What Makes an All-American?

What Makes an All-American?

words_Cheryl Mathis

Eastbay Youth All-American BowlReading through our Youth All-American Bowl roster bios feels like sitting on a big coach bus with a cacophony of pump-up music and “my 40’s better than yours” taunts. These elite seventh and eighth grade football players might have a lot of frenetic youthful energy, but they are doing something right. Each was carefully chosen for the honor of a spot on the roster.

Developing star football players is a big business, and many kids aren’t waiting until high school to start training. Even before puberty kicks in, they’re starting to learn the ins and outs of nutrition and cardio, and they’re learning about teamwork, effort and attitude.

NUTRITION

While pizza and chicken nuggets were a popular choice as a pre-game meal, over 45 kids load up on carbs with plates piled high with pasta. Among the smaller players who are either short and thin or tall and thin, a pre-game meal might be a steak and a whey protein shake like Hunter Holland, a guard from Buford, Georgia. Jacob Harrison, a quarterback from Centerfield, Ohio, has the same idea: he downs a peanut butter protein shake before a game. The other extreme might be 320-pound Demetrius Morgan, a tackle from Chattanooga, Tennessee. He preps with two bananas and a lot of water.

WEIGHT

The range of heights and weights among seventh and eighth graders might seem like an inconsequential matter, but when you’re putting together a squad of elite players, you have to find a place for players at all stages of development. Demetrius from Tennessee probably hasn’t been able to play much football before this Bowl game due to his size, but his shear bulk is a force on the field. You won’t find a 150-pounder like Jalen Washington from Frankfort, Kentucky, pulling down a linebacker, but his skills as a runningback are coveted, and he’ll be lining up with Demetrius on Sunday in Game 2.

MOTIVATION

All good athletes know that the right soundtrack can make or break your attitude when the storm is coming. The majority of the Youth roster gets psyched for the game by jamming to the same tunes. Eminem’s Lose Yourself and Til I Collapse ranked as a player favorite, with Fort Minor’s Remember the Name showing strong as well. Listening to Kanye’s Stronger and Roy Jones, Jr.’s Can’t Be Touched gives them a buzz of invincibility that’ll carry them through to game time.

FAVORITE PLAYERS

When asked who their favorite athletes were, some big names were mentioned most. Superstars like Adrian Peterson, Percy Harvin and Chris Johnson prove that quarterbacks aren’t the only players who get the fame. College standout Cam Newton was also mentioned; his recent Heisman trophy honor put him in the “idol” category for many youth players. Current NFL standouts like Michael Vick and Charles Woodson have been all over the news for good reason, and that attention extends to this crop of athletes who look to them for inspiration.

Read more about the students chosen to play in the Eastbay Youth All-American Bowl, and don’t forget to come back on Sunday to watch the games live at Eastbay.

Wondering where you stack up against these elite Bowl players? Enter your stats in our Close the Gap calculator and get back advice on training, drills and equipment that can help you close the gap between you and the Bowlers.

What Makes an All-American?

Tune in to see the Eastbay Youth All-American Bowl

words_Cheryl Mathis

Eastbay Youth All-American BowlAll Eastbay eyes are on the group of superstar athletes who are working out in San Antonio, Texas, in preparation for the big game this weekend. While the majority of attention is given to the US Army All-American Bowl that will be broadcasted live on Saturday, Jan. 8, 2011, we’re looking forward to what happens the day after: the Eastbay Youth All-American Bowl.

Together with Football University, we searched across the country for standout seventh and eighth graders who deserved a spot on an all-star Bowl Game roster. Many of these athletes will be the obvious choice a few years down the road for the US Army Bowl game, but we’re lucky enough to get to know them now.

Though the dozens of names on the roster for the three separate games might seem like a crowd, each name shines. For most, this opportunity to play on the national stage was the stuff of daydreams, a dream that finally culminated with a school pep rally where he was presented with his own Bowl jersey. Eastbay knows all of the names, and we’re proud of each of these top athletes.

Today’s student athletes are tomorrow’s superstars, and though not every athlete will go on to a professional career, athletic achievement still plays a large role in self-esteem, academic performance and physical development. The players who will take to the field on Sunday have spent countless hours training for this opportunity in their hometowns and just a few short days training with their Bowl squad.

Don’t miss the Eastbay Youth All-American Bowl on Sunday! You can stream the games live at Eastbay. The seventh graders will be up first in Game 1, followed by eighth graders (unlimited) in Game 2 and eighth graders (limited) in Game 3. Stick around to watch US take on Canada in Game 4.

Don’t want to wait until Sunday to see the action? Check out the top 10 highlights from last year’s Youth All-American Bowl games.

Want to be the next athlete superstar? Check out Eastbay’s Close the Gap football program to see where you match up against last year’s All-American Bowl athletes.