HANOVER, N.H. -- The stage is set for the 60th annual Shrine Maple Sugar Bowl with the announcement of the two Shrine teams representing the finest high school football talent of New Hampshire and Vermont. The summer classic is scheduled to be played Saturday, Aug. 3, on Dartmouth College’s Memorial Field at 5:30 p.m.
Over 200 players from New Hampshire and Vermont, all graduating high school seniors, were nominated by their head coaches and "screening committees" chaired by the Shrine Head Coaches, selected the two teams. Among those on the 802 side are lineman Zachary Tarvit and running back Zachary Rawling of Bellows Falls, and Brattleboro quarterback/defensive back Tyler Higley.
The Vermont Shrine Team is coached by Jason Thomas of Burr & Burton Academy and New Hampshire by Ray Kershaw of Mascoma Valley High School.
Twenty-six high schools are represented on the New Hampshire Shrine team and 19 on the Vermont team. The two teams will meet with their respective coaches on Saturday, April 6 in Lebanon, N.H. to review game plan. Formal practice will begin on Saturday, July 27 for both teams at Castleton State College.
Coach Kershaw said of the selection process, "When you are picking 36 kids from a pool of almost 120 players there are bound to be some tough decisions, and those decisions were made based on character, work ethic of the individual kid, and information that was shared with my coaching staff by people who have worked with these kids. "My biggest excitement now, is to meet them, come together as a team, make this time a memory of a lifetime."
Coach Thomas said, " We had at least three coaches from each division at the screening committee meeting and when we selected the Vermont team we were looking for the best available players. I’m looking forward to the experience of working with these guys."
The Vermont team is expected to operate from a spread offense, while New Hampshire will use a wing-T.
The New Hampshire 36-man roster is complete. Confirmation of three Vermont players is pending.
The Shrine Maple Sugar Bowl is played for the benefit of the Shriners’ Hospitals for Crippled and Burned Children and in its first 59 years has raised nearly five million dollars. The Bowl Game is one of 30 Shrine games played every year across the country. The twin state game is sponsored by the three Shrine Centers of New Hampshire and Vermont, Bektash (Concord), Cairo (Rutland) and Mt. Sinai (Montpelier).