KEARNEY – Nebraska Shrine Bowl Executive Director Dave McDonald and officials tied closely to the annual contest are still holding out hope to play the game on July 11 in Kearney.

While restrictions are slowly being lifted during this time of a global pandemic, one has not, the restriction of playing football in the state of Nebraska.

In spite of that McDonald, members of the Kearney Visitors Bureau, local and state health officials and trainers have come up with a game plan should the contest be played in a few weeks.

“While we are confident of our current status of approval, we face one more hurdle as we await July’s Directed Health Measures from the governor’s office later this month,” Shrine Bowl Executive Director Dave MacDonald wrote to parents. “We will follow up as soon as allow-ability is determined for contact sports by the State of Nebraska.”

McDonald stated that a set of protocols developed with two Kearney physicians and two athletic trainers has gotten the okay from the Two Rivers Health Department in Kearney.

Two Rivers Health Department in Kearney issued this statement last week.

“You completed a thorough examination of the risk involved when bringing high school football players from across the state to one location. We believe that you will diligently mitigate risk for your attendees.”

A pair of Ashland-Greenwood players will pad it up for the South team after a solid showing on the gridiron in Class C-1 a year ago.

The Bluejays won all nine of their regular season games and won a playoff game before losing the Wayne Blue Devils in the Class C-1 quarterfinals.

Running back Bryce Kitrell and defensive end Jacob Ludwig were standouts for the Jays and were both selected to play for coaches Ryan Thompson and Nate Tonjes and the South team.

Kitrell, a future Ohio Bobcat, rushed for 1,197 and 17 touchdowns last season and returned four punts for touchdowns.

Ludwig was a disruptor on the defensive side of the football for the Jays last season finishing with 107 tackles and eight quarterback sacks.

Thompson will be the head coach of the South squad and is honored to be coaching in Nebraska’s elite All-Star contest.

Right now, players are scheduled to gather on July 6 at the University of Nebraska Kearney after having their health status closely monitored by parents beginning on July 1.

Two players will room together on campus and they

will be asked to separate their laundry and personal items. They have also been asked to bring sanitizer and their own water bottle.

Players will undergo daily health checks and their temperature will be taken twice a day.

Coaches have been asked to separate players as much as possible by position of by offensive or defensive units.

Medical staff will use PPE’s when working with the players and preparing water stations and the players’ water bottles.

The day of the game only family groups of up to 10 (living in the same household) will be allowed to attend the game in person.

The game is scheduled to be televised on NET.

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