• 31/
  • 12/
  • 2014        

Heath Evans, a former NFL fullback, speaks to Semper Fi-All American Bowl Athletes during the welcoming ceremony Wednesday, Dec. 31, 2014, in Carson, Calif., marking the beginning of the Corps’ fourth annual national bowl game.

Story by Sgt Jon Holmes
Wednesday, December 31, 2014

CARSON, Calif. - Ninety-nine players from across the country touched down in Garden Grove, California, to take part in the game.


BGen James Bierman, the commanding general of Marine Corps Recruit Depot San Diego, California, and the Western Recruiting Region, opened by congratulating the players for their accomplishments and being here today.


“Every one of you is here because you are among the best and brightest in the country,” he said. “You stood out on and off the field because you showed character and leadership.”


"These are not just outstanding athletes," said Col Robert G. Golden III, Chief of Staff, Marine Corps Recruiting Command. "These players were hand-picked from thousands across the country because these young leaders have also proven themselves academically and in their communities.”


That commitment will be challenged in the coming week as the athletes are pushed mentally and physically a sentiment echoed by Heath Evans, a former fullback for the Seattle Seahawks, Miami Dolphins, New England Patriots and New Orleans Saints and Super Bowl XLIV winner.


“You are going to get tested and pressured this week,” said Evans, from West Palm Beach, Florida. “It’s going to suck, but you will be a better, more sound football player after this week.”


Players were excited for the game and upcoming events, saying they looked forward to developing themselves as individuals and players.


“I hope at the end of the week, I can be a better person and communicate with people more and get some leadership skills,” said Dominic Sheppard, an outside linebacker from Gulliver Preparatory School in Miami.


The bowl will be nationally televised live from The StubHub Center in Carson, California, at 6 p.m. (PST) on January 4, 2015, on Fox Sports 1.