Eye-opening experiences during ND Shrine Bowl
Football players found out first-hand who the toughest people are at the North Dakota Shrine Bowl.
Dickinson’s Levi Jordheim said the kids of the Shriners Hospital are the real tough guys and girls.
“If you think you have hard times in your life, those kids really go through a lot,” Jordheim as the players from the 9-man and 11-man East and West Teams spent time with the kids from the Shriners Hospital on Friday. “It’s great that this game begins a lot of awareness to what the Shriners do. It just puts your life into perspective.”
Richardton-Taylor-Hebron’s Lane Aune said spending time with the Shriners kids was an eye-opening experience.
“Seeing what they go through, everything we do we take for granted,” he said. “You meet amputees that can’t do everything that we can. It’s extremely gratifying to realize all that we are blessed with.”
The football players from the East and West Teams are putting in the final preparations for the 11-man game which begins at 3 p.m. today at the Fargodome. The 9-man game starts at 6 p.m.
Jordheim, who was unable to play in the Badlands Bowl, said it’s great to get the pads back on. The Dickinson High graduate is committed to play football for North Dakota State in the fall.
“No amount of conditioning or weight lifting can really compare to what a true football game is,” said Jordheim, who will play wide receiver for the 11-man West Team. “Getting a glimpse of my future is really good to get me both mentally and physically prepared.”
For Richardton-Taylor-Hebron’s Logan Lacher and Aune, the 9-man game marks their final football game.
Aune — who is going to school at South Dakota State in the fall — said the experience of playing football for one last week has been amazing.
“It’s a little bittersweet,” Aune said. “I had a couple offers to play college ball, but I declined to play. It’s going to be pretty emotional.”
Not to mention, it will be the last hurrah as Lacher and Aune stand on the sidelines as teammates.
Aune and Lacher helped the Raiders to a 7-3 record during their senior season. Divide County defeated RTH 32-20 in the opening round of the 9-man playoffs.
“It means a lot and we’ve played a lot over the years,” said Lacher, who will be attending NDSU in the fall. “I’m excited that I get to have this one last game to play with (Aune). It’s been blast and I’ve met a lot of new people, I’m excited and I’m just ready to get this game going.”
Jordheim is the lone Dickinson player on the 11-man West Team, so a majority of the players on the team were once his rivals.
Those rivalries are no more as the West is looking for a win over the East. The West defeated the East last season after Belfield graduate and Dickinson State transfer Seth Ewoniuk scored a 64-yard touchdown in the fourth quarter.
“It’s fun, because we’ve been banging heads for the last three years,” Jordheim said. “Now we get to play together as a team. You don’t like them on the football field, because you are rivals, but once get to know them they are just like you. We’ve become close friends.”
There are going to be nerves before any football game.
However, Aune said there are more nerves for the Shrine Bowl than a regular football, because there’s more on the line than just a win or loss.
“You got the best of the West verse the best of the East,” Aune said. “It’s a pride thing. You got to represent your side well.”