Contributed photo/Tanni Wenger Photography
Two 2018 Grant Union High School graduates suited up for Oregon’s 66th Annual East-West Shrine All-Star Football Game on Saturday in Baker City.
Proceeds from the game benefit Portland Shriners Hospital for Children.
Wade Reimers and Cameron Hallgarth were part of the East team that claimed a 20-8 victory.
“It was a close game up until the end of the third. Then we put things together and finished the game,” Reimers said. “It was good being able to play defense again.”
Reimers was the Grant Union Prospector quarterback and a lineman, and Hallgarth was running back and a lineman.
There were 45 senior players from 29 1A through 4A east side teams, including alternates. Alternates for Grant Union were Zack Deiter and Cauy Weaver.
In the game, Reimers played tight end and defensive back.
Hallgarth was an outside linebacker and, in the last half of the game, sacked the West’s quarterback.
Although there are two different teams competing, the athletes are united in purpose.
“It was definitely a defensive game, and both teams were playing really hard, trying to win the game,” Hallgarth said. “We all just had a mindset of playing for the children and playing for Shriners.”
The motto of the game is “Strong Legs Run so Weak Legs may Walk.”
The football players visited Shriners Hospital on the second day of their week-long practice session.
Reimers said they didn’t get to meet the patients, but had a tour of the hospital.
“I thought it was a great cause, and the patients got to watch it on TV,” he said.
Hallgarth added, “I thought it was a great experience and definitely opened my eyes to what these kids are going through.”
Both Hallgarth and Reimers said they enjoyed developing lifelong friendships during the week.
“It was great to play defense with a teammate for one last time,” Reimers said.
The game will be aired on ROOT Sports Network. Check local listings for availability.