The Mission Valley will have four players represented in the Shrine Bowl July 15 at Rocky Mountain College in Billings.
Four area players that will be included in this year’s Shrine Bowl will include two players from Polson: Tanner Wilson and Matthew Rensvold, who are both signed and part of the University of Montana recruiting class, Charlo’s Jared Doty and Ronan’s Kasey Mock.
“There were a bunch of players that were key contributors in Rensvold and Wilson’s success and that has allowed them to have the seasons that they did,” Pirates’ coach Scott Wilson said. “They didn’t achieve what they did without a lot of help from other kids and players.”
Charlo Vikings’ coach Mike Krahn said showcases like these could be opportunities for some of the teams that play in 6-man and 8-man football. Krahn points to Chase Reynolds, who was a guest at the Masonic Lodge in Polson, honoring the players selected to the Shrine Bowl.
Krahn also credits Doty’s physicality as a football player as one of the primary reasons for his continued success.
“I think Jared is a great football player and he brought some real physicality to our team when he played,” Krahn said. “That is something that you can’t coach because kids either have it or they don’t. Obviously, there are a lot of other tools such as being fast and having good strength but Jared just likes to hit and he’s very competitive. He doesn’t like to lose and when you combine all of those things, it makes for a really good football player.”
Mock, who will follow in his coach Matt Detwiller’s footsteps by signing with Montana Western University in Dillon to play football, will now have a chance to showcase his skills at the position he will continue during college: linebacker.
Wilson, who resigned as the Pirates’ head football coach after 13 years and finished with two players that will be the first Grizz signees from Polson since 1987, said he felt “it was a good opportunity.”
“I think it’s a great opportunity for kids to play against some of the best football players around Montana,” Wilson said. “I hope these players get to enjoy their experience. Like I said, they are a playing for a good cause and good organization.”
Krahn said he “agreed” with Wilson’s assessment.
“I think for the smaller school guy, they’ve seen film on them but may not be as familiar with the 8-man game,” Krahn said. “There are a lot of other games being played in small towns. Some question whether they can transition into success at the 11-man game. Here is their chance to prove it immediately and they get to hang in there with some of those bigger schools, get a look, or even walk-on and get a chance to play somewhere.”