MSU President's Column for Traill County Tribune

June 12, 2021

Mayville State to host Shrine Bowl athletes and coaches June 15-19

For the ninth year, Mayville State University will host the North Dakota Shrine Bowl players and coaches during their week of training prior to the 9-man and 11-man games. The Shrine Bowl will be held at Sheyenne High School in West Fargo on Saturday, June 19. The North Dakota Shrine Bowl is sponsored by the Kem and El Zagal Temples of Grand Forks and Fargo, N.D. Participating players and coaches are selected by the North Dakota High School Coaches Association.

The 125 members of the East and West 9-man and 11-man teams and their 16 coaches will practice at the Mayville State. Accommodations will be provided in Mayville State residence halls and dining services. Shrine game players and coaches will arrive at Mayville State about noon Tuesday, June 15 and check out the morning of June 19.

In addition to the regular practice schedule, a few special activities are planned for the football players. On Thursday evening, June 17, they will be enjoy dinner at the Mayville armory and then be treated to a movie. Thursday is also Patient Ambassador Day/ Press Day. Individual and team photos will be taken, and the Shriners will be giving a hospital presentation for the players. Friday, it’s back to “business as usual” with practices in the morning and afternoon. Mayville State will provide entertainment Friday evening.

Players and coaches will check out of the Mayville State residence halls Saturday morning and proceed to the banquet at the Holiday Inn in Fargo which begins at 10:30 a.m. The 11-man game will begin at 4:00 p.m. at Sheyenne High School, followed by the 9-man game at 7:00 p.m. The games are open to the public.

This marks the 47th annual North Dakota Shrine Bowl. (The Shrine Bowl was cancelled last year due to the COVID-19 pandemic.) Teams are made up of athletes from North Dakota and from northwest Minnesota, areas included in the Kem and El Zagal territories. The 16 coaches are all members in good standing with the North Dakota High School Coaches Association. Selections were based on the coaches’ respective 2020 seasons.

We’re thrilled to be hosting all of the players and coaches, and especially pleased that three of the Shrine Bowl coaches are Mayville State alumni. Kasey Koepplin, Beulah, N.D., a 2010 MSU graduate, is an assistant coach for the 11-man west team. Sandy Laxdal from Cavalier, N.D., a 1991 Mayville State graduate, is head coach for the 9-man east team, and Mike Zier from Beach, N.D., a 1998 Mayville State graduate, is an assistant coach for the 9-man west team.  

For more information about the North Dakota Shrine Bowl, go to

Shriners International is the Shriners' fraternal organization. Shriners are members of Shriners International. The fraternity is based on fun, fellowship and the Masonic principles of brotherly love, relief and truth, with nearly 200 temples (chapters) in 40 countries, and thousands of clubs around the world. While members enjoy the fraternity's fun and fellowship, they are also deeply committed to their philanthropy, Shriners Hospitals for Children. Shriners International founded Shriners Hospitals for Children as its official philanthropy in 1922. What began as one hospital is now a world-renowned health care system with permanent locations in three countries and additional patient connections through outreach clinics and telehealth sites around the world. Nearly 100 years after its founding, the fraternity continues to support Shriners Hospitals for Children, which provides pediatric specialty care, regardless of the families' ability to pay. 

We look forward to having the 2021 Shrine Bowl athletes and their coaches on our campus. I invite you to come over to campus and watch practices between June 15 and 19 to get a preview to the Shrine Bowl 2021. These student athletes are important to us and we’d love to see them become a part of our Mayville State family. Please give them the warm welcome.