Border Bowl successful for seventh year

Photos by Staff Sgt. Scott Raymond, Kentucky National Guard Public Affairs

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Players greet each other on the field following the coin toss to start the 2014 National Guard Border in Williamsburg, Ky., Jan. 11, 2014. (U.S. Army National Guard photo by Staff Sgt. Scott Raymond)

WILLIAMSBURG, Ky. — The National Guard Border Bowl is a unique event for the Kentucky Guard. The game is also one of a kind with the National Guard in its name and playing such a prominent role.  While the all-star football game is about Kentucky and Tennessee, nationally televised broadcasts and a high level of advertising for the Guard, it has been called a model of how to do something big in a little place.

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An aircrew with the Air Evac Lifeteam delivers the game ball to the field at the University of the Cumberlands in Williamsburg, Ky., prior to the start of the 2014 National Guard Border Bowl Jan. 11, 2014. (U.S. Army National Guard photo by Staff Sgt. Scott Raymond)

“The National Guard Border Bowl as an event is a fantastic day for the National Guard,” said Kierre Brown, marketing director for the Kentucky National Guard. “This puts small Williamsburg, Kentucky on the map and that’s very beneficial for the community. The growth of this game is tremendous in the seven years and has had quite an effect on Kentucky and I’m sure is just as beneficial for Tennessee as well.”

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Henry Clay High School’s Elijah Bell is tackled by a player from Tennessee during the National Guard Border Bowl in Williamsburg, Ky., Jan. 11, 2014. (U.S. Army National Guard photo by Staff Sgt. Scott Raymond)

Ultimately the game is about the players. Some of the best high school football players the two states have to offer. It’s another chance for them to shine on the field and potentially catch the attention of college football programs.

“I am honored to play in this game,” said Der’Quoine Mobley Jr., a senior at Louisville Central High School. “It was a phenomenal experience for us considering you have the best head coaches in the state. They get us ready for college ball with the right mindset.”

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Derik Overstreet from Paducah Tilghman High School chases Tennessee’s quarterback, Devin Smith from Grace Christian Academy during the National Guard Border Bowl in Williamsburg, Ky., Jan. 11, 2014. (U.S. Army National Guard photo by Staff Sgt. Scott Raymond)

Kentucky beat Tennessee 37-13 in a dominating performance from its all-stars. This is the second win in a row for Kentucky, although Tennessee still leads the series 4-3.  More than 50 players from each state representing 33 high schools in both Tennessee and  Kentucky participated in the game.

To see more photos from this year’s Border Bowl, click here.

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Brig. Gen. Benjamin Adams III, Chief of Staff for the Kentucky Guard presents Dr. Howard Wasdin, former Navy SEAL, the National Guard Border Bowl Ironman Award for his work with high school athletes and coaches. (U.S. Army National Guard photo by Staff Sgt. Scott Raymond)

In addition to the players, coaches and Guardsmen in attendance, guests of the Border Bowl included several Veterans, NFL players and former NCAA coaches and players. Former Navy SEAL Dr. Howard Wasdin, author of the book “SEAL Team Six,” spoke to the players the night before the game and was on hand to sign copies of his book during the game. Veterans from the Korean and Vietnam Wars were honored in the first quarter by the Border Bowl Committee and the Kentucky Guard.

FOX Sports South’s broadcast of the game brought NCAA Hall of Fame coach, Philip Fulmer together with two Super Bowl Champions from the NFL, Marty Moore and Walley Richardson to interact during the event.  The people involved with the Border Bowl are a story in its self said Freddie Maggard with Kentucky National Guard Community Relations.

“Players from Kentucky and Tennessee are surrounded by positive role models from registration to post-game,” he said. “The National Guard Border Bowl is much, much more than a football game.”

“It’s life lessons being taught on a hundred yard field.”

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Joe Prince, from Owensboro High School, head football coach for the Kentucky All-Stars, speaks to his victorious team following the 2014 National Guard Border Bowl in Williamsburg, Ky. Jan. 11, 2014. (U.S. Army National Guard photo by Staff Sgt. Scott Raymond)

 

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