An unprecedented three Utah high school football players participated in the annual U.S. Army All American Bowl in San Antonio on Saturday afternoon.
And they represented the state well.
Bingham senior Justin Sorensen kicked a 31-yard field goal for the West team in its 33-23 loss to the East. Bingham senior Austin Holt caught three passes. Cottonwood senior Lynn Katoa did not record any solo tackles, but he assisted on a handful of tackles and was around the ball on many plays for the West's defense.
"Lynn played hard, and played well," said Cottonwood coach Cecil Thomas. "I thought the Bingham kids also played well. It was by far the best representation the state has ever had in the U.S. Army All American Bowl."
Before this year, Hunter's Ray Feinga and Cottonwood's Simi Fili were the only players from Utah to participate in the game. They didn't get as much playing time as Sorensen, Holt and Katoa received on Saturday.
"They all got a lot of reps, so it was real good to see," Thomas said. "They all played hard, and they all played aggressive. They did some good things."
Sorensen's 31-yard field goal came with 2:59 remaining in the second quarter and closed the West's early deficit to 14-10. The East, however, pulled away in the second half, building a 33-17 lead in the fourth quarter.
Holt was able to run routes against some of the best secondary players in the nation, and he said the competition was a taste of what he'll be facing at BYU in the fall.
"It was really fun," Holt said. " It was one of the best games I've ever been a part of. It was nice to catch balls against guys who are going to LSU and Miami."
Holt said it was also sweet to earn some national respect for Utah high school football."We (Holt, Sorensen, and Katoa) call ourselves the Utah boys and I thought we represented the state well," Holt said.