A year after failing to make the postseason, the Cougar football team is bowling again.

Senior offensive lineman, Austin Hoyt, and the rest of the team are looking forward for a chance to end the season with a win.

While talking about what the team is already doing to prepare, Hoyt said, “For us, as an offense particularly, just focusing on getting back in rhythm and running our plays, and making sure we have everything dialed in to get ready for the bowl game.”

But, as Austin prepares for the team’s bowl game, he also has his own future to think about. This past week, Hoyt received an invite to play in the East-West Shrine game, a college all-star game that is attended by many NFL scouts and coaches. Hoyt hopes to make the NFL and sees this as a great opportunity to show what he’s got to scouts.

After graduating in December, Austin will train mostly on his own, but for now, Hoyt believes the best way to prepare for this all-star game is to keep doing what he’s already been doing with the Cougars all season long. “As I give my all to the team, and focus on whatever we want to do offensively getting ready for the bowl game, a lot of that preparation will carry over into getting ready for the East-West Shrine game.”

After finishing the bowl game with the Cougars, Hoyt will shift his focus to preparing solely for the East-West Shrine game and training for the NFL.

The East-West Shrine game is played in St. Petersburg, Florida each January. The game has been played for nearly a hundred years, and proceeds from the game go to support the Shriner’s hospitals for children.

Hoyt said he is looking forward to meeting some of the kids before playing in the game. “I think the first day we get there, we get to go to the children’s hospital to spend time with the kids, so I am excited for that. Anytime you can spend with kids, helping them feel happier in the hard times they’re going through; I think that’s always a special experience.”

Another senior, Sione Takitaki, received an invite to play in a different college all-star game, the NFLPA game, but he is waiting for an invite to the East-West Shrine game before making a decision on where he will play.

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