A gridiron standout at Brighton High will dash onto the national athletic stage this January when he suits up to play in the 2015 U.S. Army All-American Bowl, the country’s premiere high school football game.
During a Monday, Oct. 20, 2014 assembly at the high school, Osa Masina, who was last year’s All-Tribune MVP, received his official invitation and a jersey for the bowl, which will be played in San Antonio’s Alamodome.
“Football, like the Army, provides young Americans with training, discipline and experiences that make them mentally, emotionally, and physically strong. It takes a special person to be a soldier, just as it takes a special athlete to be selected as a U.S. Army All-American,” U.S. Army Staff Sgt. Joe Schaffner said during the assembly.
“U.S. Army All-Americans not only possess these strengths of a soldier, they live the Army values: loyalty, duty, respect, selfless service, honor, integrity and personal courage,” Schaffner said. “They are dedicated, motivated and know how to be a member of a team, as well as a leader.”
Students, parents, patrons and Bengal supporters packed Brighton’s gym to witness the official invitation and jersey presentation for Masina, the 6-foot, 4-inch, 233-pound outside linebacker who is listed as a five-star recruit on Scout.com.
Masina spoke briefly at the event, expressing thanks to his parents, coaches and his “brothers” on the Bengal football team, which has a 27-8 record with Masina as a starting player. “I love Brighton High,” he said, “and I wouldn’t trade (this time) for anything in the world.”
The Jan. 3 bowl, which will be broadcast on NBC, pits the country’s best 90 prep players in a classic east versus west matchup. Last year’s bowl, its 14th anniversary, drew a crowd of some 40,000 fans for the second year in a row.
As a result of Masina being selected to the U.S. Army All-American Bowl, BHS head coach Ryan Bullett is invited to travel to San Antonio and attend the U.S. Army Coaches Academy, an elite three-day learning experience that focuses on leadership, football and physical development. The invited coaches also attend the U.S. Army All-American Bowl Awards Show and the 2015 U.S. Army All-American Bowl.
One of Masina’s best characteristics as a player, Bullett said, is that “he doesn’t care who gets the credit.” To Masina, the coach said, it’s about being committed to the progress of the team as a whole.
For 14 years, the U.S. Army All-American Bowl has served as the pre-eminent launching pad for America’s future college and NFL stars. In all, 274 former bowl players have been selected in the NFL draft, including 69 first-round selections and one overall No. 1 pick.