Two local teens have been chosen to represent Southwest Louisiana at the U.S. Army All-American Bowl in San Antonio. Barbe High School's Trey Quinn and DeRidder High's David Ifland will be proudly representing not only the Lake Area but the entire state of Louisiana on Jan. 4, 2014. Quinn will play in football and Ifland in the marching band.
"I feel it shows off my abilities and it's just a great honor to be marching with some of the best high school marchers in the country," said Ifland, a standout in the DeRidder High Ambassadors in Blue band.
"It's a great honor representing the Army," said Quinn, after receiving the official announcement at a recent Veterans Day ceremony in front of his school. "They do all these crazy things over shore for us and it's just a blessing to give back to them."
Only 90 high school football players out of millions in the nation are selected to participate each year. Athletes are chosen not just because they excel on the football field, but because they possess the strengths similar to the Army Strong Soldiers of mental, emotional and physical toughness. Quinn will join the ranks of talented alumni comprised of NFL stars and Heisman Trophy winners, including Andrew Luck, Mark Sanchez and Tim Tebow.
Ifland's assistant band director Aaron Theall was chosen for the All-American band in its first year, 2008.
"It's actually very strenuous to get in. It's very difficult to get in," said Theall. "A big honor to have a student here in Louisiana, much less DeRidder actually participate in this national bowl."
DeRidder band director Carolyn Herrington says the selection makes Beauregard parish proud.
"DeRidder has never had an honor quite this large for one young man," said Herrington. "It represents the entire country. They pick two from our state. They don't have to pick any from your state. So, it's a huge honor."
With the selection, Ifland joins the ranks of an elite group of only 125 musicians and color guard members from across the country who will showcase their talent during a halftime performance at the nationally broadcast bowl. Band members are selected not just because they excel in music and performance, but because they embody the same values of the U.S. Army. Ifland has been in band since the sixth grade and loves the camaraderie..
"The unity between the band students. The friendships you develop over the band season and even during concert season you feel so close and connected to everyone else. It's a great feeling."
The U.S. Army All-American Bowl will be played at the Alamodome in San Antonio. For more information, go to: http://www.usarmyallamericanbowl.com