For three Emmetsburg preps, the football season started a little earlier than normal with their involvement in the 2012 Iowa Shrine All Star Bowl, played Saturday, July 21 in Ames.
Andrew Garrelts, a lineman for the North Squad, was joined by classmates Aleysha Schutz and Katie Kassel as cheerleaders for the game, played at Jack Trice Field at Iowa State University.
The Shrine Bowl features 92 pre-college players and 60 cheerleaders as selected by coaches, media professionals and representatives of the Shrine Bowl. The selections are split into two teams on opposing sides of a north-south dividing line.
In this year's game, it was all South team as the South claimed a 40-7 victory over the North to bring the 40-year series mark to 20-19-1 in favor of the North.
However, the game score is insignificant when it comes to the reason for playing the game - to support the Shriners' Hospital network across the country that treat children at no cost to their families. The four Iowa Shrine Temples, Abu Bekr in Sioux City, El Kahir of Cedar Rapids; Kaaba in Davenport; and Za-Ga-Zig of Des Moines, all support the Shriner's hospitals in Minneapolis, Cincinnati, Chicago, St, Louis and a Burn Center in Galveston, Texas.
During the 2012 game on July 21, officials of the Iowa Shrine Bowl announced that the 41st edition of the fundraiser will move in 2013 to the University of Northern Iowa and the UNI?Dome. Next year's game will be played July 27, 2013.
The Shrine Bowl had been played at Kingston Stadium in Cedar Rapids for many years before moving to Ames and Jack Trice Field at Iowa State University, where it has been played for the past 12 years.
However, action by the National Collegiate Athletic Association this past winter is forcing the change in location.
A new NCAA rule prohibits Football Bowl Series eligible schools, such as Iowa State, from hosting all-star games.
"We have had a good run at Iowa State University and made many friends, but we are really looking forward to our new adventure with UNI," said Shrine Bowl general manager Jerry Hoffman.