By Kylie Hanson
Tribune Sentinel Intern
Tim Johnson, an incoming freshman at University of Nebraska-Kearney, was selected to attend the Shrine Bowl in Kearney during the week of June 2, playing for the South squad.
Johnson graduated from Perkins County High School in May.
One of the many activities as part of being on the Shrine Bowl roster is getting to work with sick children.
Each year two are chosen as team captains and the experience has taught Johnson a valuable lesson.
“There were two kids that were the captains, one for each team, and we spent a lot of time with them. I think it really made their lives because they got to hang out with us football players for a week,” Johnson said. “Then for me, I realized how much we tend to take for granted. Those of us who get to walk every day complain about having to do it when one of the children that was an assistant coach probably won’t ever get to walk again in his life.”
“It’s hard to think of how much we take for granted everyday,” Johnson explains when asked about how the experience impacted the children, and him as a person.
Some good experiences that Johnson told about included their assistant coach, Grant, who said, ‘Go South!’ at the North Team’s picnic.
Then the North team’s captain, Mark, was racing against one of the linemen at the picnic and he fell down and claimed that Mark, the assistant coach, had pushed him down.
“It was pretty funny,” Johnson laughed.
Even though the scoreboard wasn’t where they would’ve wanted it to be (North Team 30, South Team 7), Johnson explains that he thinks the North team, “Wasn’t exactly better than us, they just had a few big plays that we had made mistakes on.”
Johnson said that he would’ve tried out for the UNK football team, but he was late applying. He is unsure if he will try out for his sophomore year.
Johnson said he felt different about the Shrine Bowl due to this last football season at the Perkins County Schools, where he played the position of running back for the Plainsmen.
He said the other South players shared the same passion for the game with him, unlike some of the team members that have gone out for football in the past.
“I felt more optimistic about the game with everyone else’s positive attitudes,” Johnson explains.
Johnson also said that it wasn’t all hard work, every night they either got to watch film or go do an activity such as swimming or bowling.
“I think the Shrine Bowl is a good program because you get to learn about the Shrine Hospital. The football portion of it is basically a fund-raiser for those who can’t afford the hospital bills for the Shrine Hospital,” said Johnson.