback Evan Epperly. "I mean, I'm just really looking forward to it." The East leads the current series 37-30 over the West. The game has been played every year since it began in 1947 and last year's contest succeeded in raising a record $146,000 for the hospital.