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Emporia State set to host Shrine Bowl in 2016

Emporia State set to host Shrine Bowl in 2016

Kathryn Martin

Sarah Van Petten, director of the Kansas Shrine Bowl, speaks to a Kent Weiser, Emporia State athletic director before the press conference to announce the 2016 Shrine Bowl on March 28 in the Greek Room of Memorial Union. The meeting was held to announce that Emporia would host the Shrine Bowl for the fifth time.

For the fifth time in Emporia State’s history, the university has the honor to host the All-Star Shrine Bowl football game in 2016. The game will be held Saturday July 30, 2016 after a series of other events prior to the game.

The Shrine Bowl features two Kansas teams, “East” and “West,” based on location. The coaches are determined by their place at state that year, one from each class (1A, 2A, 3A, 4A, 5A and 6A). Players are chosen by their high school coaches, then there is a media selection where they vote on the players they want on the teams. The coaches have the final say of adding 12 more players to their team, rounding off with 34 players to each East and West team.

Nathan Linsey, current football coach and alumni of Emporia State, played in the Shrine Bowl for the East team in 2006.

“It was a great feeling to get to play (in the Shrine Bowl). Obviously, with only a select number of players being chosen with looking at all of the number one schools and players on all of those teams, you can see how much of a privilege it is,” Linsey said.

Along with the football game, the event will feature the best high school All-State top cross country runners, cheerleaders and band members across Kansas.

Sarah Van Petten, executive director of the Kansas Shrine Bowl, said, “Other events along with the game will include a two-mile open run featuring the Kansas All-State runners, a golf tournament, an 1,150 person banquet held in the Memorial Union and a parade through downtown Emporia the night of the football game.”

“Every year the East team’s camp to prepare for the Shrine Bowl is held at ESU, regardless of the location of the football game,” said Gwen Larson, assistant director of Marketing and Media Relations.

This year the Shrine Bowl will be held in Pittsburg and in 2015 it will be in Hays.

The Shrine Bowl largely sponsors the Shriners Hospitals, which is a healthcare system of 22 hospitals dedicated to improve the lives of children by providing pediatric specialty care, innovative research and to help student teaching programs for medical professionals and will care for patients regardless of ability to pay.

As of the 2013 All-Star game, up to $2.5 million has been raised and sent to Shriners hospitals for the treatment of Kansas’ kids, Van Petten said.

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