The U.S. Army All-American game has become a staple of high school football over the past several years, drawing top talents from all across the country. When a prospect is selected to participate, the prospect’s high school football coach is also invited for the trip down to San Antonio, Texas. Such was the case with Stonewall Jackson (Manassas, VA) 4-star running back Ryan Williams and head coach Loren Johnson.
Coach Johnson offered a coach’s perspective on the experience, which for him began on Thursday the week of the game. The game was played on Saturday, January 5th, at 1:00 EST.
“The entire process, from beginning to end, was excellent,” began Johnson, who was accompanied by his wife. “As soon as we got there [on Thursday], they had a host ready to pick us up. We got to the hotel and registered. We did an orientation and then went to a rodeo. I was sitting on a bus with coaches from all across the country. These were coaches who had gotten all kinds of accolades and awards. Some had been coaching for 40 years and some just for a short time. There was a wide variety of personalities. That was the first thing that impressed me. I was also impressed with the order and the structure of everything. After the rodeo, we went to a Texas-style barbeque and had a 4-star general speak to us. Everybody was motivated after he spoke. That kicked the night off right. I took pictures with Herman Boone and Coach Yoast, the T.C. Williams coaches from ‘Remember the Titans’. They awarded them with something. A coach from Kansas was awarded with something, too. I think he had one the state championship seven straight years.
“On Friday, we got up and then went to the Center for the Intrepid. That is a 50-million dollar building that was built in 16 months. It was all privately funded, so don’t tell me things can’t get done. It is a building at Fort Sam Houston for injured military personnel to go. Basically, it doesn’t matter what type of injury you have. You can be there and your family can be there with you. The military personnel go there for rehabilitation. I sat and listened to a guy that was burnt on 80-percent of his body. He was in Afghanistan and his regiment needed to take materials to troops. They were blown up. His partner, who was 40-percent burned,...
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