The Whitehall Ledger - Serving Southern Jefferson County in the Great State of Montana

By Jack H. Smith
Ledger Publisher 

Simon, Larsen named to Shrine Bowl squad


December 28, 2016

Jack H. Smith

Braden Larsen gets away from the Cut Bank defense in playoff action earlier this year.

Whitehall High School's Andrew Simon and Braden Larsen showed throughout the 2016 football season they were among the best players in Montana. The dynamic duo recently learned they will get one more chance to showcase their skills on the high school level.

Simon and Larsen were two of the 80 players recently named to the roster for the 2017 Montana East-West Shrine game.

The 71st annual game will take place July 15 at Rocky Mountain College in Billings, and will raise money for the Shriner's Hospital for Children in Spokane. The game has raised over $400,000 the past six years.

This season, Simon and Larsen were both named to the District 5B All-State and All-Conference teams. They were named first team all conference on both offense and defense.

"I'm so happy for these two to be able to represent not only class B football, but the Whitehall school and community as well. These two have put in so much time during the season as well as the offseason," Trojan head coach Dan Lacey said. "Coming in early in the morning during the summer and over Christmas breaks isn't easy to do and these to young men took pride in attending everything they could academically and athletically. I'm extremely proud of their accomplishments and look forward to seeing them play this summer."

Simon had a storied career on offense for the Trojans. He had a total of 2,323 receiving yards, which is second best in Montana High School history. Simon has the Montana state record for receiving yards in a game. He had 307 yards receiving on 12 catches in a 2015 game against Townsend. He was also the leading tackler on the 2016 team.

Simon said he was both excited and happy to be selected to the team where he will suit up as a tight end, the position he wants to play in the game.

"I think it will a lot of fun to help the kids and play with some really great players," Simon said.

Lacey said Simon is a great example of a football player.

"He is physical, loves contact, and plays with an attitude that makes other teams fear him," Lacey said. "Andrew will go down as one of the greatest football players ever to play in Whitehall and in Montana."

Larsen also had an unbelievable career as a Trojan.

Larsen finished the 2016 season with 3,423 yards passing and 37 touchdown passes. He also rushed for a team high 816 yards and 11 touchdowns. At the corner position, Larsen had 64 tackles and team high five interceptions.

Jack H. Smith

Andrew Simon catches a touchdown pass in quarterfinal action against Ronan.

Larsen had a four-year total of 8,602 offensive yards, which is fifth in Montana history. During his senior season, he had 4,239 yards, which is good for third in Montana history.

Larsen said Monday he grew up watching the game, and it's a big honor to be selected. He also feels it will be a honor to help out kids at the hospital.

Larsen was both excited and surprised to hear he was selected. Larsen who will play cornerback, said he didn't mind playing on offense or defense.

"It doesn't matter the position, I just want to play," he said.

Lacey said Larsen had a tremendous career as a Whitehall Trojan football player.

"He was a great leader an asset to our program in so many ways. He is one of the most determined athletes I have ever coached and does a great job of leading by example," he said.


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