The U.S. Army All American Bowl has been played each year since 2002 right after the college bowl seasons ends in January at the Alamodome in San Antonio, Texas. Every high school senior football player is eligible to participate.
Players are initially evaluated in January at the U.S. Army "Combine" in San Antonio, a training camp of sorts where players demonstrate their talent for the bowl scouts. Over 500 football players participate in the three-day event in hopes of being selected for next year's U. S. Army All American Bowl. The combine ends with the players' attendance at the current bowl game.
Scouts also visit camps and clinics throughout the country, and evaluate thousands of high school players. Initially 400 players are nominated for consideration. The final team roster is announced in the fall preceding the January U.S. All American Bowl.
Bowl players go on to play for top college teams, including Notre Dame, Oklahoma, Florida and Ohio State, and ultimately enter the professional ranks in the National Football League.
A selection tour begins in the fall and selected players are recognized at ceremonies at their schools.
The chief sponsor is the United States Army, but many other corporations help with sponsorship, including...
- American Family Insurance
- San Antonio Convention & Visitors Bureau
Jupiter Instruments, Majestic Percussion and the National Association for Music Education are some of the sponsors of the marching band.
In 2003, the U.S. Army All American Marching Band was instituted, incorporating 125 of the finest high school senior marching musicians and color guard in the United States. The students must complete a rigorous online application process composed of four parts...
- Student introduction lasting no more than 30 seconds.
- A marching and playing video where the student marches to a required piece of music performed from memory.
- A solo of the student's choosing played on the instrument the student is auditioning on and lasting no more than 60 seconds.
- A permission form signed by the student's high school principal.
All four parts of the application are uploaded to the web site and are evaluated by expert musicians. Selections are announced in the summer prior to the January bowl game.
Aside from the honor of being selected for participation in the U.S. Army All American Bowl, the students are provided with an all-expense-paid trip to San Antonio where they are coached by some of the finest experts in their field. Uniforms, instruments--you name it--are paid for by the sponsors.
The students work hard during the approximately one week they are in San Antonio, but it is also very exciting for these young people. They are treated to banquets and award ceremonies.
The culmination is, of course, the bowl game itself. The U.S. Army All American Bowl is a once-in-a-lifetime experience, but it's just the beginning for these very talented young people.