The 41st Illinois Shriner All Star Game was held June 20 at Illinois Wesleyan College in Bloomington, and Nashville sent several representatives to the event.
Hornets Peyton Renken and Dylan Mueller were chosen as players on the East Team, and Nashville coach Tim Kuhn was invited to coach.
Players stayed at the college from Tuesday through Saturday for two practices a day. They also visited the Shriner’s Childrens Hospital in Chicago, took part in the Miracle League Baseball game, and played wheelchair basketball with the patients during the hospital visit.
The teams are determined by dividing Illinois by interstate 55, and the East team came up short in a 26-20 game.
This was the first year Kuhn was invited to coach and he says it was an experience to remember.
Over the past 40 years the goal has been to have 88 all-star football players play in this annual event to represent the Illinois Coaches Association and to help support the mission Shriners Hospitals for Children. Several game alumni have gone onto play in the NFL, including former Chicago Bears quarterback Mike Tomczak and current Aurora Christian High School coach Don Beebe. Current Northwestern head coach Pat Fitzgerald played in this event in 1991.
Each year this game creates tremendous amounts of enthusiasm within the Shriners organization. Game week includes many ancillary events such as a Miracle League Baseball Game, BBQ for players and Shriners, formal event banquet, and even an official visit to Shriners Hospitals for Children in Chicago where players have the experience of interacting with patients.
This year, the Illinois High School Shrine Game is truly “more than just a game.”
Nashville graduates Dylan Mueller and Peyton Renken, as well as Hornets’ coach Tim Kuhn, took part in the 41st Illinois Shriner All Star Game in Bloomington last month.