HESSTON — For a player that finished ninth in the state of Kansas with 1,065 yards receiving, July 28 may be the day Hesston’s Reese Nebel hangs up his cleats.
“I don’t know if this will be my last time playing football,” said Nebel, who signed to play basketball at Hesston College. “I don’t know what’s going to happen after that. I thought about playing football after those two years. It may be tough to do, but it’s something I’ve considered.”
Hesston College doesn’t have a football program, but Nebel’s display on the basketball court transformed him from a Swather to a Lark. But it was Nebel’s talent on the football field that led him to be selected to play in the 45th Annual Shrine Bowl.
“I feel like I had a good season,” Nebel said. “I didn’t expect to be in the Shrine Bowl, but with what I did, I felt like I had a good shot. I was just happy to be able to participate in it and play with a bunch of good players throughout the state.”
Nebel was a part of a three-headed monster at Hesston that featured running back Parker Roth and quarterback Cameron Cox. Hesston advanced to the sectional round of the Class 3A playoffs before losing to Phillipsburg 47-7.
The Swathers finished the season 8-5 under head coach Tyson Bauerle, who described Nebel as an impact player.
“Reese was an impact player for us on the field, obviously, but he was also an impact player within the locker room and weight room,” Bauerle said. “He had numerous big plays for us throughout the season, and he was also a great leader, trusted voice, and an impactful teammate. Maybe I’m wrong, but you don’t have many kids at the high school level achieve 1,000 receiving yards on offense and also lead the team in tackles on defense.”
When it’s time to travel to Pittsburg for the Shrine Bowl, Nebel said he expects there to be a lot of talented players that he will enjoy being around, but he would also like to show that small schools athletes can compete at the higher level.
“Usually you get people from Class 3A to 1A that do well in their class, but people aren’t really sure if they are legit,” Nebel said. “I just hope I can contribute to showing that small school athletes can compete with other higher classes and do just as well.”