The 2020 47th annual Kansas Shrine Bowl will be held after all.
The original location of the Kansas all-star football game was Washburn University. Following the announcement of the campus closure on May 5 due to health and safety concerns of the COVID-19 pandemic, on Friday the Shrine Bowl confirmed that the game will take place at the Hummer Sports Complex in Topeka on July 18, according to a statement on kansasshrinebowl.com
“While health and safety concerns are still a factor, we are excited to have a new venue and are increasingly hopeful we will be playing football on July 18,” Kansas Shrine Bowl Executive Director BJ Harris said. “Hummer Sports Complex is an amazing facility and their staff and support will be a tremendous asset.”
With Shrine Bowl organizers getting help from the Shawnee County COVID-19 Task Force, there are several notable changes that will keep health at the forefront. For starters, the Kansas Masonic All-State Marching Band performance will be canceled. Instead, Director of Athletics Bands at Emporia State University, Dr. William Woodsworth, and Band Director of Valley Falls High School, AJ Pierce, are putting together a virtual band.
Other canceled items on the Shrine Bowl agenda include the Participant Appreciation Banquet, the Strong Legs Run 5K, and the hospital screening clinic. A subtle change will be the Kansas Shrine Bowl All-Star Cheer Camp being shortened to a two-day, commuter camp, which will happen at a Topeka school district facility.
Events still under consideration are the Kansas Shrine Bowl Parade, high school football combine, and the junior All-Star Challenge.
Still, the four-man golf scramble at the Topeka Country Club hosted by the Arab Shrine Golfers is still a go on Friday, July 17.
Those who have already purchased banquet tickets or sponsorships will be contacted for refunds. Kansas Masonic Lodges are set to be contacted pertaining to band sponsorships.
Players can still expect to prepare at the East and West training camps in Ottawa and Salina, although further details will be provided in the coming days.
Among those selected for the event is former Chanute High School quarterback Ty Bowman, who posted 30 total touchdowns, 1,273 yards passing and 822 rushing yards. Those stats in the 2019 season helped lead the Blue Comets to their best record (9-2) since 2013 and to the state sectionals for the first time since 2012. Bowman was also All-SEK first-team offense, earned a nomination for Sports In Kansas’ 4A Player of the Year, and was an All-State selection for the historic season.
Other local notables who earned Shrine Bowl selections were Erie High School lineman Caype Johnston and St. Paul High School quarterback Adam Albertini, who totaled 57 total touchdowns, while throwing for 402 yards.