A tandem of brothers from Craig will be playing with the best in the U.S. when the new year rolls around.
Cole White attends Craig Middle School and was the starting quarterback for the seventh-grade football team this season. His brother, Seth, 9, was a running back in the Doak Walker third- and fourth-grade league during September and October.
Both attended an offense-defense football camp in June at Colorado Christian University in Lakewood. The O-D camps are full-contact camps held across the country for players ages 7 to 18. O-D camp leaders also select top players to come back and play in games as well as participate in elite camps later in the year.
This year, Cole and Seth have been selected to play in the Youth All-American Bowl at the end of the year. The bowl is a tournament that is part of O-D’s bowl week, which brings thousands of the country’s best youth and high school football players together to play in games and showcase their talents.
Cole was picked to be a part of the All-American Bowl after being awarded as the top quarterback in his age division at the O-D camp. All awarded players are invited to the end-of-the-year extravaganza.
Cole said that he was excited about the honor but that it came as a surprise, as well.
“I thought I was pretty bad when I came to camp, there were kids schooling me,” he said. “But my confidence grew in me (after the top quarterback award). I thought, ‘Hey, I’m not that bad.’”
Younger brother Seth took a different route to the All-American Bowl. He attended the camp as a running back and was not selected, but his success in the Doak Walker leagues —“I tore it up,” he said — led to him being noticed.
Seth’s father sent O-D a highlight tape, and the organization offered him a spot at wide receiver, the last open position.
Seth was excited.
“They said there was only one spot left; that’s receiver,” Seth said. “I took it. I was really happy.”
The All-American Bowl week will take place from Dec. 26 to Jan. 1 in Houston. It will feature a couple of days of practice before three days of tournament play and a New Year’s party.
Both boys are looking forward to the camp, but one of its biggest draws is that every team is guaranteed a game in the Houston Texans’ Reliant Stadium.
“It should be cool,” Cole said. “A big old screen, seeing my name up there.”
“I’m looking forward to playing in Reliant Stadium,” Seth said. “It’s going to be really awesome.”
In addition, Cole is excited to see the level of competition in the tournament.
“It said on the website it’s the biggest stage in youth football,” he said. “It’s like the Super Bowl of youth football. It’s not like football in middle school, where everyone necessarily plays. It’s the people with the best experience and the people who work their tails off. Middle school can be fun, but you get some complete blowouts. I expect this to be a little more of a challenge.”
Nate Waggenspack can be reached at 875-1795 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow Craig Daily Press sports coverage on Twitter at @CDP_Sports.