In 2003, I hosted the First Annual 7on7 National Championship; and then I hosted another 7on7 National Championship in 2004, 2005, and 2006. My mission and goal has always been to search for that hidden high school football talent or hidden gem that has not been found yet. I then evaluate him and try to help him to get some publicity.
The only drawback was that the College Coaches wanted to see the hidden gems in a game-type highlight film and so all of these College Coaches suggested to me that I host a real game or an All-American Bowl Game so that they could view these talented players in a highlight film, playing against other talented players. It must be noted that the NCAA doesn’t allow these College Coaches to attend these All-American Bowl Games and so the Game Film was of great importance to these College Coaches.
I also knew that I was probably going to be the only person that could help these great players. After giving it a lot of thought and a lot of Prayer, I decided that there was a real need to put together an All-American Bowl Game Classic after the football season, so that College Coaches could view the Highlight Film of the game and evaluate some of these players who were overlooked and Flying Under the Recruiting Radar.
I am an eternal optimist and I see things quite differently than most people. I see these unfortunate situations as reversible and worth putting time into fixing. I look at players on the so-called Recruiting Lists and I feel that many of these players are on the list because of some great publicity, family income, and geographic location. I evaluate every one of these players and measure them on their own ability and not whether they are on these Recruiting Lists or not. These players MEASURABLES are also very important.
The great players, not on the major Recruiting Lists, are many of the players that I invite to play in my All-American Bowl Game Classic. Many of these high school football players, from all over America, Hawaii, Australia, and Canada are from low economic, low opportunistic, minority, and players of Foreign Descent.
For all of 2004, I worked on getting my First Annual 2005 All-American Bowl Game Classic, off of the ground. I said my Father Seelos Prayer For A Miracle every single day and the Miracle happened on January 13, 2005.
There were 80 players in that first 2005 game in Shreveport, Louisiana at the Independence Bowl Stadium. About 50 of those players had already committed to play for their favorite college team, but there were also 26 players that did not have a single scholarship at the first practice and then received a football scholarship and got their college education paid for from the highlights of the game film.
Joel Bogan (6-2, 255, 4.8) of Shreveport Evangel, Louisiana was the best Center Snapper that I saw in the 2004 Football Season. I also found out real quick that if you don’t have a Center Snapper, you really can’t play a football game, expecially if you are Shotgun Center Snapping on every single play. So the next player after you get your Quarterback better be your Center Snapper.
In 2004, there was not a better Center Snapper in the country than Joel Bogan. He was a rare Four-Year starter for one of the Top Teams in the Country that runs the Shotgun Offense on every single play. Evangel and Bogan rarely took snaps directly from center. His snaps to the Quarterback were hard 10-yard snaps, giving the Quarterback more time to find a Wide Receiver.
Bogan was also the Starting Center in Three Louisiana 5A State Championship Games, but he had been nursing a slight hamstring ever since the 2004 Louisiana State Championship Game, and he did not know if he could play in the game. We were playing in Shreveport and the East Team was practicing at Evangel High School, the 5A Louisiana State Champions. At our First Sunday Morning Practice, Bogan was not at practice.
The East Team Coaches and I were deeply concerned, because no other offensive lineman could Center Snap in the Shotgun Offensive Formation. We did not find Bogan until after our second practice. He had been at his girl friend’s house and he did not have a Cell Phone. We finally got Bogan to our third practice on Monday morning and he was impressive for the rest of the week and also in our 2005 All-American Bowl Game on Saturday.
While trying to find Bogan, we also were able to find his Quarterback Billy Barefield and since we were short at that position, Barefield also joined the East Team on Monday as his dad, Keith Barefield was the East Team Head Coach. Barefield also was nursing an injury and had just committed to Memphis and he also did not know if he could play or not.
Barefield (5-11, 170, 4.3) was an exceptionally gifted, athletic Quarterback who helped Evangel to win the 5A State Championship with his arm and his legs. His dad was also the Evangel Offensive Coordinator and both Barefields were able to put-up some great offensive stats, but they were not able to beat the loaded West Defensive Team with DE Featherston, WLB Kennemer, MLB Alex Odiari (6-1, 225, 4.52) of Lewisville Hebron, Texas; , WLB Logan Hunt (6-1, 200, 4.5) of Granbury, Texas; WLB Gerald Singleton (6-2, 208, 4.47) of Palestine, Texas; SS Trokon Tompo (6-1, 200, 4.5) of Euless-Trinity, Texas; FS Duffy Otteson (5-10, 190, 4.45) of Tonopah, Nevada; and DT Vincent Williams (6-6, 290, 4.7) of Dallas Carter.
Other East Team Defensive Stars with Beverage included MLB Matt Kreamer (6-1, 220, 4.5) of Shreveport Evangel; CB Wes Winston (5-11, 198, 4.4) of Evangel; FS Patrick Trahan (6-3, 218, 4.4) of New Orleans St Augustine; FS Tyler Grisham (6-0, 180, 4.43) of Hoover Spain Park, Alabama; and DE Alonzo Horton (6-4, 225, 4.5) of New Orleans Abramson, Louisiana.
Billy Barefield is currently the Passing Game Coordinator for Southern Nazarene University in Bethany, Oklahoma. Barefield was somewhat of a Celebrity at our Eighth Annual All-American Bowl Game Classic, as he was the East Team Offensive Coordinator for Head Coach and Former Florida Hall of Fame Wide Receiver Wes Chandler.
Barefield was the East Team Offensive MVP in the 2005 All-American Bowl Game Classic, and he then came back in the 2006 All-American Bowl Game Classic, as the East Team Quarterback Coach for his Dad, Keith Barefield who was the East Team Head Coach for the Second straight year. Billy Barefield was recently a Student Assistant Coach for Northwestern Oklahoma State University in Alva, Oklahoma.
Barefield had a sensational High School career as he led his San Antonio Cornerstone Team to the 2001 Texas Private School State Championship as a Freshman. Then he led that team to a Second Place Finish in 2002 and then the 2003 State Championship again as a Junior. In 2004, Billy Barefield moved to Shreveport Evangel with his Dad and then led his 2004 Shreveport Evangel Team to the Louisiana 5A State Championship.
Barefield is an outstanding, young Christian Athlete and Christian Coach and he is destined to become one of the Great All-Time Coaches in the Country.
In our First All-American Bowl Game Classic, College Coaches from Arkansas, Louisiana Tech, Alabama, LSU, Mississippi State, Notre Dame, Oklahoma State, Ole Miss, Kentucky, Southern Miss, Texas A&M, Tulane, Iowa State, Cincinnati, and Michigan watched practice on Tuesday at the Independence Bowl Stadium with great interest in finding a missing jewel. There were others who called after the game with interest and throughout the week.
There were a few other glitches in putting on a huge Game like this for the First Time, mainly because we were never able to get any National or Local Sponsors, but there was nothing that we thought we could not overcome. There were a lot of Miracles that took place in the last 30 days and even more Miracles during the Week. Nothing has really changed, because we are still looking for Sponsors for our Tenth Annual All-American Bowl Game on January 3.
We need to give a Very Special Thanks to my beautiful wife, Ginger, of 34 years in 2005, who let me do this First Annual Event without a Single Sponsor. I also want to Thank Ginger for washing 125 Game Pants in cold water and letting them hang-dry in our home. For about two days, you could not see the insides of our house, because those 125 Pants were hang-drying on all of our funiture and all over the floor.
I have told many of these players that are Flying Under the Recruiting Radar that they only need one offer to get their education paid and get to the NFL. Drew Brees, Barry Sanders, and Kliff Kingsbury only had one offer and they all went to New York for the Heisman Trophy Awards Ceremony.
My First Annual AABG