Michael is hoping, however, to join an East squad that he hopes will have more success on the field than the previous six East teams. The West is enjoying a six-game winning streak in the series, including a 30 to 7 win last year in Hays, and a 45 to 28 win in Wichita in 2010.
Breaking the West’s current stranglehold on the Shrine Bowl will be a challenge, but Glatczak knows something of facing challenges on the gridiron. The 2009 Panthers won the state title by knocking off the Smith Center Redmen, ending Smith Center’s storied 79-game winning streak in the championship game. Centralia’s state championship team last year faced a challenge of a different sort—a poor start, and an early-season injury to Glatczak himself, who was the team’s starting quarterback at the beginning of the season. Centralia started 2011 by losing three of its first four games. That’s when the nine seniors on the squad took things into their own hands. “We got together and talked about our season”, he says. The discussion obviously worked. “We won everything from there. It was great.” A seven-game winning streak followed, including wins over two previously undefeated 2A-1A teams, a 24-10 win over perennial powerhouse Saint Marys Colgan (Pittsburg) in the playoff semifinals, and a 20 to 14 overtime
thriller over LaCrosse in the championship game.
As for Glatczak, the shoulder injury that knocked him out of the first game kept him on the sidelines until game 3, when he returned as a wide receiver. He resumed quarterback duties by game six, however, in time to guide his team the rest of the way.
Like many coach’s kids, Glatczak says he has benefitted from growing up a coach’s son, attending practices and absorbing a great deal of football knowledge. “I’ve been around it all 18 years of my life”, he says. “That’s helped me out a ton, just knowing the game of football versus other kids who weren’t getting into football until they were in junior high. It helps you to know your position, and what it takes to win.”
Glatczak says he’ll play football this fall at Butler County Community College, and eventually would like to coach or be involved in sports administration.
All Shrine Bowl events are produced and presented to benefit Shriners Hospitals for Children [SHC]. SHC is a health care system of 22 hospitals dedicated to improving the lives of children by providing pediatric specialty care, innovative research, and outstanding teaching programs for medical professionals. Children up to the age of 18 are eligible for care and receive all services in a family-centered environment, regardless of the patients' ability to pay. The 39th annual Kansas Shrine Bowl will be played Saturday, July 28th, 2012, in Emporia, Kansas, at Welch Stadium on the Emporia State University campus. Kickoff will be at 7:00 pm. Tickets and additional information are available at www.kansasshrinebowl.com or by calling 800-530-5524.