Wesche excited to coach East all-stars in 2018 Shrine Game


BOZEMAN, Mont. - Football all-star games are still months away but last week got the conversation started as the 2017 East-West Shrine Game rosters were revealed.

For Montana native Levi Wesche, being head coach for the East during this year's Shrine Game will be memorable milestone in his football career.

"The opportunity to coach some of the best athletes in Montana is a very big deal," said Wesche.  "You dream of coaching the best athletes always and going as high as you can.  Having those guys that you've coached against on your sideline for three or four years now on your sideline is going to be exciting."

Besides all of the the talented players that Wesche will get to work with for the first time, he's even more excited to get another week with several of his Bozeman seniors as three Hawks made the East starting roster and another pair are currently alternates.

"These seniors that I'm very close with and really enjoy being around... You know I get to coach a Jory Choate for another week. I get to coach a Logan Kleinhans for another week and a Tyler Dobe.  Those guys are amazing players but they're kids that I really care about.  They're part of my family now.  Being able to be there and have them be a part of it is extremely important to me."

The East owns the advantage in this 72-year old rivalry all-star game with 39 wins compared to 32 victories for the West.  Last season's game was a 38-24 win for the East team and make no mistake that this game is always a battle once things kickoff.

"Nobody wants to lose a football game and I think if you coach or play this game at the level these guys are playing at I think you have a pretty big appetite for competition.  The sting of a loss will hang with you for a long time and that feeling of a win will hang with you too."

But no matter the wins and losses, the biggest accomplishment of this event is that the game has raised nearly $500,000 for the Shriner's Hospital in Spokane over just the past five years.

"The fact that this game itself is one of the largest contributors to that hospital is very special," explained Wesche.  "You meet those young people that have been helped and you're just glad you can be a part of something that's doing good work around the state of Montana."

The 72nd annual Montana Shrine Game will kick off on July 21 in Great Falls. Click here to see a full list of the players selected to compete.

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