The East-West Shrine Game has always held a special place in Montana high school football, and when the game is played this summer, Helena and the surrounding area will be well represented.
The rosters, which were officially released at 12 a.m. on Dec 25, will feature players from Helena High, Helena Capital, Jefferson (Boulder) and Townsend.
Capital will have the most players on the West roster as wide receiver/defensive back Parker Johnston will take part in the game along with quarterback Bridger Grovom, linebacker Zane McCormick and defensive/offensive lineman Monte Pearson.
Johnston earned Class AA All-State honors on both offense and defense, as did Pearson. Johnston was also the IR All Area Player of the Year in 2019.
Grovom, a two-year starter at quarterback for the Bruins, was listed on the West team as a wide receiver, so it's unclear if that's where he will play or if he will play quarterback, or both. Johnston was named as a wide receiver, while McCormick and Pearson are each on defense at inside linebacker and defensive line respectively.
Joining his Helena Capital counterparts on the defense of the West team will be Helena High's Hayden Ferguson. Just like Johnston, Pearson and McCormick, Ferguson was an All-State performer and will play outside linebacker.
The Bruins went 8-3 during the 2019 season, advancing to the Class AA quarterfinals before being knocked out by Billings West. Helena High finished 6-5 and also lost in the AA quarterfinals to Bozeman, the eventual state champions.
In the ranks of Class B, Jefferson put two players on the team as Avery Stiles was selected and will play wide receiver alongside his teammate and offensive lineman Coen Guisti. Townsend will also be represented in one of the state's premier all-star games by defensive lineman Jaden Lamb.
Townsend and Jefferson each made the Class B state playoffs out of the Southern B this past season but were eliminated in the first round.
The East and West squads will meet July 18 in Billings. Arie Grey of Butte will be the head coach of the West and John Fitzgerald of Red Lodge will lead the coaching staff of the East.
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