The West team won 43-10 against the East in the 67th Annual East West Shrine All-Star Game in Baker City on August 3.
Once a year, Oregon’s best and brightest Senior football players from the 1A to 4A high schools meet in Baker City to participate in an all-star football game that is much more than a game. These players are playing for the children who are patients of Shriners Hospital for Children. It is a real honor to be selected for this game as these players and coaches represent the best out of the state for the 4A, 3A, 2A, 1A, 8 man football, and 6 man football teams.
One of the players on the West Team was Tristan Bennett of Neah-Kah-Nie High School. The coach of the team, Chris Bennett, is his father. Chris, who graduated from the school in 1999, has been a coach of the team since 2016.
Chris played in the East West Shrine Game 20 years ago and was excited to be back on staff for the game and watch his son play. He says the game was a great opportunity for both him and his son. He was excited to see people that he played with 20 years ago.
“It was a big game with a very talented squad of players,” said Chris. “The group came together as a team.”
Chris says this was the first time the West team won in five years. Chris says that it was very fortunate for the coaching staff that he was a part of. One boy got injured before the game started and had to go home. One East player got a minor injury during the game. There were no major injuries during the game.
Tristian was able to play as both punter and starting linebacker. Chris says that he played very well. He says that there was a longer course to the game, which added about another quarter to the game. It was tough, but the boys worked through it.
“He did a great job,” Chris said of his son.
Another local player, Josh Seals, from Nestucca, was able to play in the game as a defensive lineman. Chris says this game was a great experience for the two boys, as well as himself.
“They represented the schools very well,” said Chris.