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Football

Twenty-three Football Players from Northwest Montana Chosen for Shrine Game

Fourteen players make West roster; Glacier and Columbia Falls lead roster counts with seven picks each for annual prep all-star game

By Micah Drew
Kash Goiceochea of Glacier High School football pictured in Kalispell on Nov. 27, 2023. Hunter D’Antuono | Flathead Beacon

The rosters for the annual Montana East-West Shrine Game will feature senior standouts from eight different northwest Montana high schools, it was announced on Dec. 25.

The annual all-star football game will be played on June 15, 2024 in Billings and feature the top players in the class of 2024 from around the state. This season, 23 locals have been chosen, 14 on the West roster and nine more as alternates for the West team. The student athletes represent Bigfork, Columbia Falls, Libby, Glacier, Flathead, Eureka, Thompson Falls and Whitefish high schools.

Of the local teams, Glacier had the most players selected with five on the West roster and two alternatives. Isaac Keim, the Western AA Conference Defensive MVP for the Wolfpack, led the selections as a defensive end along with All-State selections Henry Sellards (T), Cohen Kastelitz (WR) and Alex Hausmann (DB). Kash Goicoechea was also named to the West roster as an athlete, to step in anywhere he’s needed. Evan Barnes (DB) and Kaleb Shine (ILB) made the team as alternates.

Columbia Falls contributed four players to the West roster.  Wildcats Jace Hill (WR), and Tristan Crane (G) were both All-State selections for their performances this season on Columbia Falls’ offensive and defensive lines this season. Star quarterback Cody Schwikert was also selected for the Shrine roster but as a linebacker, due to the high talent level among the state’s quarterbacks. Alihn Anderson also made the West roster as a defensive back. As alternates, Wildcats Mark Robison (WR), Lane Hoerner (DE) and Hunter Goodman (ILB) also got nods.

Whitefish’s Mason Kelch, an All-State selection for the Bulldogs, joins the team as a safety, while Bigfork’s Eli Thorness was selected as a tight end.

Additional West roster selections are Hayden Hanks of Thompson Falls (DT), linebacker Jace DeShazer from Libby and defensive back Tristan Butts from Eureka. Additional West team alternates are Braden Capser (TE) and Brody Thornsberry (ATH) from Flathead and Wyatt Johnson (OLB), Tristan Herd (S) from Bigfork.

The game also features cheerleaders from throughout the state who have met a high standard of excellence at their respective schools. The players and cheerleaders are nominated by their schools and coaches across the state, and selected as the “best of the best” to participate in the 77th Montana Shrine Game.

The Montana East-West Shrine Game is a fundraiser for the Shriners Hospital for Children in Spokane, Washington, and organizers say the game has raised nearly $1 million in the last 10 years. The East leads the all-time series 41-35, but the West has won three straight games, including last year’s game in Butte by a 45-13 margin.

For more information, visit www.montanaeastwestshrinegame.org.

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