DODGE CITY — For the second year in a row, the Labette County Grizzlies were represented at the annual Kansas Shrine Bowl as Caleb Hentzen repped the East on Saturday.
The West defeated the East in the 2019 Shrine Bowl 26-7 in the game in Dodge City. Hentzen had an interception in the second half and started for the East.
“Caleb played really well. He started the game. He made some nice plays and played on the punt team as well,” Labette County head coach Sean Price said. “He had an interception too which was great. Being a high jumper certainly helped.”
Hentzen is the second defensive back in as many seasons to represent Labette County in the Shrine Bowl after KeShaun Anderson played in the game in Pittsburg last year.
“For Labette County, I believe it’s the fourth one overall but two straight years for us,” Price said. “That’s big for our program. Our program is on another level right now. The Shrine Bowl is hard to make. Hopefully we can keep that going. It’s just exciting for all of our kids.”
Hentzen said he enjoyed the experience of getting to represent the Grizzlies in Dodge City amongst the state’s all-stars.
“It was very nice,” Hentzen said. “Having an All-Star Game with everybody knowing their position, it was awesome.”
Hentzen added that the philanthropic efforts of the Shrine Bowl, which benefits the Shriners Hospitals which assist children in need, were eye-opening.
“I thought it was cool getting to know all the kids,” Hentzen said. “They didn’t let anything hold them back. There was a kid without a leg that still played football. That was really cool.”
“Seeing the Shriners and being around those kids, that was very humbling for him,” Price added. “This game is about the kids, and Caleb knows that. It was pretty emotional for him and they raised a lot of money for the hospitals. It was cool for him to get out and see other kids, too.”
Hentzen proved vital in a variety of roles for the Grizzlies, who finished the 2018 season 4-5.
He rushed for 207 yards on 21 carries — his 9.9 yards per carry led Labette County. Hentzen also caught 11 balls for 244 yards.
On defense, Hentzen tallied 24 tackles on the season. He also had a team-high six interceptions and one fumble recovery.
In track-and-field, Hentzen is the Labette County school record holder in high jump and finished third at the state meet in Wichita.
“I thought things went pretty well,” Hentzen said. “I would’ve liked to have more tackles in football and jump higher in high jump. But overall it was good for me.”
Price said Hentzen took up an early leadership role in the weight room.
“In our weight room is where legendary begins,” Price said. “That’s where Caleb started. He was fast coming in. But he was a 95-pound freshman. He turned into a well-rounded athlete that could do anything he wanted to do because he showed up to work everyday.”
Hentzen echoed Price’s sentiments.
“It’s cool being the second defensive back to make it,” Hentzen said. “It took a lot of early mornings at boot camp but it was great being able to do it.”
Hentzen will continue his academic pursuits at Pittsburg State University, where he’ll major in diesel and heavy equipment with a goal of becoming a mechanic.
2019 KANSAS SHRINE BOWL
West 26, East 7
East: 0 0 7 0 — 7
West: 6 14 0 6 — 26
WEST: Hoover 19 yd pass from Brack (Brack run failed), 2:31
WEST: Sides 13 yd pass from Grill (kick good), 5:01
WEST: Wilson 17 yd pass from Grill (kick good), 4:19
EAST: Roberts 5 yd run (kick good), 5:18
WEST: Peters 13 yd run (kick no good), 5:06
RUSHING: East: Sanchez 5-7, Roberts 19-16, Kellum 2-4, White, 2-(-4), White 2-2, Hinrichs 4-9. Totals 34-34. West: Theis 14-73, Baker 4-12, Peters 14-68, Grill 2-(-17), Wilson 4-70, Brack 2-9, Roth 1-0.
PASSING: East: Roberts 9-22-0-1-94, White 1-3-0-0-2, Kellum 0-1-0-0-0. Totals 10-26-0-1-96. West: Grill 5-11-2-1-84, Brack 3-8-1-0-23, Theis 0-1-0-0-0, Sides 1-1-0-0-34. Totals 9-21-3-1-141.
RECEIVING: East: Sanchez 1-5, Kellum 2-32, Burt 2-20, White 5-39. Totals 10-96. West: Wilson 2-28, Hoover 1-19, Roth 2-38, Theis 1-0, Sides 3-56. Totals 9-141.