KEARNEY — The prep football players competing in Saturday’s 55th annual Shrine Bowl know it’s an honor to be selected to the team. They know it’s a public statement that they are among the best in Nebraska. They also know the game takes a back seat when compared to what the Shrine Bowl stands for.
All of the proceeds from the game go to the Shriners Hospitals, which specialize in children. The Shrine Bowl recognizes two children as honorary captains for the game. The South was represented by Ty Gorton of Syracuse, and Kyle Kohler of North Platte was the North’s captain.
For Hastings High’s Tyler Ripperger, the honorary captains represent what the game is all about.
“What I’ll remember the most is taking pictures and our honorary captain Ty Gorton, who was born without knee caps, has deteriorating hips and bad kidneys, and he’s running around the field smiling, grinning and jumping on everybody,” Ripperger said. “Being able to do what we’re able to do is such a blessing. You have to be thankful for what you’re able to do athletically all of the time. You have to thank God.