BILLINGS — A record-breaking Miles City duo has been pulling double duty this week.
Cowboy standouts Carson Hunter and Jayden Venable lit up Class A during their high school careers and were rewarded with a trip to Saturday’s 74th annual Montana East-West Shrine Game. But they had to squeeze in a conference doubleheader on the diamond between football practices.
“It is a little challenging, especially just coming off of track, track and baseball together," Hunter said. "Now we’re here for a week of football and then going across town to play some baseball, so it is interesting. But it’ll be fun, it’ll be worth it.”
A quick Tuesday twofer against the Billings Blue Jays, then it was back to work on the gridiron. And it’s been a scorcher for most of the week, especially on the turf at Daylis Stadium.
“The first day, just coming back, especially being in pads, that first 3 o’clock practice," Hunter said. "I know a lot of guys were getting sunburnt. Kind of laughed around about it. But drinking plenty of water and still finding a way to have fun and enjoy it.”
Even with a frantic week between practices and events, Hunter and Venable have had plenty of time to soak in the importance of the Shrine Game.
“This game is a lot more than just football. It’s for the kids and everything," Venable said. "It means a lot because this might be my last time ever. It’s an honor and it’s kind of sad at the same time, but it’s going to be fun.”
“It’s a big honor. It’s something to feel very proud of, especially with the (Knights of Columbus Badlands Bowl) not happening this year. It puts even more emphasis on this game, and we got to meet some of the patients from the Shriners Hospital, so I’m very proud to be here," said Hunter.
Hunter will be playing quarterback and Venable will split out wide for the East offense on Saturday night at Daylis Stadium, with the game scheduled for 7 p.m.