Semper Fidelis All-American West seeks repeat performance

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

 In 2012 a 30-yard field goal helped Semper Fidelis All-American West secure a victory in their inaugural bowl game at Chase Field. This year, coaches are looking for a repeat performance at The Home Depot Center to bring their record to 2-0.

"The team that's going to win is the one that makes the least amount of mistakes," said Matt Taylor, head coach for Semper Fidelis All-American West.

Taylor, who served as a running back coach during the 2012 matchup, also explained that it'll come down to execution to determine which team will lift the Semper Fidelis trophy. A fact their opponent is taking to heart.

"I want to ensure that every player knows their position inside and out," said Josh Niblett, head coach for Semper Fidelis All-American East. "Some of these players haven't been on a football field for a month, so we're focused on getting them back into the swing of things."

Two of this year's Semper Fidelis All-Americans include Aaron Cochran, who accepted his invitation in front of 20,000 football fans at The Home Depot Center last year, and Alex Collins, a five-star recruit according to

"Words can't describe how I feel being here," said Malik Zaire, who committed to the University of Notre Dame in March 2012. "I'm very blessed and thankful for the opportunity to come out and play with some of the top guys around. I'm glad I was able to be a part of something so special."

Tomorrow marks the final opportunity for coaches to work with players and hone their strategy.

"They've been showing great passion and intensity," said Niblett. "Right now we just want to keep improving with every practice until game day."

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

"We're giving the kids an opportunity to live, in some cases, their life dream of playing football at the highest level," said Marine Corps Recruiting Command Sgt. Maj. Michael A. Logan.

Logan also said he's proud to feature some of "the nation's best and brightest."

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9th Marine Corps District