The Shrine Bowl, the state’s premier all-star game is tomorrow at Emporia State University. Football players from the eastern side of the state have converged on the university to practice and prepare for Saturday’s showdown. The West has been practicing at St. John’s Military School in Salina.
Offense: The West is riddled with star football players from the past season. Names include Derrick Decker (Rose Hill), Tanner Fisher (Buhler), Matt Reed (Wichita Heights) and Joey Capul (Garden Plain) just to name a few.
It will be interesting to see how the West coaches utilize the great talent on the offensive side of the ball. The team has a few quarterbacks in Reed, Decker, BJ Dean (Pratt) and Trent Stucky (Sedgwick). These guys will not have a lack of targets for the game. Between Dodge City’s Trey Hallman and McPherson’s Jordan Hart, there will probably be plenty of pass yards once the run game is established.
Running backs include Fisher, Capul, Jarrod Nickelson (Clearwater) and Truitt Kuhlmann (Smith Center). The question becomes can the East defense stop this powerful run game?
Defense: A pair of rivals and future college teammates will help anchor the defensive line Saturday. Kapaun Mt. Carmel’s Luke Bean and Bishop Carroll’s Bradyn Butcher will line up side-by-side to try to handle East’s offensive attack. Both players will play at Butler Community College in the fall.
The West boasts a few powerful linebackers that will bolster the defense. Between Plainville’s Andrew Casey, Derby’s Dillon Call and Wichita Northwest’s Jacob Davis, it will be tough for the East to do anything on offense.
Odds and Ends: West is going for its seventh-straight Shrine Bowl win.
Offense: Much like the West, the East roster is filled to the brim with stars and standouts.
Lawrence’s Anthony Buffalomeat will provide quite the target for one of the multitude of quarterbacks in the East arsenal. Quarterbacks include Alex Forslund (Shawnee Mission South), Garrett Fugate (Blue Valley Northwest) and Michael Glatczak (Centralia).
Emporia’s Derek Gifford and Blue Valley Stilwell’s Justin Fulks will anchor the run game against a staunch West defense.
Defense: It appears the East may have a stronger defensive squad than the West, but what matters is if it’s stronger than West’s offense.
Standing in at six-foot, five-inches tall and weighing 290 lbs, Fort Scott’s Daniel Durbin will be more than a handful on the defensive line. He, along with Mill Valley’s Zach Callahan, will anchor the line for East. Callahan weighs the same as Durbin and is one inch shorter. For West, it’s not a question of will they stop the duo, but a question of can they stop them.
William Jewell-signee Jared Douglas of Olathe South was named to the Kansas Football Coaches Association all-state first-team. He will play defensive end and will try to disrupt West’s offensive rhythm as much as possible.
Odds and Ends: This is the third year in a row that a member of the Glatczak family will be a part of the East squad. Michael Glatczak led his team to the 2011 state championship for Centralia. His father Larry was East’s head coach in the 2011 Shrine Bowl and in 2010, Michael’s brother, Tyler, played in the game.