MSU President's Newspaper Column

June 8, 2024 edition

Honored to host the 50th anniversary Shrine Bowl games

After months of preparation and planning, Mayville State University is about to roll out the red carpet for the El Zagal and Kem Shriners and players, coaches, families, and fans of the 2024 North Dakota Shrine Bowl. For the third year in a row, we are delighted to have the opportunity to host not only the practices and activities leading up to the games, but the games as well. This is a huge opportunity for the university and community.

The North Dakota Shrine Bowl All-Star Game was established in 1974 with three primary goals. The first goal is to honor high school athletes who have excelled on the football field and who display the qualities of young men with high character. The second is to promote awareness and raise funds for Shriners Hospitals for Children. There are currently more than 350 children throughout North Dakota who are active patients at Shrine hospitals. Shriners Children’s is committed to providing the best care for children in the specialty areas of orthopedics, burn care, spinal cord injury, and cleft lip and palate, regardless of a family’s ability to pay. The third goal is to inform the public about the Shrine charitable organization in order to reach more children who could potentially be helped.

The 2024 games will be played at Jerome Berg Field on Saturday, June 22. The 9-man game kicks off at 4 p.m. and the 11-man game is slated to kick off at 7 p.m. Due to limited bench seating, all who attend the games are encouraged to bring lawn chairs and blankets and to view the games anywhere around the bowl inside Jerome Berg Field.

Camp week commences with player check-in on Tuesday, June 18. Shriners Patient Ambassador Day is scheduled for Thursday, June 20, and a parade, the awards banquet, and both all-star games are Saturday, June 22. Our nation’s colors will be presented at the game by the Mayville-Portland-Clifford-Galesburg Legion.

The fun will be multiplied on game day, as it is happening during Mayville-Portland’s SummerFest. The Shrine units will lead the SummerFest Parade. The parade begins at 9:45 a.m. The Shrine Bowl Banquet will begin at 11:00 a.m. at the Lewy Lee Fieldhouse. Mayville State Dining Services staff will prepare and serve the banquet meal.

Organizers have lots of fun activities planned prior to the games. Many of our great community amenities, such as the Delchar Theater, Mayville Pool & Water Park, Mayville Golf Course, Rainbow Gardens, and the Larson Alumni Center gardens, have been promoted with our potential guests so that they might get a feel for our wonderful community while in town. There will be face painting and inflatable games for kids outside of Jerome Berg Field from 2 to 7 p.m. With the expected crowd of 3,000 who will attend the games, we know there will be lots of hungry people. To help accommodate, there will be food vendors located just west of the main entrance to Jerome Berg Field from 2 to 8 p.m. Vendors will include B-n-B Restaurant, Hippie-Gone-Hotdog, Whetzel Catering, Mama LaRonni’s, Cruizin Café, and the MSU Athletics Concessions.

Comet Gridiron Club will host tailgating for Shriners and parents of Shrine Bowl players free of charge. Those who participate are encouraged to bring a lawn chair or blanket.

We are grateful to Peterson Farms Seed - T & R Seed, Advanced Drainage Systems, the Comet Gridiron Club, Top Hat Lounge, James Valley Grain, and Jacobson Studio for their sponsorship of the pre-game activities.

Hosting the Shrine Bowl and camp week at Mayville State University takes a great team effort. I am grateful to Rocky Larson and Lon Jorgensen who have headed up the planning and organizing, as well as all Mayville State employees and community members who are going above and beyond to make sure the experience is positive and memorable for all participants. June 22, 2024 will be a great day for Mayville State University and the Mayville-Portland community to shine for the Shrine!