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Historic Shrine Game called off

Three Blue Ponies, many from the Hi-Line were set to play for the East


April 24, 2020

Havre Daily News/Colin Thompson

Mason Dionne, left, was one of three Havre Blue Ponies selected to play in the 2020 Montana East-West Shrine Game. Thursday night, the all-star game, set for July, became the latest sporting event to be canceled due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The 2020 Montana East-West Shrine Game is the latest sporting event to be canceled due to COVID-19.

Due to concerns about the pandemic, the executive board of the Montana East-West Shrine Game made the difficult decision to call off the 2020 Montana East-West Shrine Game scheduled for July 18. The announcement came Thursday night.

In a conference call held Wednesday, board members expressed their concerns about the COVID-19 pandemic, its influence on everyone's lives, and the impact it has made on student-athlete's preparations for the Montana Shrine Game.

The decision was also based on the latest information provided by the Centers for Disease Control and directives by the state of Montana.

Board members contacted the athletes via phone Thursday to inform them of the decision. Efforts will be made in the coming weeks to find new ways to honor the best players Montana prep football has to offer.

As one of the oldest Shrine Games in the nation, this was a difficult decision by the board, but made in order to safeguard the health of the student-athletes, everyone involved in the Montana East-West Shrine Game, and the community of fans, friends and supporters of the annual game.

"Our cause is to provide needed medical services at Shriners Hospitals for Children to those in need, and the board determined that the risks of COVID-19 do not align with the safety of the student-athletes and the public," the organization said in a press release.

Three Havre Blue Ponies were selected to play for the Easy squad in the Shrine Game, with Kasee Henderson and Quinn Springer picked for the offensive line, and Mason Dionne set to play linebacker. Fort Benton's Garrett Diekhans and former Havre Blue Pony Tanner Parsons were also on the East roster,

The game will be resumed in Billings in the Summer of 2021.


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