MISSOULA — Nine future Montana Grizzly football players were selected for the 73rd annual Montana East-West Shrine Game, making it onto the roster or the alternate list.
There were 40 players, 30 alternates and one player from Calgary chosen for each squad. The all-star game is more than half a year away, scheduled for July 20 in Butte.
Five Griz signees made the roster for the East team, coached by Fairfield’s Les Meyer, who led the Eagles to the 2018 Class B state championship. Those players are Fairfield safety Ryder Meyer, Bozeman quarterback Kris Brown, Bozeman wide receiver Ryan Simpson, Billings West wide receiver Jesse Owens and Billings Senior defensive lineman Garrison Poetzl.
“Dream come true,” Ryder Meyer shared on Twitter when the rosters were announced.
Two future Grizzlies are alternates for the East squad: Great Falls Central quarterback Noah Ambuehl and Billings West cornerback Trevin Gradney. Ambuehl signed with the Griz to play tight end.
There were two Griz signees who were chosen for the West team, coached by Flint Creek’s Mike Cutler, who guided the Titans to back-to-back Class C 8-man state championships in 2017 and 2018. Those players are Whitefish tight end Dillon Botner and Loyola Sacred Heart outside linebacker Ryan Tirrell. Botner signed with the Griz as an offensive lineman/athlete.
The Griz have 12 in-state players in their 23-player recruiting class for 2019 so far. The others are Sentinel running back Elias DeWaters, Whitehall safety Max Feight and Helena Capital punter/kicker Brian Buschini.
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There were 24 Missoula-area players who were selected to the West team's roster or as an alternate.
Of the 17 who made the roster, the four Class AA players all came from Sentinel: cornerback Jace DeWalt, tight end Brock Field, safety Blaise Meriwether and quarterback Rylan Ortt.
There were four selections from Class A: Corvallis defensive lineman Garrett Brown, Hamilton defensive lineman Mike Golden, Hamilton defensive lineman Mike Graves and Hamilton wide receiver Cam Rothie.
The six Class B players chosen were Tirrell, Loyola Sacred Heart wide receiver Cooper Waters, Bigfork wide receiver Anders Epperly, Bigfork center Logan Gilliard, Bigfork safety Randy Stultz and Florence inside linebacker Spencer Jones.
Three Class C 8-man players were picked: Charlo outside linebacker Landers Smith, Flint Creek offensive tackle Riley Allen and Flint Creek defensive lineman Kane Hess.
The seven alternates from the area include Sentinel wide receiver Jack Colyer, Big Sky offensive tackle Christian Unger, Corvallis special teams player Liang Liedle, Hamilton wide receiver Tyler Barnes, Florence defensive end Zach Blomquist, Flint Creek running back Colby Manley and Darby cornerback Dylan Parks.