Luke Lenoch picked to play in Shrine Bowl
by Gregory R. Norfleet · Sports · April 20, 2017

The Shriners selected West Branch High School senior Luke Lenoch to play in its 45th annual Shrine Bowl.

Lenoch and Head Football Coach Butch Pedersen traveled April 11 to Davenport for a luncheon to recognize selected players who will compete July 29 in the University of Northern Iowa Dome.

“It means a lot,” the standout running back said of playing in the game that chooses fewer than 1 percent of all high school senior players in the state, across all classes. “It’s definitely something special.”

Lenoch, who earned a scholarship to William Penn and will play for the Statesmen in the fall, has become the 29th Bear to play in the game that, since 1972, raises money for the Shriner’s Hospital for Children.

“This culminates an absolutely wonderful career” for the 5-9, 170-pounder, Pedersen said. “He’s one of the best football players who ever played in this school district.”

The coach called the Shrine Bowl the “most prestigious high school football game” because the best of the best from around the state get in.

“It’s truly an honor for Luke, his parents, the (football) program, the school and this town,” Pedersen said.

Lenoch said he will play alongside seniors who accepted scholarships to play at Division I football teams like the University of Iowa.

“This will really help get me ready for college,” he said. “It’s going to be a fun experience.”

The son of Chad and Raelene Lenoch set school records for rushing yards, points and touchdowns.

To help with the fundraising effort, Lenoch set a goal of selling $400 in advertising for the Shrine Bowl program, which fills a page.

“I will try to go for a whole page, as much as I can,” he said.

Those who wish to donate may call or text him at 319-512-6858.

Lenoch will play for the South team under Norwalk Head Coach Paul Patterson. He will wear No. 32, the same number from high school.

Among his 43 teammates is one other player from West Branch’s district: Regina senior Reagan Ries.

On the North team, Lenoch will face one other District 3 player: Jesup’s Drew Schmit.

Until he arrives at practice, he is unsure of his position, though the coach knows he primarily played running back. Pedersen said Lenoch will likely play there or in a slot back position, running from the side, sweeps, counters or catching passes — similar to his anticipated role at William Penn.

The Shrine Bowl is trying to reach $100,000 for the first time.

“We were able to give  $90,000 last year to our hospitals and transportation funds,” Shrine Bowl organizer Jerry Hoffman said in an e-mail to the Times. “(We’re) trying hard for $100,000 this year.”

Previous West Branch players selected for the Shrine Bowl include: Mark Worrell, Marv Cook, Bob Tighe, Bill Tighe, Vic Capper, Rick Fountain, Lance Pedersen, Butch Pedersen, Jason Laszczak, Dan Pedersen, Kevin Braddock, Derrick Miller, Jeremy Clayton, Clay Worrell, Andy Teesdale, Jsoh Greibahn, Glendon Klein, Dan Jacobsen, Caleb Walter, Ryan Skriver, Jordan Thompson, Trent Tisinger, Jack Rummells, Rilen Carew, Kevin Stout, Bo Bower, Michael Gould and Jacob Giese.

Getting involved

Those wishing to help Luke Lenoch raise money for the Shrine Bowl may call or text him at 319-512-6858.

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