West Shrine Team Practicing in Butte - ABC FOX MONTANA NEWS, WEATHER, SPORTS - KTMF/KWYB

West Shrine Team Practicing in Butte

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 The annual East-West Montana Shrine Game is this weekend where the state's top football talent will be showcasing their skills.

Right now, the teams are busy learning their new offensive and defensive schemes.

Monday the West all-stars played their first team scrimmage in preparation for the game.

The team, made up of the top players of the western part of the state, got their first taste of going full speed since the season last fall.

"It's a lot of fun just being here with everyone from all classes, and kids you have always either played with or played against,” said Mick Paffhausen, a safety from Dillon. “I always wanted a chance to play with these guys from other classes. It's real, and it's here now. So it's really exciting."

The West is putting it's playbook to work in the scrimmage.

The team came together late last week, and in just days has been quickly learning the X's and O's for two different schemes.

They're learning their own playbook and then running a second scout team that will resemble what the east will run.

"As a good look for our offense, we have to run that defense the best that we can,” said West Head Coach Rick Nordahl from Beaverhead County High School. “So actually, we've installed two defenses for these kids. They interchange back and forth. They've done a great job picking it up, and learning on the run."

Many of the players on the west squad will play college football, but a good amount will not.

That includes Butte High's Johnny Walker who will be putting the pads on for one final time on Saturday.

"It's really emotional for me,” said Walker, a defensive end from Butte High. “I don't want to say it's a bad thing that I'm not playing college football, but I'm not saying that it's a good thing that I'm not playing college football. I guess I have a lot of talent if I'm here. I don't want that talent to go to waste. So I have something to prove this next game."

While it is an all-star game, Johnny and the rest of his west teammates are preparing for a fight on Saturday.

"Come Saturday night, it's the biggest football game that most of these kids have ever played in,” said Coach Nordahl. “It's just another game, but for some of them it's bigger than the state championship, and some of them different have an opportunity to play in a playoff game or for a state championship, it's the biggest game of their lives."

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