Jacob Russell

Clifford Smith photo

Jacob Russell (#70) prepares himself mentally before the next play in the Shrine Bowl June 11. 

The crowd waited with anticipation as the 49th annual Shrine Bowl was about to commence. The air that day was hot yet crisp, a good day for something purely American, a game of football. Two teams – North vs. South – faced off. 

These two teams were comprised of 72 all-state high school athletes in 2021.

Of those athletes stood four  Douglas athletes on team South – Jacob Russell #70, Kyle Logar #76, Keltan Ewing #28, and Rylan Wehr #29. These graduates lined up for one last game together and fought hard. The game was  tough and everyone played hard but in the end the North prevailed 37-3.

All the South players seemed to say the same thing as Kyle Logar, who explained, “We all grew as friends, and made some life-long friends. We tried not to focus on the score too much because the North definitely didn’t have as much fun as us.”

Though they lost the game, the Douglas athlete’s spirits were still soaring higher than the seagulls that day and their will to push for greatness will never end. These four Douglas graduates are among the best, as their selection for the game showed.

The Shrine Bowl has raised roughly $750,000 for the Shriners Children’s Hospital in the past 48 years ,averaging $20,000-$30,000 a year in recent years according to Executive Director Frank Selby. He is hoping for an extraordinary year this time around, hoping they manage to break $800,000, but he doesn’t have a final tally yet, he said. The Shrine Bowl association will keep 3% of what they make this year to help start up next year. The remainder is donated to Shriners Children’s Hospitals.

These students helped make a difference to be apart of something bigger than themselves, they said, and that is what really matters.

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