The state of Oregon will be well represented in the the 2020 All-American Bowl on January 4 on NBC.
For months it appeared Oregon’s lone participant would be Lake Oswego running back Casey Filkins, however Lake Oswego coach Steve Coury recently accepted the position of head football coach of the West squad.
“First off, it’s a great honor,” Coury said. “I’m honored to be even considered, much less named, and to be a part of the whole festivities – the game, the other coaches, the great players that are in it, everything about it. I’m really excited. It’s a great thing to be able to do sometime in my career. It’s a rare opportunity and I’m really looking forward to it.”
He will bring along offensive coordinator Karl Halberg, who he has coached with for 28 years and played alongside at Oregon State University.
The opportunity will also allow Coury to coach Filkins one last time, an added bonus to the festivities.
“That’s the thing that makes it really special,” he said. “To have a good enough player to play in it, that’s a really cool thing. And he’s such a great kind and great player. To be able to coach him in such a high-level game will just be a blast. It’s going to be a once-in-a-lifetime deal.”
The All-American Bowl kicks off January 4, but the game is proceeded by a week of practices, team-bonding events and celebration.
Coury said he hopes to guide his team to the appropriate balance of fun and football.
“That’s the thing that’s sort of tricky – how much of it is fun mixed in with work and seriousness? I think you can’t play this game without some semblance of order, seriousness and focus, so I think it’ll be important to have enough of that,” he said. “You put in a simple offense, a simple defense and just let the players play. It’ll be really neat to see that caliber of player at every position, and really kind of be a fan on the sideline watching it. It’s going to be a fun experience, that’s for sure.”
Parkrose head coach Keanon Lowe, who made national headlines for his peaceful stoppage of a school shooter earlier this year, has been invited as an assistant coach.
This season, Lowe has led Parkrose to a 6-2 record and a conference title.
“They haven’t been able to say this since we was wearing leather helmets: The Parkrose Broncos are conference champions,” Lowe exclaimed after last week’s 28-19 victory over Wilsonville.
Among the All-American Bowl alumni are 380 future NFL draft picks, 144 NFL Pro Bowl selections and 159 college football All-Americans, highlighted by Adrian Peterson, Andrew Luck, Jalen Ramsey, Odell Beckham Jr., Christian McCaffrey, Patrick Peterson, Ezekiel Elliott, Derek Anderson, Jonathan Stewart, Haloti Ngata, Kyle Long and many others.
— Andrew Nemec