Ruona selected to Shrine Bowl
Baldwin High School senior Kyle Ruona was one of 68 football players from around the entire state invited to the 2005 Kansas Shrine Bowl.
"I thought it was awesome," Ruona said. "I didn't even think I was going to be selected. I think it's a big accomplishment just to be nominated to the Shrine Bowl. But to be chosen, I thought that was awesome."
Ruona becomes the second Baldwin player to be invited in the past two years, with Micah Mason being selected last year.
"Other coaches and the media have started to recognize that we've been in the playoffs the last two years, and have capable players to play in these all-star games," BHS football coach Mike Berg said.
Berg said he found out when Ruona called him Monday.
"I was very proud of him and happy for him," Berg said. "I know he'll represent Baldwin well."
Ruona's father, Lew Ruona, said he is really proud of his son and the program.
"I'm proud of the school and coach Berg," Lew Ruona said. "He's very instrumental in Kyle's success. He's worked very hard to achieve this success."
Ruona said he received a letter in December saying he was nominated by Berg. Then on Monday he received the official letter saying he was selected to the Shrine Bowl.
After finding out he was selected to the first-team all-state, Ruona said he didn't think he would receive any higher honor.
"I thought that was the top of the line," Ruona said. "I didn't think it could get any better than that. Now being selected to the Shrine Bowl is the top of the line."
Ruona said he was the only selection from the Frontier League.
"It shows how good of a team Baldwin is in the Frontier League," Ruona said. "And how much I stood out as a player. I don't want to be too self-absorbed."
BHS assistant coach Aaron Anderson said he is happy for Ruona and he has worked hard for this award.
"I am proud to hear that," Anderson said. "He was one of the most consistent guys all year long. Every honor he has earned, he has earned on his own."
Anderson also said that two players in a row being selected also shows what Berg has done for this program.
"It really shows how much coach Berg has turned that program around," Anderson said. "Hopefully, it's a good sign of things to come. It's definitely a tribute to Berg."
Ruona agreed with Anderson, saying that Berg has done a great job with the program.
"It shows how coach Berg has really turned this around," Ruona said. "He has had us on a good path of continuing victories and being a post-season presence."
Ruona said he is currently looking at such schools as Baker University, Emporia State University, Washburn University and Benedictine College to continue his football career.
"I have some top colleges that I have in mind," Ruona said. "Here in January, I am going to make a lot of visits, and hopefully decide before the end of the month."