West wins 10th U.S. Army All-American Bowl

Staff reports
Dutchtown’s Eric Reid, right, and his father Eric Sr. speak to reporters after a press conference announcing his selection to play in the U.S. Army All American Bowl in November.

SAN ANTONIO – The Army's number-one opportunity to honor some of its greatest heroes, wounded warriors, future Soldiers and the nation's top high school football athletes unfolded on Saturday during the All-American Bowl all-star high school football contest at the Alamodome.

It was the Army's 10th time to sponsor the event that saw the West team dominate the East 30-14 in front of a crowd of 34,126 and a nationally televised audience.

Dutchtown defensive back and LSU committment Eric Reid participated in the game for the West squad.

During pre-game activities, 90 Soldier-Heroes, representing the ranks of active component, Reserve, and National Guard, were paired with a player from either the West or East teams and introduced at midfield prior to kickoff. The Soldier-Heroes represented Soldiers who were awarded the Silver Star, Bronze Star or Purple Heart for actions during previous deployments.

This year, during a series of week-long activities leading up to game day, the Department of the Army Soldier of the Year, the Army's NCO of the Year, along with the Recruiter of the Year and both active-duty and Reserve Drill Sergeant of the Year were also honored.

 The 2010 contest also saw a player matched with his Soldier-Hero dad. 1st Sgt. Aleki Potoae, first sergeant of Company C, 1st Battalion, 23rd Infantry, Fort Lewis, Wash., was matched with his son, Sione, a 6'3" 285-pound defensive end with the West team.

As in previous years, Soldier-Heroes attended a series of events that offered opportunities for them to interact with the nation's top athletes that ranged from a barbecue social to skills competitions and an award banquet and presentation.

Josh Shirley recovered a blocked field goal and raced 77 yards for a touchdown to help lead the West 30-14 victory. Ronald Powell, a future Florida Gator, was named the MVP.

One of seven finalists for the U.S. Army Player of the Year award, given annually to the best high school football player in America, Ronald admitted he was disappointed to lose out at Friday's awards banquet.

A 6-foot-5, 230-pound defensive end from Mission Viejo, Calif., Powell burnished his reputation as arguably the top prospect in the country at his position with five tackles, one sack and one forced fumble. He also caught a 23-yard touchdown as an emergency tight end, returned a blocked PAT for two points, then capped off his day by committing to Florida. He was the last of four players who pledged to the Gators on Saturday, including highly touted defensive tackle Sharrif Floyd.

Josh Shirley recovered a blocked field goal and raced 77 yards for a touchdown to help lead the West high school stars to a 30-14 victory over the East in the U.S. Army All-American Bowl on Saturday. Ronald Powell, a future Florida Gator, was named the MVP.

Shirley, a linebacker from Fontana (Calif.) Kaiser who has not announced his commitment for next season, picked up the loose ball after it was blocked by Cassius Marsh, an LSU-bound player from Westlake Village (Oaks Christian), Calif.

 Floyd of Philadelphia had two sacks and another pressure, and Ronald Powell of Moreno Valley (Rancho Verde), Calif., had a TD reception and returned a blocked extra point97 yards in the game that featured top high school seniors.

Cole Marcoux, a New York City star headed to Dartmouth, threw two fourth-quarter touchdown passes for the East.

Many players declared their college choices during the game. Some notables included Austin Collinsworth, Cris Collinsworth's son, who will play for Notre Dame, Sharrif Floyd, who surprised many by picking Florida over Ohio State, and C.J. Mosley, who opted to go to Alabama.

For more information on the U.S. Army All-American Bowl and its related events visit http://www.usarmyallamericanbowl.com/ & www.goarmy.com.

A high school drill team rallies their team at the start of the Army-sponsored All-American Bowl high school all-star football game held in the Alamodome in front of an audience of 34,126.