Nebraska Shrine Bowl participants adjust to COVID-19 protocals

Practice kicked off on Monday for participants of the 62nd annual Nebraska Shrine Bowl with all 90 players passing temperature checks when they arrived in Kearney.

KEARNEY – So far, so good.

Practice kicked off on Monday for participants of the 62nd annual Nebraska Shrine Bowl with all 90 players passing temperature checks when they arrived in Kearney. But that’s only the beginning of what is in store.

Players will have their temperatures checked twice a day and will be required to wear a mask inside any of the facilities they are using on the Nebraska-Kearney campus. Players can only ride the bus with their roommates as well. And of course, lots of hand sanitizer and common sense.

“Don’t be stupid basically,” said York grad Jacob Diaz. “Be smart, and just make sure you’re keeping yourself safe and health.”

Said South Team coach Ryan Thompson of Ashland-Greenwood, “We don’t care what those rules are. We just want this game to be played so whatever they are we’ll do. I think kids are doing a great job so far for day one.”

And they’ll have to if this game is to be played.

The Shrine Bowl is set to kick off at 2:00 p.m. on Saturday on NET. It will be one of the only football games to be played since the coronavirus pandemic shut down sports in March.

And the Shrine Bowl committee knows this.

“They’re really trying to be careful because they know all eyes are on this right now,” Beau Wood, a York grad, said. “It’s really the first thing, activity really that’s going to be broadcasted. So it’s a big opportunity and everybody is on edge making sure they don’t mess it up.”

Of course, even if all the protocols and guidelines are followed to a tee, there’s no certainty it will work. And this week could carry a lot of weight with what happens in the upcoming high school football season.

“We’ll see,” said Mark Mack of Lincoln High, who will coach the North Team on Saturday. “This is all brand new territory for all of us.”

And the players just want to play on Saturday.

“You just got to do what you can do,” said Jett Janssen, a Lincoln East grad signed to play football at Wayne State. “Hopefully, both squads are doing what they need to do to keep safe and stay away from corona.”

Categories: High School Sports, Sports