MERIDEN, N.H. -- The New Hampshire and Vermont Shrine football teams went through their first full day of practice on Friday at Kimball Union Academy and not even rain could dampen their enthusiasm. The 59th annual Shrine Maple Sugar Bowl will be played on Saturday, Aug. 4, at Dartmouth College.
The Granite Staters are installing a spread offense and Vermont is working with a multiple I. The teams are coached by Mike Norman from Rutland and New Hampshire by Mike Beliveau from Souhegan. Brattleboro Union High School receiver Soren Pelz-Walsh is the only area player that will be competing.
Every running back will see action but the starters may be Marshall Hastings from Middlebury and Troy Bell from Hartford for Vermont; and Jerickson Fedrick from Salem and Kevin Davies from Pinkerton Academy for New Hampshire, based on what they have shown so far.
The two teams will hold double sessions again today and then take Sunday off to visit the Shriners Hospital for Children in Springfield, Mass., and there in the smile of a small child they will learn the real meaning of Shrine football. In 58 years, the Shrine Bowl has raised over $5 million for the three Shrine Hospitals in the northeast.
Preceding the bowl game in Hanover, N.H., there will be a spectacular parade through the streets of Hanover featuring over 3,000 marchers. The parade is scheduled for noon and in addition to units from seven Shrine Centers in the
Kickoff for the football game is set for 2:30 p.m. Tickets for the game are $8 in advance and $10 on game day. There is also reserved seating for $20 and these can be obtained from any of the ticket outlets throughout New Hampshire and Vermont. For more information, contact the Shrine Bowl Football office in Lebanon at 603-448-1042.
The game, as always, will feature 72 of the finest high school football players from New Hampshire and Vermont; all graduated high school seniors, selected from more than 200 seniors who were nominated by their high school coaches.
Coach Beliveau was head coach for New Hampshire in 2000 and was involved in the highest scoring game in Shrine Bowl history. New Hampshire scored 40 points, but Vermont countered with 47.
On the Vermont side, coach Norman is no stranger either to the Shrine Bowl, having been head coach for Vermont in 1998 and 2002. His ‘98 Vermont team was a 21-13 winner and his ‘02 squad fell 32-20.
The Shrine Maple Sugar Bowl was founded in 1954, when the New Hampshire team beat Vermont, 12-7, at Holman Stadium in Nashua, N.H. That day, $4,500 was raised for the Shrine Hospitals.
The two teams will practice at Kimball Union Academy in Meriden, N.H., for nine days. The Shrine Maple Sugar Bowl is sponsored by Bektash Shrine Center of Concord, N.H. and Mt Sinai and Cairo Centers of Montpelier and Rutland.
Some of those joining Pelz-Walsh on the Vermont side are: Hartford’s Bobby Annis, Troy Bell, Joseph Johnson, Steven Ladka, Robert Murray, Travis Wilson, Tucker Stone and Owen Newton; MAU’s Alex Cross and Jonathan Seward; Middlebury’s Marshall Hastings, Austin Quesnil and Dillon Robinson; and Rutland’s Kyle Kelly and Mack Shea.