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Shrine Bowl executive director announces cancellation of 2020 game
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PREP FOOTBALL | SHRINE BOWL

Shrine Bowl executive director announces cancellation of 2020 game

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Shrine Bowl 2019

South's Bentley Johnson of Cokeville runs for yardage as the North's Max Mazurie of Lander attempts to make the tackle during last year's Shrine Bowl on June 8, 2019 at Natrona County's Cheney Alumni Field in Casper. The game has been canceled for 2020.

Shrine Bowl executive director Frank Selby sent out an email Sunday announcing that the 2020 Shrine Bowl game was being canceled due to the novel coronavirus.

“The overall well-being of our communities remains on the forefront of our minds as we weather these uncertain times,” the email read. “This game is made possible not only by our athletes but also by the generosity of local businesses and families that pledge support year after year. In addition to potential risks that linger as game time nears, we cannot in good conscience ask for financial support from communities as they are left reeling in economic effects associated with the outbreak. I strongly encourage everyone to continue your patronage and support our local businesses as much as possible.

“I sincerely apologize for the disappointment this brings to our participants and football fans,” Selby added. “As Executive Director, I continue to work closely with the Board of Directors and Both Shrine Temples in Wyoming. Our focus at this time is to ensure that the players, coaches and participants are justly recognized for their achievements and the commitment that brought us together.”

This year’s game, the 47th in the annual series, was scheduled for June 13 at Natrona County’s Cheney Alumni Field in Casper.

Brent Walk of Mountain View and Aaron Papich, who recently stepped down at Powell, were announced as the head coaches back in December. Rosters and alternates for this year’s game were announced in January.

The North has won seven consecutive games in the series, including 29-19 last year, and leads the all-time series 25-18-3.

“We express our utmost appreciation for the outpouring of support received as we deliberated this difficult decision,” Selby’s email said. “On behalf of the Board of Directors, we wish everyone across Wyoming health and recovery as we begin planning for next year.

“Monies sent from businesses and player/participant families to Wyoming Shrine Bowl for game tickets, banquet tickets, program ads and sponsorships will be returned within 30 days,” Selby added. “These checks will not be deposited.”

The Shrine Bowl is just the latest high school sporting event to be canceled because of the coronavirus pandemic. The Wyoming State High School Class 3A/4A Basketball Championships began as scheduled on March 12, but was canceled after just one game was played at both the Casper Events Center and Casper College’s Swede Erickson Thunderbird Gym.

Currently, both high school spring sports — track and field and soccer — remain on hold, although the Wyoming High School Activities Association board of directors is expected to make an official announcement regarding the spring season this week.

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Sports Editor

Jack Nowlin returned to the Star-Tribune in 2007 after eight years covering Michigan State University athletics. A Wyoming native, and a graduate of Jeffrey City High School and the University of Wyoming, Jack serves as the Star-Tribune’s sports editor.

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