Nelson County prepared to take 2022 North Dakota Shrine Bowl by storm

John B. Crane
Devils Lake Journal

LAKOTA – The Nelson County Chargers will look to do more than solely represent the program during the 2022 North Dakota Shrine Bowl on June 18. 

Three Nelson County Charger players will take part in the 2022 North Dakota Shrine Bowl on June 18.

The Chargers will also look to thrive in it. 

As Nelson County head coach Beau Snyder looks to help lead the 9 – East team as one of four coaches on the team, three Charger players – Garrett Haakenson, Cade Stein and Calahan Forde – will look to cap off their high school football career on a high note as they leave it all on the gridiron one final time. 

“When I was invited to be a coach in the Shrine Bowl, I was very excited about the opportunity,” Snyder when team rosters were officially announced in April. “As a young coach, you don’t necessarily get those opportunities [to] come around very often, so I was very excited about that. To be able to coach that with three of my players, seniors who will be moving on with us, it just makes it that much better. I am looking forward to it, and it is going to be a real fun time.” 

Fast forward to June, and Snyder is still as eager as ever to take to the Mayville State's football field for what should be a spectacled occasion for football players and fans alike. 

While the allure of coaching such a game might warrant a change in managing a football roster, Snyder is instead sticking to his roots and going about the game like he would any other. With a slew of veteran coaches at the helm, the first-time Shrine Bowl coach in Snyder will also take in the experience and learn from it. 

“I’m not trying to really over-prepare for anything,” Snyder said. “[I’m] really just trying to go, and being it’s my first time, learn from the experience [and] see what it’s all about. There are going to be some veteran coaches there that have done this before, and I am just going to kind of try and learn from and do what I can to help prepare these kids to get ready to play a game on Saturday.” 

Beau Snyder will be a coach in the North Dakota Shrine Bowl for the first time in his career.

The player side of the Charger coin will not be much different. From the perspective of the center/defensive lineman in Forde, the opportunity to play in the game will be enjoyable. 

“I was happy,” Forde said. “I mean, family and everybody was talking about it, and I’ve always watched it growing up, so I always just kind of wanted to step out there and try to play. It was a good time when I got notified.” 

As Forde, Haakenson and Stein look back at their high school football careers, Snyder believes the experience of taking part in the 2022 Shrine Bowl will be one to remember, even after their high school careers officially end. 

Such an experience, to Snyder, will additionally be what he watches the most during the game. 

“I think it’s just watching the kids have that, like I said, one last experience out on the field,” Snyder said. “Most of these kids probably aren’t going to play at the next level, so this is really the last opportunity to put the pads on and play the game competitively. I think I am just going to try and enjoy the moment and enjoy watching these kids compete. All of these kids are outstanding athletes, and they have a lot of talent, so that is really what I am looking for.”

“Yeah, it’ll be nice,” Forde said. “I mean, when I was handing in my pads, I thought I was retiring for good, but it’s going to be a fun time to put them on one last time.” 

Created in 1974, the North Dakota Shrine Bowl All-Star Game honors high school athletes, promotes awareness for Shriners Hospitals for Children and informs the public about the organization’s overall goal. 

John Crane is a sports/general assignment reporter for the Devils Lake Journal. Feel free to contact John via work phone (701-922-1372), cell phone (701-230-4339), email (jcrane@gannett.com) or Twitter (@johncranesports) with any story ideas.