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College football programs putting pressure on Montana athletes to skip Shrine game

Posted at 12:11 PM, Jul 17, 2019

BUTTE — The 73rd annual Montana East-West Shrine Game is just four days away from kickoff. The West team entered its third day of practice in Butte on Tuesday.

Team chemistry is strong between the foes-turned-teammates, and everyone is grateful to be competing in the most historic high school football game in the state. However, the rosters released Christmas Day and the rosters fans will see on Saturday will be a bit different.

That’s because a few graduating seniors who are continuing their football careers into college have opted out of this year’s Shrine game due to college obligations and the risk of injury. This is a growing issue across all sports around the country.

Drummond-Philipsburg and West team head coach Mike Cutler said he stands by what all-star games like the Shrine Game offer to these athletes and stands by his guys’ decision to be a part of this incredible opportunity.

“I’m a proponent of the all-star game. There could be some potential time-of-the-year change and things like that, whatever, but I certainly understand both sides of the story,” Cutler said. “And what it comes down to me as a head coach, I’m going to coach the 41 guys I’ve got. I’m not going to worry about the five or six, 10 that I don’t.”