LAURINBURG — The Fighting Scots will be represented in the 81st Shrine Bowl of the Carolinas in December by seniors Javon Ratliffe and Tyler Smith.
The Shrine Bowl of the Carolinas brings together the best high school football players from North and South Carolina in Spartansburg, S.C. at Wofford College to benefit the Greenville Unit Shriners Hospital for Children in South Carolina and the 21 other Shriners Hospitals for Children across the nation.
One of the starting linebackers for the Fighting Scots Ratliffe will play defense while Smith, an offensive lineman, will protect one of three quarterbacks selected for the game — Conly High School’s Holton Ahlers; Robert B. Glenn’s Stephon Brown; or Murhpy High School’s Joey Curry.
So far this season, Ratliffe has 23 tackles — seven for loss — to go along with three quarterback sacks and a fumble recovery.
Smith is the starting right tackle for the Scots and along with his fellow offensive linemen have created enough running room for the Fighting Scots running back to accumulate almost 2,000 rushing yards in six games. Smith and the line have also protected quarterback Warren Bell well enough he has thrown for almost 350 yards and four touchdowns with just one interception.
This year’s Shrine Bowl will be played on Saturday, Dec. 16 at 2 p.m. at Gibbs Stadium on the campus of Wofford College in Spartansburg, S.C.
The Shrine Bowl began in 1937 based on the model of the East-West Shrine Game that was played in San Francisco, but the game took on a new slant in the Carolinas. Instead of being a college all-star game, it would become the nation’s first high school football all-star game.
The inaugural game, under the leadership of former Charlotte Fire Chief Hendrix Palmer attracted 5,500 spectators, many of whom paid one dollar to attend and raised $2,500 for the hospital. Since 2013, game receipts and temple contributions have raised over 1.7 million dollars.
Since the first game, over $75 million dollars have been raised for Shriners Hospitals. The mission of Shriners is to provide the highest quality care to children with neuromusculoskeletal conditions, burn injuries and other special healthcare needs within a compassionate, family-centered and collaborative care environment. Along with providing education for physicians and other healthcare professionals.
The Shrine Bowl of the Carolinas and the six sponsoring Shrine Centers have always led the Shriners International in contributions to the Shriners Hospitals for Children, and the game has been replicated or adapted by every Shrine Center in the country that promotes an athletic event.
One of the special things about the Shriners Hospitals for Children is they provide care without regard to race, color, creed, sex or sect, disability, national origin or ability of a patient or family to pay.
If you know of a child Shriners Hospitals might be able to help, please call our toll-free patient referral line: In the U.S.: 1-800-237-5055, in Canada: 1-800-361-7256, or visit the refer a patient page at www.shrinershospitalsforchildren.org.