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Macke leads North Team at Nebraska Shrine Bowl

Published: Jul. 8, 2020 at 9:15 PM CDT|Updated: Jul. 8, 2020 at 11:20 PM CDT
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LINCOLN, Neb. (KOLN) - Lincoln High’s Mark Macke is back in his happy place. He’s spending this week on the football field coaching the North team for the Nebraska Shrine Bowl. The game is scheduled for Saturday at 2:00 p.m. in Kearney. The 62nd annual Nebraska Shrine Bowl will be the first football game in America during the pandemic.

Because of the layoff, Macke says transitioning back into a football routine has been challenging for some athletes. However, players are enjoying the opportunity to get back onto the field in preparation for Saturday's all-star game.

“One of our main themes is appreciation,” Macke said. “We’re very appreciative of this opportunity. We reminded each other that it could be taken away at any moment. Things could get shut down.”

Coaches and players at the Shrine Bowl are following COVID-19 restrictions, including social distancing, sanitizing, and wearing masks. Macke says practices look normal with physical contact and huddles. However, off-the-field is where athletes must abide by all rules.

“Once you get on the field, its football,” Macke said. “Back to what we’ve done for years.”

Macke served as an assistant coach in the 2011 Nebraska Shrine Bowl. He says he’s humbled and honored to lead the North team this summer. Macke says his squad has an impressive collection of talent.

“A lot of great coaches and players have participated in this,” Macke said.

Macke is entering his eighth season at Lincoln High. He’s led the Links to three playoff appearances, including a record-setting campaign in 2018.

Copyright 2020 KOLN. All rights reserved.

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