Combine timePublished 7:04pm Friday, May 31, 2013
Though it may be the height of baseball season it’s never too early to start thinking about football and that’s what several coaches and players will be doing today at Washington High School as it will host a combine for the 2013 Shrine Bowl.
Rising seniors from any high school are invited to Washington for the combine, which will run the gridiron stars through a series of strength and agility drills and make them eligible for the 2013 Shrine Bowl, which pits North Carolina’s best players against stars from South Carolina.
“The Shrine Bowl Committee picks about 32 players to represent North Carolina in the Shrine Bowl and there are only five of these combines across the state,” Washington football coach Sport Sawyer said. “It’s a pretty big deal. There’s been only four in the state but they wanted to add a fifth in the eastern part of the state so they called and asked if we wanted to do it. We were surprised and thought it was a great opportunity for guys around here in Washington and eastern North Carolina to come and represent themselves.”
The combine will begin at 9:30 a.m. for kickers and punters, while the other position players should arrive at 10 a.m. The combine is expected to run until 1 p.m. There is a $20 fee to participate in the combine and the money goes to the Shrine Bowl Committee.
“What we will do is is take the athletes’ height and weight. Then we do other activities like seeing how many times they can do 185 (pounds) on the bench (press), broad jumps, shuttle runs and 40 times,” Sawyer said. “There is also a 30-minute segment for specific positions that will be run by the Shrine Bowl coaches.”
Aside from the possibility of representing North Carolina in the Shrine Bowl, the combine offers athletes a chance to compare themselves with other top football players, while the results of the combine are posted online where college coaches can view them.
“The players will get to see how they rate against other players from throughout the state and they get to evaluate themselves on a physical basis,” Sawyer said. “Plus, colleges coaches can go online and look at the results.”
Sawyer said he is expecting anywhere from 100 to 200 athletes at the event and said that the athletes should come prepared with proper equipment.
“Players should bring some tennis shoes for the broad jump and the shuttle run because we do that inside,” Sawyer said. “They can bring track shoes because we run the 40 on the track and then they should have cleats for when we do the position-specific drills on the field.”
The Shrine Bowl is played on the third week in December and the tradition of pitting the North Carolina all-stars versus the South Carolina all-stars dates back to 1937, making it the oldest high school football all-star game in the nation.