Time to shrine

Krajicek to play in the Shrine Bowl

Senior Zach Krajicek stands with all the players on his team (the North team) for the Shrine Bowl. The rosters for the North and South teams were released at the Player Press Conference on February 19th. (Courtesy Photo)

The Shrine Bowl is an all-star football game that happens every summer featuring senior football players from high schools all over Nebraska. Only the top 55 players from across the state are chosen, and this year, Yutan senior Zach Krajicek is among them. 

“Each coach gets to nominate two of their senior players,” Zach said. “From there, the coaches that are actually coaching for the Shrine Bowl select based on what positions they need and who they think is going to fit their scheme.”

The players’ moral qualities are also taken into consideration.

“You have to be a person of good character,” Zach said. “There’s a lot of people that coaches select. They’re good at football, but their character side of things isn’t so good, so they don’t end up getting actually selected for the team.”

Zach is grateful to have this opportunity to play with all the top seniors in the state, especially because he is only the fourth person from Yutan to get selected for the Shrine Bowl.

“I was pretty excited because that’s something I saw Colton Feist do and then Isaiah [Daniel] and Gavin Kube last year,” Zach said. “It’s an all-star game, and any opportunity to play football, I’ll take.”

Senior Zach Krajicek (right) poses for a picture with his dad and coach, Dan Krajicek (left). During his 11 years of coaching at Yutan, Dan Krajicek has had four of his players be selected for the Shrine Bowl. (Courtesy Photo)

Head football coach and Zach’s dad Dan Krajicek thinks “it’s a great honor” for him to be selected to play in the Shrine Bowl.

“It is a very exclusive list of players that get that opportunity, so I am just excited for him,” Dan Krajicek said. “I am glad he will get to experience the week of practice and all the events that go along with it. The Shrine Bowl motto is ‘more than a game,’ and that is really what it is.”

After the team is selected, they all practice together during the first week of June at the University of Nebraska-Kearney. Then they play the game on UNK’s game field. Not only does this game offer great opportunities for senior football players, but it also goes to a good cause.

“It’s basically a big fundraising opportunity for Shriners Children’s Hospital,” Zach said. “The whole point of it is to raise money for the hospital and give back to the community.”

Overall, Zach feels that playing in this game will help prepare him for the next level.

“I’m gonna be playing safety instead of linebacker, so that’ll be something to transition into, but I think it’ll help me in college because I don’t think I’ll be playing linebacker in college,” Zach said. “I’m just really excited because it’s another opportunity to play football.”