When he walked off the football field at Newton’s H. A. Lynn Stadium on Friday, Oct. 21, Caden Manning believed his high school football career was finished. He was ready to move on, and did by signing to play college football at Ellsworth Community College.
But wait ... a few weeks ago, the Newton High 2017 graduate was invited to play in the 2017 Iowa Shrine Bowl. He accepted the invitation. Manning has one more high school football game to play.
Manning is the first Newton High player to be honored as a Shrine Bowl participant since Derrick Hurt in 2013. Before Hurt, Brooks Skaggs was the last Newton player in the 2007 game.
Manning joins two other area graduated seniors on the South all-star squad for the 45th Annual Iowa Shrine Bowl. The all-star game is at 4 p.m. July 29 in the UNI Dome in Cedar Falls.
The two other area players are Prairie City-Monroe’s Luke Greiner and Collins-Maxwell/Baxter’s Blake Coughenhour. Coughenhour was recently asked to play much like Manning.
“Caden has been a great representative of our school and our programs. This is a great honor for him,” Newton coach Ed Ergenbright said. “He’s a really solid student, a great teammate and just all of the things you’d hope your own son would be.”
Manning is a 6-foot-3-inch, 275-pound offensive lineman. Ergenbright said Manning played tackle, guard and center in his years as a Newton High Cardinal. He was a three-year starter for Newton.
“I’m not sure where Coach Patterson will play him on the offensive line — tackle or guard,” Ergenbright said. “Caden is big and strong with quick feet. He’s football IQ is high. We’re proud to see him playing in the Shrine Bowl.”
Norwalk’s Paul Patterson is the head coach for the Shrine Bowl South squad. Also on the coaching staff are Dean Lansman of Greene County, Todd Bohlen of Belle Plaine, Brad Zelenovich of Southeast Polk, Cody Hackett of West Marshall and Richard Kacmarynski of Pella Christian.
Players report to Shrine Bowl squad camps on July 23 in Cedar Falls.
Manning was a captain for the Newton Cardinal football team this season. He helped guide the Cardinals to a 6-3 overall mark playing a Class 4A schedule.
Newton went 2-3 in 4A district play, finishing third just out of the playoffs.
Manning earned 4A All-District 4 First-Team honors as an offensive lineman. He played a key role up front to help Newton lead District 4 in rushing — 2,472 yards on 429 rush attempts, which is a 5.8-yard per carry average. Valley rushed for 2,171 yards on 333 carries (6.5 average).
Manning and the Cardinals won the final game of his NHS career. The Cardinals beat Indianola, 45-28, on Senior Night.
The motto of the all-star football Shrine Bowl games everywhere is “Strong legs run that weak legs may walk.”
Manning will represent himself, Newton High School and the Newton community well in not just the football game, but all the special activities involved with the experience. The players meet patients and staff from Shriners Hospitals.
The banner of Newton Cardinal Pride will be held high by Manning as it has been by past NHS players in the Iowa Shrine Bowl.
Just a personal note: I’m taking a week off, going home to Kansas. I know about Shrine Bowls because Kansas also has one.
I’m going to do a bit of relaxing and fishing with my Dad next week. To hear him tell it, he has been pulling some big ones out of the family pond. We’ll see. Stay cool. I’ll see you in a week.
Contact Jocelyn Sheets