News: US Army recognizes excellence at Awards Dinner
Story by Jade Fulce
Nearly 1,000 people attended the dinner to include senior Army leaders, professional athletes, and community members.
The dinner recognized the top football high school student athletes from across the country for their athletic and academic achievement.
Max Browne, quarterback from Skyline High School, Sammamish, Wash., won the U.S. Army Player of the Year award, which is given to the nation’s most outstanding senior high school football player and considered one of high school football’s highest honors.
Browne was presented a trophy modeled Ken “Sugar Land Express” Hall, who was high school football’s all-time leading rusher. Winners of this award have demonstrated a commitment to excellence on the field and in their daily lives -- representing the same strengths and values demonstrated by Army Soldiers including loyalty, duty, respect, selfless service, honor, integrity and personal courage.
Johnny Townsend, punter from Boone High School, won the Felix "Doc" Blanchard Award. Wide receiver Corey Robinson, from San Antonio Christian School in San Antonio, won the Glenn Davis Award.The Blanchard and Davis Awards are given to the two players who best exemplify the U.S. Army's high standard of excellence in the community service, education, and athletic distinction.
Offensive lineman Steve Elmer, from Midland High School in Midland, Mich., won the Anthony Munoz Lineman of the Year Award.
The inaugural U.S. Army - Pro Football Hall Fame Award for Excellence, which recognizes the top sophomore or junior student who exemplify similar strengths to Army Soldiers, winner was Nate Lowis.
The keynote speaker was hall of famer Marcus Allen, who played 16 seasons in the National Football League, playing with the Los Angeles Raiders and Kansas City Chiefs. During that time he gained 12,243 yards rushing, 5,411 yards receiving, and scored 145 touchdowns.
Allen talked about his childhood experiences, the valuable lessons he learned in life, and his appreciation for all the speed bumps along the way.
"I worked extremely hard," Allen said. "I was committed. I studied. I stayed out of trouble, did not drink, did not smoke. I did not do any of those things… I wanted to make something of myself."
He challenged the players to commit to hard work, self discipline, to never get sidetracked, and to take the road less travelled. Allen also cautioned the athletes to not go to the next level with a chip on their shoulders or some sense of entitlement. Instead, have a "one star attitude" and earn it.
"Practice is where you learn your skill and develop as a player," Allen said.
The dinner also honored Soldier Heroes who have served in Iraq and Afghanistan, as well as those who have been recognized for excellence throughout the Army.
All proceeds from the dinner benefit the Rotary Club's youth programs such as the Sam J. Riklin Rotary Diploma Plus Program, a unique dropout prevention program for local at-risk students; the Youth Educational Foundation, which provides college scholarships to San Antonio youth; and Kingdom for Kids -- a program to build state-of-the-art playgrounds at disadvantaged elementary schools in the San Antonio area.
The Rotary Club is an organization whose main objective is service in the community and throughout the world.
For more information on the U.S. Army All-American Bowl and its related events visit www.usarmyallamericanbowl.com and www.goarmy.com/events/aab or the official Facebook and Twitter pages located at http://www.facebook.com/USArmyAllAmericanBowl and www.twitter.com/armyallamerican.