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Stanek, area players land Shrine invites

Messenger photo by Britt Kudla: Brennan Holder of South Central runs against Van Meter in a Class 1A semifinal at the UNI-Dome.

CEDAR FALLS — For one final time at the high school level, a number of standout area football players will step on the gridiron at the 49th annual Iowa Shrine Bowl this coming summer.

The game is set for Saturday, July 24, inside the UNI-Dome.

Among the players selected to represent their respective high school are Brock Stanek of St. Edmond, Ben Dunlap of Emmetsburg and Brennan Holder from South Central Calhoun. Mike Swieter, the head coach at Southeast Valley, will serve as an assistant for the North team.

Stanek, Dunlap and Holder will suit up for the North, which will be coached by Paul James from Linn-Mar. Stanek has committed to the University of St. Thomas, Dunlap to Morningside College, and Holder to Northwestern College.

Last fall, Stanek anchored the St. Edmond offensive line while recording 30.5 tackles, two sacks and four stops for loss on defense. Dunlap threw for 573 yards and seven touchdowns with 40.5 tackles and six sacks.

Holder helped lead South Central Calhoun to the state semifinals, racking up 680 yards rushing, 155 yards receiving and 12 touchdowns while making 64 tackles with 11 for loss in 2020.

In 2020, the game was canceled due to COVID-19. The series is tied 23-23-1 overall with the South winning in 2019 and ’18.

Selected for the all-star cheer team are Jacey Ash and Aubrey Bemrich of St. Edmond, Kierra Birkey from Manson Northwest Webster and Macy Macke, Madison Monahan, Allison Stokes and Caitlin Stokes from South Central Calhoun.

The event is used as a fundraiser for The Shriner’s Hospitals for Children. To date, the Iowa Shrine Bowl has raised over $2.7 million.

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