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As Barrett Lietz's high school athletic career wound down his senior year, the Rossville three-sport standout had some tough decisions to make.

BarrettLietzShrineBowl 1Recent Rossville three-sport standout Barrett Lietz (middle) will close out his competitive sports career in Saturday night's Kansas Shrine Bowl at Emporia. [Photo by Rick Peterson/TSN]

Lietz's options came down to playing football or wrestling in college or opting to concentrate on his academics.

The third option eventually won out, with Lietz headed to Kansas State to study mechanical engineering. 

"I'm just going to focus on school and study,'' said Lietz, a two-time All-Shawnee County Top 22 pick in football, a Class 3A-1A state runnerup in wrestling and a state qualifier in track and field while posting a 4.10 grade point average.

"It was a pretty tough decision because I'm done sports all my life, but I felt like it was time to be done.''

But before he closes the door on competitive athletics, Lietz will get the opportunity to play one last football game in Saturday's Kansas Shrine Bowl at Emporia State's Welch Stadium.

Lietz, a 6-foot, 235-pound lineman, was selected to play for the East after registering 47 tackles for the Bulldawgs last fall with seven tackles for loss, a forced fumble and a fumble recovery.

"It's for a good cause and it's one last game,'' said Lietz, who will play defensive end for the East. "It was been pretty hot but it's still a good experience.''

Lietz is one of six Shawnee County products on the East roster for Saturday night's 7 p.m. game.

Also suiting up for the East will be Hayden teammates Carter Charvat and Finn Dunshee, Seaman's Callen Barta, Shawnee Heights' Christian Gonzales and Washburn Rural's JC Heim.

Barta will play collegiately for Kansas State while Gonzales and Heim will play at Washburn University, Charvat is headed to Benedictine and Dunshee plans to run track at Texas Christian University.

Washburn Rural coach Steve Buhler and Shawnee Heights' Jason Swift are serving as East assistant coaches.

Saturday's game is the 51st Shrine Bowl, with net proceeds benefitting Shriners Children’s Hospitals.

The game has been played each summer since 1974. Host cities have included Lawrence, Manhattan, Wichita, Topeka, Hays, Emporia, Pittsburg, Dodge City and Hutchinson. 
The West leads the series 31-17 and there have been two ties.

Notable Shrine Bowl alumni include NFL Hall of Famer Barry Sanders, former All-Pro wide receiver Jordy Nelson and former All-Pro defensive back Terrance Newman.


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