HHS Senior Matthew Potucek was invited to participate in the 2022 Shrine Bowl in Pittsburg, Kansas.
Hillsboro High School student Matthew Potucek was recently invited to participate in the 49th Annual Kansas Shrine Bowl to be played at Carnie Smith Stadium at 7 p.m. on Saturday, Jan. 23 at Pittsburg State University in Pittsburg, Kansas.
Players are selected each year by a combination of media votes and selections from the Kansas Shrine Bowl Coaching Staff. Players must be nominated by their high school coach or athletic director. The players selected to the 2022 Kansas Shrine Bowl join the just over 3,000 players who have participated in the annual event since 1974.
“This is an incredibly impressive group of young men,” said B.J. Harris, Executive Director of the Kansas Shrine Bowl. “These players and coaches now have a wonderful opportunity ahead of them, one that is sure to have a lasting impact on their life.”
“We are very excited about the West squad,” said West Head Coach Troy Black. “The coaches feel we have a very athletic, tough, and physical football team. We feel it is a great group of young men who are great players, but also great men and they are a group that truly understands the purpose of this game and what they are really playing for.”
Potucek, who is a senior, is six foot tall and has played football throughout his high school career and all through his school years.
“I have played football for 13 years, kindergarten to senior year,” said Potucek.
HHS Head Football Coach Demetrius Cox is excited for his player.
He said, “Matthew has the opportunity to show his skills amongst a wonderful group of talented individuals from Kansas from Class 1A to Class 6A. Over his playing career at Hillsboro High School, he has totaled over 7,500 career yardages and 103 touchdowns on offense and over 150 tackles, 6 interceptions, 5 force fumbles, 9 fumble recovers, and 2 defensive touchdowns. Hillsboro hasn’t had an individual selected to play in Shrine Bowl in 14 years and to have an individual to represent his family, our School, and our Community is a wonderful achievement.”
Potucek said, “I think it’s really cool that I was invited to play in the Shrine Bowl since it’s hard to get invited to that and not many others from Hillsboro have made it.”
While a press release and information had already gone out in January, Potucek was presented with his official invitation to play in the 2022 Shrine Bowl on Tuesday, Feb. 8 at the high school basketball game at HHS. Cox was on hand to stand with him along with his parents as the invitation was presented.
“The football game itself will seem like a small thing compared to the life-changing events Matthew will get to experience leading up to the game. The Shrine Bowl is more than just playing a football game it’s about what Ray Lewis shared in his quote “making an impact on someone’s life”. As the Head Football Coach at Hillsboro High School, I want to provide all of my players with the best opportunity to be successful on and off the field. My vision is not on winning and losing, but on helping young men become better people, better prepared for life after football, making an impact on their lives that is forever lasting, and proving them with the opportunity to look back and say ‘my time at Hillsboro High School shaped me into the person I am today’,” said Cox.
We are excited for this opportunity for Matthew. He has been blessed over the years to play for great coaches and with great teammates. It has been fun watching them,” said mom Elizabeth Potucek.
Matthew graduates this spring. He is not sure what he will be doing after high school.