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Bulldawgs' Rezac answers East's late call to play in Shrine Bowl

By RICK PETERSON

TopSports.news

After crossing the finish line with a state championship in the Class 3A 200-meter dash at Wichita State' Cessna Stadium in late May, Rossville's Woodrow Rezac thought his career in competitive athletics was over.

Not so fast.

Rezac, who also helped lead the Bulldawgs to the 2A state football championship last fall, was just starting to adjust to life after sports when his phone rang with the opportunity to play for the East team in Saturday's Kansas Shrine Bowl in Hutchinson (7 p.m. kickoff).

"I did think I was done,'' Rezac said during Tuesday night's practice at Ottawa University. "I was kicking back and just kind of hanging out and what not and I didn't realize I was going to have to run again.''

WoodrowRezacAfter helping Rossville win the Class 2A state football championship last fall, Woodrow Rezac (17) will wrap up his football career in Saturday night's Kansas Shrine Bowl in Hutchinson. [File photo by Rex Wolf/TSN]

The call from the Shrine Bowl came just six days before the East reported to training camp, but it didn't take Rezac long to realize he wanted to play one final game. 

"I had to speak with my boss a little bit and make sure it was OK with him, but after talking to him I was like, 'I might as well strap the pads on one last time and go play in the Shrine Bowl,' '' said Rezac, who rushed for 888 yards on 83 carries (10.7 average) as a senior for 13-0 Rossville while also catching 18 passes for 312 yards and scoring 17 touchdowns. 

Rezac, who will play slotback for the East, said that while he may not be in tip-top football shape after having more than three weeks off following state track, he was ready to go when he reported to camp.

"I'm not too bad,'' Rezac said of his conditioning. "I'm glad it happened now instead of late August. It might be a different story then.''

Following Saturday night's game Rezac will officially close the door on his sports career and plans to attend North Central Kansas Technical College in Beloit. 

"I'm not doing any sports or anything,'' he said. "I'm just going to be a deisel tech. Going to watch football again this fall I'll probably miss it, but I'm looking to help out on the family farm and what I can bring back to that.''

And it's hard to imagine a much better capper to a high school career than Rezac experienced, ending his football career for Rossville with a state title before also finishing his track career with a state gold medal.

"There's no better feeling than winning it all, it feels good,'' said Rezac, who also posted a second-place finish in the 100-meter dash. "It was a great year.''

Rezac is one of three Shawnee County products who will play in the Shrine game, with Rossville's Bo Reeves and former Hayden star Desmond Purnell also playing for the East.