Becker leads south to victory

Jacob Lane · Wednesday, August 13, 2014
Brett Becker, all-around athlete at West Liberty high school the last four years, represented the Comets one last time at the 42nd annual Iowa Shrine Bowl on July 26.

The bowl gathers Iowa's most talented pre-college football players and pits the north side of Iowa against the south side. However, it also raises money for the Shriner's Hospitals for Children.

To date it has brought in around $2,268,000 for its cause.

“The most gratifying experience to me was being able to play football and help raise money while doing this," said Becker. “I feel very humbled to be selected and to be involved with this.”

Each of the nearly 130 participants, which includes football players and cheerleaders, were asked to raise $1,000 each. Becker raised $1,400 in one day. He's very appreciative of the community for helping him.

Becker, wearing jersey number 17, lead the South to a 23-7 victory over the North in the UNI Dome, at the University of Northern Iowa. To date the South has won 21 games while the North was won 20 since the annual matchup began in 1973.

Players are chosen through a nomination process by coaches and balloting by statewide sports media professionals. An official invitation from the Shrine Bowl confirms that they're in.

Jay McKinstrey, Head Coach at Pella High School and also coach of the 2014 South team, notified Becker in early December that he was chosen to play in the game.

“I was really excited to play and shocked," said Becker. "I wasn’t expected to be chosen to play. A lot of the guys playing in the game are going to play division one football and I am playing junior college football at Iowa Central Community College in Ft. Dodge.”

Becker was an active athlete all year round in West Liberty, participating in football, soccer, baseball and more.

As a senior he played quarterback for the Comets with 84 pass completions for a total of 1,412 yards. He ended the season with a 44.9 percent completion rate.

On the Saturday before the Shrine Bowl Becker checked in at Cedar Falls. After the parents watched a single practice on Sunday, the players practiced twice a day Monday through Friday.

On Friday, July 25, children from the Shriner’s Hospital for Children in Minneapolis traveled to the UNI Dome and hung out with the players.

The players played games, had lunch and autographed footballs for the two hours that the children were present.

The Iowa Shrine Bowl, Inc is an incorporated 501(c)3 fundraising organization. The Shrine Bowl is its biggest fundraising event of the year.

Becker is currently preparing for the 2014/15 season with Iowa Central Community College along with several other former Comets.

He'd like to thank Coach Ben Slife and the rest of the West Liberty Football coaching staff, the community, and his family and friends for attending the game.
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