Marines welcome All-American athletes for Semper Fidelis Bowl

2 Jan 2013 | Staff Sgt. Clinton Firstbrook 9th Marine Corps District

 More than 100 of the country's premier football players landed in California Sunday to prepare for the second annual Semper Fidelis All-American Bowl.

Western Recruiting Region commanding general Brig. Gen. Daniel D. Yoo and former Super Bowl champion Heath Evans greeted athletes following registration, stressing the "one team, one fight" mentality.

"It's all about being faithful to one another," said Evans, who retired from the NFL after 10 seasons. "My father learned that from his drill instructors and he passed it on to me. That's the only thing that allowed me to play for Bill Belichick."

Throughout the week Marines and coaches will engage with players from across the country to develop their skills and impart the Corps' values of honor, courage and commitment.

"I'm extremely grateful to be able to participate again this year," said Matt Taylor, head coach for the All-American West Team. "I've never been more proud to wear this emblem and represent the Marine Corps."

Scouts selected each player for their athletic ability and academic excellence, which were evident on and off the football field.

"I'm honored to play with the best America has to offer," said Jeremy Tabuyo, an 18-year-old wide receiver who played for St. Louis High School in Honolulu. "I've wanted to be in this bowl game ever since I saw the first one last year."

The Marine Corps-sponsored event takes place at the Home Depot Center Jan. 4 and will be broadcast live on the NFL Network.

"The Semper Fidelis Football Program is an extension of the Marine Corps' commitment to developing quality citizens and serving our communities," said Maj. Gen. Joseph L. Osterman, former commanding general for Marine Corps Recruiting Command. "The [bowl] provides a tremendous opportunity for Marines to connect with today's youth and share with them the Marine Corps' values of honor, courage and commitment;demonstrating their relevance to success both on and off the field."

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9th Marine Corps District