July 23, 2014 3:45PM
Band members were the first Kansas Shrine Bowl participants to arrive at Pittsburg State University this week. The 172 musicians, who are part of the Kansas Masonic Foundation’s 31st annual All-State High School Marching Band, checked into their rooms on Tuesday. Almost immediately, the students began a rigorous practice schedule in preparation for the 41st annual Kansas Shrine Bowl at 7:05 p.m. on Saturday, July 26th, in Carnie Smith Stadium. They are under the direction of Doug Whitten, director of athletics bands at PSU.
The 68 football players representing the East and West squads will arrive Thursday morning with their first practice set for 7:30 p.m. Joining the band members and the players will be 50 all-star cross-country runners and 87 cheerleaders from high schools across the state.
According to Sarah Van Petten, executive director for the Kansas Shrine Bowl, a number of community activities are scheduled as part of Shrine Bowl week. Those begin with a golf tournament on Friday at Four Oaks Golf Course. On Saturday, the day starts with a 2-mile run. A high school football combine will run from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m. at Hutchinson Field and the Shrine Bowl Parade will begin at 10 a.m. on Broadway. From 9-11:30 a.m., the organizers will host a screening clinic at the Mirza Shrine Temple, 110 W. 5th, to help identify children who may be eligible for care at Shriners hospitals.
Kick-off for the 31st annual Shrine Bowl is at 7:05 p.m. in Carnie Smith Stadium. All proceeds from the game go to benefit the network of 22 Shriners’ hospitals for children.
Van Petten said it takes a lot of people and many hours of work to make the annual Shrine Bowl a success.
“Everything is really going smoothly,” Van Petten said. “Working with Pittsburg State University and the Pittsburg community through the CCCVB has been great.”