Defense stole the show in terms of local talent being selected to the 2016 Kansas Shrine Bowl game.
Crawford County came away with three local student-athletes receiving selections to this year’s Shrine Bowl East team, as St. Mary’s Colgan defensive lineman Orion Battaglia, Pittsburg linebacker Will Mengarelli and Frontenac linebacker Ryan Menghini all received honors.
Battaglia was the strength for the Colgan defensive line. He finished the season with 41 tackles, 10 of which were solo. He had seven tackles-for-loss, and tied for the team high in sacks with three. Battaglia finished with one forced fumble and one fumble recovery.
Will Mengarelli was the leading tackler for the Purple Dragons in 2015, finished with 128 total tackles. He had 100 solo tackles on the season as well as two sacks, one fumble forced and one fumble recovered. Mengarelli had six blocked field goals this season as well for Pittsburg.
Menghini finished the year with 80 total tackles for the Raiders. He had 43 solo tackles. He finished with 4.5 tackles-for-loss, .5 sack and one forced fumble with one fumble recovered.
The Kansas Shrine Bowl has been played since 1974 and is considered as one of the most prestigious high school football all-star games in the nation.
The teams are made up of upperclass football players from the state of Kansas who are divided into the East team and West team. The players are selected by a voting process submitted by sports writers from around the state of Kansas.
The West team leads the head-to-head series in wins with 26, while the East has won 15 times. There has been one tie in the game.
All of the proceeds from the game go to benefit network of 22 Shriners Hospital for Children.