2020 Kansas Shrine Bowl practice kicks off with extra precautions

Published: Jul. 13, 2020 at 10:54 PM CDT
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TOPEKA, Kan. (WIBW) - Ahead of Saturday’s 47th annual Kansas Shrine bowl, both teams are taking extra precautions to safely pull off the first organized high school football game played in the state this year.

”Every single one of these kids has been excited to be here,” Jason Swift, defensive coordinator for the East team and Shawnee Heights head football coach, said. “They’ve been excited to represent the East side.”

This year’s group of players are executing two game plans: one on the field, and one off of it.

”When we’re not at football, we have our masks on,” Swift said. “Making sure the kids when we’re teaching them that they have distance apart from each other. We’re spraying down the helmets, the locker room, the shoulder pads. You’re only hanging out with your specific friend or roommate.”

The team also gets temperature and symptom checks three times a day.

“So we’re doing a lot to make sure that this thing goes off and that we can have sports in the fall,” Swift said.

For the state’s top football players, one thing hasn’t changed:

”Football is still football,” Timirance Adams, Shawnee Heights alum and Coffeyville commit, said. “It hasn’t gotten in the way of anything.“

”It feels great. It’s some normalcy in the kids’ life.”

With safety precautions in place, 36 players on both the East side and the West side will spend the week practicing leading up to the big game on Saturday.

”You gotta put things in that you normally put in a three week preseason in high school in one week” Swift said. “But the thing here with these kids is all of them have been high level football players at the high school level. They’re also very smart, they’re also very respectful, very coachable, and they have all those intangibles of a good person. So it’s really easy to teach them and they soak everything up, so I feel good where we’re going.“

”It’s been good, real smooth, fluid, working together, communicating well, it’s like I’ve known these guys for years and some of them I’ve met just from the Shrine Bowl,” Jaylen Carter, Washburn Rural alum and K-State commit, said.

”I think they’re understanding that this is a special opportunity and they’re embracing it,” Swift said.

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