By Jeremy McDonald
BAKER CITY, Ore.– An experience of a lifetime was the best way Amity’s Josh Wart described playing in the Shriners East-West Shrine Game Saturday night.
The Warriors-graduate wasn’t sure if he would have played football again having sold his cleats and other football-related gear prior to receiving the invitation to the game at Baker High School, having to scramble to get some gear together for one last game before heading to Chemeketa Community College in Salem for basketball.
“I meant a lot of really cool people from across the State, both East and West. This week was a lot more to me, a lot more than football. It was a true experience to help play for the Shriners Hospital,” Wart said. “It was unreal, I wish we would’ve stopped by and went to the Shriners Hospital, but we got clips of it and we got to see what it was all about and it really means a lot to pick 22 people. Being out here is truly an experience-of-a-lifetime and it means a lot more to me than football.”
Wart had a reception for eight yards in the game to book-end his High School athletic career as he opened a new one with the Storm for basketball. The six-foot-seven-inch post will join a Chemeketa team that went 10-4 in the shortened-Spring Season in the NWAC. It’s an opportunity that Wart didn’t foresee him having until recently.
“It’s exciting. I’m nervous but excited. There was a time where I wasn’t sure if I was going to play basketball but I made my mind up. I’m totally committed to basketball,” Wart said. “I want to hit two years and see what happens from there and see if there’s a future for it after that.”
Wart will push himself, pointing to the physicality he faced Saturday night as a point of emphasis going into his freshman year of college. Joking that he needs to hit the weight room as he embarks on this great new journey that is in front of him.
“I’m going to do whatever I can. It’s going to be exciting; it’s going to be a good experience at the next level to play. I’m just excited,” Wart said.