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East centers Spencer Higareda, Landon Thompson embrace Shrine Game before turning rivals

Posted at 6:39 PM, Jun 12, 2024

BILLINGS — Typically, the interior offensive and defensive line positions in the Montana East-West Shrine Game are occupied by Class AA and Class A kids.

That’s not necessarily the case for the East this week, as there are two Class B players manning the line — Huntley Project’s Spencer Higareda and Red Lodge’s Xander Rehder — and one 8-Man player, Fairview’s Landon Thompson.

"I just think it's every guy versus every guy. I don't think it's any different. I have a chip on my shoulder and I need to go out and do my thing," Higareda said.

"It's definitely fun. The competition is a lot different. You're battling guys that are the same size if not bigger than you are, so you've got to be at a different level," Thompson said.

Higareda and Thompson have spent the week as teammates along the o-line, but shortly they’ll become Frontier Conference rivals.

Thompson plays this week under Rob Stanton before heading to Dickinson State to play for Stanton's brother Pete, while Higareda will play at Rocky Mountain College.

Higareda says some friendly trash talk is bound to fire up.

“Not really yet, but it will definitely be coming this week when we get our team period going," Higareda said.

Away from football, Higareda is a big sneakerhead, specifically Jordans. You probably won’t see him wearing those Js with a suit, though.

“I try to wear them out. I don't have any shoes I don't wear. I like to wear just a t-shirt and shorts with my Jordans," said Higareda.

We’ll have to see Saturday if Higareda busts out a special pair of cleats for the Shrine Game, as he and Thompson will be stalwarts along the east offensive line.

Kickoff of the 77th East-West Shrine Game is slated for 7 p.m. Saturday at Daylis Stadium in Billings.