By Steve Peterson
Akron-Westfield Class of 2013 alumnus Taylor James will be part of the North All-Star Squad in the 41st Annual Iowa Shrine Bowl All-Star Football Classic to be played July 27 at 4:00 p.m. at the UNI Dome in Cedar Falls on the University of Northern Iowa campus.
Proceeds from the Iowa Shrine Bowl support the Shriners’ Hospitals for Children. The Shriners’ Hospitals provide medical care for children suffering from orthopedic conditions, burns, spinal cord injuries and cleft lips and palates. To date, more than $2 million has been raised for the Shriners’ Hospitals through the Iowa Shrine Bowl events.
“He’s very deserving. He’s a kid who has worked very hard and diligently — both on the football field and in the classroom. It’s a great opportunity for him and I’m sure he will do the most with it. The other players will find out what a super force he is to bring down,” said A-W Head Coach Eric Walkingstick.
Game day caps off a week of Iowa Shrine Bowl activities including a Hog Roast; football and cheerleading mini-camp; a BBQ; Shriners’ Hospital visit in Minneapolis, Minn.; an honor banquet; and a parade and autograph session the day of the game.
The game is played as a North vs. South format. Also included on the North squad is Austin Anfinson of Hinton, and the Head Coach is Mike Dirksen of Newman Catholic in Mason City. The game is being played for the first time at the UNI Dome after 12 years at Iowa State University’s Jack Trice Stadium.
The Iowa Shrine Bowl is presented by the four Shrine Centers in Iowa including AbuBekr Shriners in Sioux City.
James will attend Morningside College in August.
James, son of Lori and Brent James of Westfield, had 1,849 yards rushing in 2012, 6.6 yards per carry in 281 attempts; scored 25 rushing touchdowns; was 4-for-12 passing for 41 yards, one touchdown and one interception. On defense he had 82 total tackles, one interception for a touchdown; James also had 11 kickoff returns for 363 yards with two touchdowns including one for 95 yards; and had 13 punt returns for 211 yards, 16.2 yards average.
James’s honors included District A Most Valuable Player for Offense and Iowa Newspaper Association Second Team.
James also finished seventh at the Class 1A state wrestling meet at 182 pounds and golfed for the Westerners in 2012-2013.