Students and faculty packed the Stone Bridge High School gymnasium the morning of Nov. 2 to watch senior football players Jon Allen and Ryan Burns receive their game jerseys for the prestigious U.S. Army All-American Bowl.
Allen and Burns are among 90 players from across the nation selected to play in the game, set for Jan. 5, 2013, in San Antonio, Texas. The U.S. Army All-American Bowl will be televised live on NBC.
“It’s a great honor for all of us. Stone Bridge is a special place,” Bulldog football coach Mickey Thompson told the assembled crowd.
“To have two people from the same school going to the U.S. Army All-American Bowl is a big deal,” Burns acknowledged. “I’m glad that the hard work that Jon and I have put in over the past few years has really paid off. It’s good for the program, too.”
Allen, a 6-foot-3, 255-pound defensive end, has verbally committed to play for the University of Alabama, the reigning NCAA champions. Allen, ranked No. 38 nationally in the Class of 2013 by Rivals.com, is excited to play in the All-American Bowl.
“This is a a great honor,” he said. “You see it every year on TV but you never think it’s going to be you playing. It’s good to see all the hard work and dedication paying off.”
Burns, a 6-foot-5, 220-pound pro-style quarterback, echoed Allen’s sentiments. “There are not many very people that have been chosen to play in this game. NFL players have been part of this game in the past. To be a part of that is a huge honor. I can’t say enough about it.”
Burns, rated as the nation’s No. 63 recruit by Rivals, will continue his football career at Stanford University.
The senior duo helped the Bulldogs (10-0) claim their eighth consecutive AAA Liberty District championship with an unblemished regular season.
Allen and his teammates are now focused on winning the program’s second state championship as postseason play begins Nov. 9.
“We are trying to win states,” Allen said. “Anything short will be a disappointment.”
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