FIRST AND LAST: 8-MAN'S STOUT GEARS UP
FOR SHRINE BOWL, THEN A ROUNDBALL CAREER
Not many Kansas Shrine Bowl players will hold the unusual distinction of having been an All-Star caliber football player despite having played in only one eleven-man game during their athletic careers.
But if everything goes as planned, that's exactly what will happen to Jordan Stout of Madison (6'2", 208 pounds). The quarterback/safety's high school football career was in 8-man football, and also enjoyed a stellar career as a basketball player. When it came to which sport he would pursue in college, basketball was the winner, even though he was being recruited more as a football player. He will attend Emporia State University on a basketball scholarship beginning this fall. The MIAA basketball powerhouse is only 20 miles north of Stout's hometown.
"It was a tough choice," he says, "because I love both sports. My original intent was to play football" (he was recruited by ESU arch-rival Washburn, among others), "but I'd watched ESU's basketball team over the last year, and when they made me a basketball offer, I couldn't pass it up."
However, before he becomes a hoopster with the Hornets, he'll be playing one last football game, no doubt different from any he played in high school by virtue of three more players on each side of the ball. Stout says he's not sure how much different the game will be than the 8-man game he's accustomed to. "But it will be fun," he says.
Fans familiar with Kansas geography may raise their eyebrows at Stout playing for the West, when his school is clearly on the east side of the state. That's because the dividing line between East and West
is not drawn down the middle of the state, but rather takes into account the number of teams in all Kansas football classes and the number of players on either side of the line, in order to keep the selection process fair and the game competitive. As it happens, Madison (in Greenwood County) is on the west side of the line for purposes of the 2007 Shrine Bowl.
Stout admits he was "a little disappointed" that he wasn't selected to play for the East, since he already knows several of the East players. "But I'm just happy to be chosen, and I'm looking forward to meeting the guys from the West and making some new friends on that team." Stout again will be playing against former 8-man high school rival Matt Coursen, Waverly (5'11", 165 pounds), an Emporia State football signee who will be playing for the East. After the renewal of their high school rivalry in the Shrine Bowl, the two plan to become roommates at ESU.
They'll be two of four 8-man players selected for the Shrine Bowl. Each year, four 8-man players are chosen to play in the late-July classic, two from the East and two from the West. Besides Stout and Coursen, other 8-man players selected for the 2007 Shrine Bowl include Grant Levin, West Smith County (6'1", 185 pounds), and Andrew Wiederholt, Hartford (6'0", 205 pounds). Stout, Coursen, and Wiederholt will be playing in their second All-Star game at the Shrine Bowl. All three participated in the Kansas Eight-Man All-Star game in Beloit on June 9th.
Proceeds from the event support the Shriner’s Hospitals for Children, a network of 22 hospitals that provide expert, no-cost orthopedic and burn care to children under 18. Children are admitted totally free to Shriners Hospitals for Children without regard for race, religion, nationality, creed, or relationship to a Shriner.
The 2007 Kansas Shrine Bowl will be the most family-friendly ever, with several events taking place during the day. Planned events include a 5K Run for Charity, a day-long Arts and Crafts Fair, a Kid's Fair, the annual Kansas Shrine Bowl Parade, a high school football combine, and a Charity Poker Run that will include cash and prizes.
Advance reserved chairback tickets for the all-star game are $20.00 in advance, $21.00 on game night. Adult general admission tickets are $9.00 in advance, $10.00 on game night. Student tickets (K-12) are $5.00 in advance, $6.00 on game night. Banquet tickets are $20.00, and must be purchased in advance. Additional information and tickets can be purchased through the Shrine Bowl office by calling 1-800-530-5524.