Locals will shine at annual Shrine Game

Chinook's Zach Molyneaux, Harlem's Seth Adams, Havre's Danny Wirtzberger all part of East-West Shrine Game


Havre Daily News/File Photo

Chinook's Zach Molyneaux is playing Saturday's Montana East-West Shrine Game in Laurel. Molyneaux is on the same team as Harlem's Seth Adams. The East squad is coached by former Blue Pony coaches Troy Purcell and Danny Wirtzberger.

With every summer day that goes by, football season gets closer and closer. But those in need of a football fix are in luck because the annual Montana East-West Shrine is back for the 68th edition.

The Shrine Game is a tradition-rich event that brings together the top players and coaches from across the state to compete on one of the biggest stages in Montana high school football.

Troy Purcell, who coached Havre High to a state championship back in 2004 and is now the head coach in Bozeman, will lead the East team. Richard Nordhal, who led Dillon to a state championship last season, his first at the helm, will coach the West squad.

Even though there will be no Havre High football players on the team, Blue Pony football and the Hi-Line will be well represented. Dan Wirtzberger, who played under Purcell from 2001-2002 and has been Havre’s offensive coordinator the last few seasons, was selected to be an assistant coach for East team.

Wirtzberger was nominated for selection by HHS head football coach Jason Christenson and is relishing the opportunity to work with some of the best athletes the state has to offer.

Purcell, who led the Blue Ponies to the 2004 Class A state title, has since won two state titles in Bozeman.

“I am very grateful to coach Christensen for the nomination and coach Purcell for selecting me,” Wirtzberger said. “It has been great to work with Troy again and it has been a tremendous honor to work with so many great athletes.”

One local player displaying his skills in the game is Harlem’s Seth Adams, a 6-1, 215-pound running back that proved to be among the best runners Class B had to offer. He earned first-team All-Conference honors following both his junior and senior seasons and committed to play college football for Montana Tech this fall.

This week Adams will show off his versatility, lining up at tight end for the East squad.

“Seth has worked really hard this week and is a great, fun-loving kid,” Wirtzberger said. “He is going to play tight end and we are hoping we can find some good matchups for him.”

Chinook’s Zach Molyneaux will also represent the Hi-Line after an exceptional season for the Sugarbeeters. The 5-11, 175-pounder, who excelled at running back and linebacker for Chinook, will play wide receiver at the Shrine Game and is committed to Rocky Mountain College next season. Molyneaux was a four-year starter for the Beeters and is playing in the same event that his older brother Tyler played in three years ago. Together, Zach and Tyler helped lead Chinook to the 2010 Class C state championship.

“Zach has done a great job. He has an outstanding work ethic and will be playing slot back for us, where he can cause some mismatches,” Wirtzberger said. “Both Zach and Seth are great kids, they have worked extremely hard this week, and I expect great things from them on Saturday.”

The Shrine Game will take place at the Laurel High School Sports Complex with the parade set to begin at 10 a.m. and kickoff slated for 7 p.m. Saturday.


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