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Jaydon Knight, a 2023 graduate of Mount Ayr, will be participating in the 51st annual Iowa Shrine Bowl on Saturday July 22 at 4 p.m. at the UNI Dome in Cedar Falls.
The Iowa Shrine Bowl All-Star game is a football game played in July of every year that features 92 of the best football players in the state of Iowa.
When it comes to being chosen to play for the Shriners, each head football coach in the state of Iowa gets to nominate two of their players where they have to provide the players’ stats, their grade point average and any honors that each nominee has received.
Once all players are nominated, the coaches that are appointed by the Shriners to coach the ‘North’ team and the ‘South’ team get the list of potential members and they are then hand picked by the coaching staff based on their credentials.
During Knight’s time with the Raiders he was named all-district defender, overall MVP of the district, he was a first team all-state selection, and he represented team Iowa in the River Battle Bowl back in November 2022.
Mount Ayr head coach Ryan Victor shared some thoughts on Knight’s highly anticipated Shrine Bowl appearance and also mentioned his future as a college athlete,
“It’s a great honor for Jaydon to get to represent Mount Ayr in this game. Not too many people get to do this in their lifetime” said Victor. “The opportunity to get to play in a game like this is a pretty great thing. Getting to coach Jaydon over the last two years, it showed the level of commitment that he has, not only to be a football player but to be a good student and just an overall good guy. He has done a lot of things over the past two years to put him in a really good position that he is in right now playing in the Shriners game and getting an opportunity to go play at the next level.”
When asking Jaydon for this thoughts on his Shrine Bowl team selection, his thoughts were these, “It feels amazing to be able to be a part of something bigger than yourself” said Knight, “I am happy and also grateful for the opportunity to do this for the kids.”
At the end of Knight’s senior season for the Raiders (2022), he led his team in tackles with 69, 57 of them being solo and 16.5 of them being for loss. Knight also led in receiving yards for the Raiders where he racked up 430, having 31 receptions overall.
When speaking with Victor further about Knight’s decision to play at the next level he had all great things to say about the young athlete,
“I think what he (Knight) will find out is that he is going to be around a group of guys that are pretty similar minded” said Victor. “When it comes to preparing for football I think it should be a pretty seamless transition for him. I think the biggest transition will be the level of competition and speed that he will see throughout his team and the teams that he is going to play against and that will be something he has never experienced but I know he’s ready for the challenge.”
Knight played just about every position for the Raiders during his time on the team, and plans to further his academic and athletic careers at Pittsburg State.