The U.S. Army All-American Challenge brought together 30 Noncommissioned Officers, 102 High School All-American football players, and 125 All-American marching band members at the Lone Star Pavilion, located at Sunset Station in San Antonio. The night began with a welcoming introduction by Mark Davis, Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Army – Director of the Army Marketing Research Group. He then awarded five noncommissioned officers honorary tokens of gratitude for their hard work and dedication for participating in the 2017 U.S. Army All-American Bowl Selection Tour. 2017 U.S. Army All-Americans Shaun Wade and Tate Martell were presented with the 2017 ALL-USA Defensive and Offensive Player of the Year awards, respectively.
ALL-USA Defensive and Offensive Players of the year – DB Shaun Wade, QB Tate Martell
After the pre-event pageantry, the Challenge began. Participants were selected to represent two teams, each comprised of players, marching band members and soldier mentors. The first challenge consisted of each team doing as many push-ups within one minute. The intensity was high as each individual pushed their muscles to their limits and exhausted their energy. The East team took the early lead going into round two. The second event was the sit-up competition. Once again, the East came out victorious under the performances of running back D’Andre Swift and drum major Aryanna Nijjar, who combined for more than 85 sit-ups.
East tight end Cole Kmet pushes himself surrounded by the encouragement of Army soldier mentors
To wrap up the U.S. Army All-American Challenge, the East and the West geared up for the hot dog eating contest. As the contest came to a close, the winner was clear. The East took wins in all three events, giving them an undefeated record at the U.S. Army All-American Challenge.
As the competition cooled down, participants and viewers gathered around to grab some delicious food and drinks. All-American football players, marching band members and Army soldier mentors gathered together to share stories, laughs, and create memories that they will remember for a lifetime.
Watch the 2017 U.S. Army All-American Bowl presented by American Family Insurance on Saturday, January 7, 2017 at 12:00 p.m. CST live on NBC.