PITTSBURG (KSNT) – Twelve football players from Northeast Kansas get to play in one more high school football game.
“It’s a big honor, you know, being able to go represent your school in such a big game and also getting to do some good along the way, helping kids,” Shawnee Heights’ Orrin Busenitz said.
Ten players in the area make up the 40-man roster for the Kansas Shrine Bowl’s East team. Plus, Rossville coach Derick Hammes and Jefferson County North coach Jeff Schneider.
“Whenever you’re in the opportunity to do the Shrine Bowl, it’s something you don’t want to pass up on,” Hammes said. “You want to enjoy your time and take advantage of everything while you’re here.”
Two players are from Hammes’ Rossville team: Torrey Horak and Corey Catron.
“I see him on the field and he’s not ripping into me, so that’s new,” Horak said. “But, it’s good. It’s kind of a comforting feeling to have him here.”
Playing with new teammates and new coaches is a challenge. These guys are embracing it.
“It’s nice,” Holton’s Andrew Williams said. “I really like Coach Pollard, our O-line coach. He’s real cool.”
Same goes for the coaches.
“It’s a challenge,” Hammes said. “In turn, it’s a challenge for the kids because they’re learning a new system. What I think is good about this group, is we’ve all worked well together.”
The Shrine Bowl is more than high school football’s All-star game. All the proceeds from this game go to the Shriners hospitals for children and their patients, making 22 hospitals that will see the impact of this game.
“I’ve heard a lot of good things about the experience that people get out of this game, like going to the kids’ hospital and seeing their struggles, and how it compares to ourselves and becoming better people,” Busenitz said.
Area players in the Shrine Bowl include:
- Garret Fager- Osage City
- Torrey Horak- Rossville
- Corey Catron- Rossville
- Casen Stallbaumer- Seaman
- Zac Kramer- Nemaha Central
- Ted Skalsky- Olpe
- Andrew Williams- Holton
- Orrin Busenitz- Shawnee Heights
- Treydon Talley- Centralia
- Ryan Feldkamp- Jefferson Co. North
- Colby Klieman- Manhattan
- Keghan McConnell- Junction City
“It’s awesome,” Stallbaumer said. “They’re all great kids and fun to play with. Fun to compete with during practice and it’ll be even better competing with them on Saturday.”
The Shrine Bowl is at Pittsburg State on Saturday, July 23 at 7 p.m. Tickets can be purchased on the Shrine Bowl’s website.