Goshen County represents at 51st Shrine Bowl

Robert Galbreath
Posted 6/11/24

Goshen County played a crucial part in the success of the 51st Annual Shrine Bowl on Saturday.

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Goshen County represents at 51st Shrine Bowl


CASPER – Goshen County folks played a significant role in the 51st Annual Wyoming Shrine Bowl all-star high school football game at Natrona County High School’s Cheney Alumni Field on Saturday, June 8.

Athletes, coaches and support staff represented the communities of Torrington, Lingle-Fort Laramie (LFL) and Southeast Schools with class, sportsmanship, grit and excellence throughout Saturday’s game. 

Participants and fans took the interruption of blaring weather sirens in stride, sitting out a 30-minute delay due to lightening that turned into a nearly 90-minute extended break as dark skies unleashed two rounds of hail.

Five athletes from Goshen County hit the gridiron for the South Team in one final high school football game – Torrington High School (THS) graduates and former Blazers Tyler Bennick, Brayden Frazier, Bryce Hager and Trey Parriott and Southeast High School graduate and former Cyclone Tiegan Thompson. 

THS head coach Russell Stienmetz led the coaching staff for the South Team at this year’s Shrine Bowl, supported by THS assistant coaches Robb Nicolay and Ryan Workman and LFL head coach Brandon Gifford.

Torrington’s Emily Yorges served as the South Team’s athletic trainer while LFL graduate Izzy Spears was one of the team managers. Even the ballboys – Barrett Bruch, Taven Reimers and James Stienmetz – hailed from Goshen County.

The final score on Saturday favored the North Team, 45-7, although the tally came in second place to the true meaning of the event. The Shrine Bowl is an opportunity for the finest graduated senior football players from across Wyoming to showcase their skills on the gridiron in one last game before taking their next steps in life. Revenues from the game also raise funds and awareness for the Shriners Hospitals for Children.

“I was very fortunate to get the opportunity to be selected to represent the community at this year’s Shrine Bowl,” coach Stienmetz said. “It’s fun to work with a group of talented seniors. Each athlete was able to pick things up so quickly.”

Athletes arrived for the event on the Sunday before the big game and stayed in Casper for an intense week of practices. Players also visited kids who benefitted from treatment at Shriners Hospitals. The week culminated with media day and photographs on Friday and a parade on Saturday before kickoff.

“We practiced with full pads in the morning and shells in the afternoon, depending on the heat,” Stienmetz added. “The kids each adapted well. This was a great week.”

A memorable game

Bennick made several tackles for the South Team’s defensive line during the Shrine Bowl, including three tackles in the third quarter. 

In high school, Bennick served as an offensive tackle and defensive lineman and bagged 2A all-state and all-conference accolades as well as the 2A East Lineman of the Year Award as a senior.

“It was a fun week,” Bennick said of the Shrine Bowl experience. “It’s nice to come out here and play one more game for high school and do it for a good cause. I got a couple tackles in and that pick in the end zone – that was pretty cool.”

Bennick will play football and compete in track at Dickinson State University in North Dakota.

Frazier played center on the South Team’s offense throughout all four quarters of the Shrine Bowl. The former Blazers center and linebacker earned 2A all-state and all-conference accolades as a senior.

“It’s been a fun week playing football in Casper with some different guys than normal,” Frazier said. “It was definitely an eye-opening football game. I got a couple of decent blocks.”

Frazier is enrolled to study at Laramie County Community College this fall.

Hager stepped up as one the South Team’s quarterbacks, gaining positive yards by completing passes or driving up the field on a keep.

Hager also coordinated the Blazers’ offense as their quarterback and snagged 2A all-state and all-conference honors in 2023, along with the 2A East Offensive Player of the Year Award.

“This is a fun week to be able to connect with a bunch of guys and raise money for kids in need,” Hager said. “As quarterback, I had a little scramble play and I dumped it up over the top. That was pretty cool.”

Hager’s football career will continue this fall at the University of Montana Western.

Parriott served on the South Team’s offensive line. As a senior for the Blazers, Parriott played offensive guard and defensive nose and garnered 2A all-state and all-conference awards.

“It was really fun to connect with all these players from across the state and raise money for kids,” Parriott said. “It was a fun experience all together.”

Parriott will continue his studies at Laramie County Community College in the fall.

Thompson played on both the South Team’s D-line and special teams, tallying several tackles. The former Cyclones defensive end and center captured 1A 9-man all-state and all-conference recognition as a senior and secured the 1A 9-man Defensive Player of the Year Award.

“This was a fun week with some great guys,” Thompson said. “We got to talk to some great kids and raise some money for them. (During the game) I was in on some tackles. We all did our jobs in every play.”

Thompson’s football career is far from over as the Southeast graduate committed to play at Chadron State College in Nebraska.