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Manhattan defensive back Colby Klieman (10) rushes to the endzone after picking off a pass to score Manhattan’s only touchdown of the night in a game versus Wichita East on Nov 7, 2020. Klieman was voted to compete in the Kansas Shrine Bowl on Saturday.

Manhattan High’s Colby Klieman earned an invitation to the Kansas Shrine Bowl Saturday afternoon.

Only 80 seniors across the state get a chance to compete in the game, and the senior defensive back is the 63rd Manhattan Indian to earn an invite.

No other school in the state has had more players voted to play in the game.

Klieman has been a key piece of the Manhattan High defense and was a captain for head coach Joe Schartz during last season’s 7-2 campaign.

“He’s obviously a sharp young man,” Manhattan head coach Joe Schartz said. “He’s done a great job for us in the secondary. I remember the first camp that he came to, we thought about putting him at quarterback, and it just didn’t quite fit. But he ended up moving to defense and became the quarterback of the defense. He did such a great job of communicating and getting everybody lined up. He’s done a real nice job for us over the last couple of years.”

The senior had the second-most tackles on the team with 45 (34 solo) along with five tackles for loss and three pass breakups.

Klieman also returns punts and kicks during the season. He returned 12 punts for 106 yards and four kick-offs for 54 yards.

Colby is the youngest son of Kansas State head coach Chris Klieman and is set to play at Kansas Wesleyan in Salina next year.

The Coyotes are coming off a successful 11-2 campaign, where they advanced to the NAIA Football Championship Series quarterfinals before falling to Morningside, 58-21, on Nov. 27.

Klieman was a first-team All-Centennial League pick as well as a first-team All-Flint Hills selection this season.