For many high school football players, the annual Montana East/West Shrine Game is the last chance to step onto a football field. And it’s also an honor and a privilege just to be selected to the prestigious event.
And while it won’t be the last game for all of them, Saturday night’s 64th annual Shrine Game in Laurel will be an exciting and unique experience for three Hi-Line stars.
Playing on the East squad in this year’s game are Chinook’s Tyler Molyneaux and Josh Jones, as well as Harlem’s Charles Lamebull. Molyneaux will play running back for the East on Saturday night, just as he did in the Class C All-Star Game and the Montana/North Dakota Badlands Bowl earlier this summer. Molyneaux, who is headed to Minot State University this fall, helped the Chinook Sugarbeeters to the Class C state championship this past fall, earning Class C All-State honors in the process. He was also one of the top rushers in the state in all classifications during his senior season.
Both Jones and Lamebull will play on the line for the East in the game. Jones was a two-way Class C All-State performer for the Beeters, and helped anchor both Chinook’s vaunted running attack, and its stingy, hard-nosed defense. Lamebull stood out on Harlem’s lines this past season, and earned Class C All-State honors in the process.
Another Hi-Line standout had a last-minute chance to play on the defensive line for the East on Saturday night, but because of other obligations, won’t be on the field. Havre High’s Josh Salapich was originally selected as an alternate for the game, and last Friday was contacted by the East coaching staff to play, but Salapich was already heading on a planned vacation and was unable to make it to this weekend’s game.
But as exciting as Saturday night will be for the three Hi-Line products, participation doesn’t end on the field. Also present on Saturday night will be Rocky Boy’s Casandra Lamas. She will be part of the East cheer squad. And the cheerleaders at the Shrine Game have big responsibilities, as they help organize charity events, and help with the fund raising for the game’s main charity, the Shriner’s Children’s Hospital in Spokane, Wash.
And the game isn’t the only unique experience either. For the first time in its long and storied history, the Shrine Game will be played at Laurel’s new Laurel Sports Complex. The Laurel Stadium is just three years old, but is already being regarded as one of the top high school sports facilities in Montana.
All shrine game players have been practicing with their respective teams since July 8, and both teams will meet in Laurel on Thursday night. The game is set to kick off at 7 p.m. on Saturday night, and will broadcast on KTVQ TV in Billings. This is the first-ever live broadcast of the Shrine Game. The game can also be streamed on the internet or heard live on the Northern Broadcasting System.