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Santa Maria Sun / School Scene

The following article was posted on October 2nd, 2013, in the Santa Maria Sun - Volume 14, Issue 30 [ Submit a Story ]
The following articles were printed from Santa Maria Sun [santamariasun.com] - Volume 14, Issue 30

Lompoc High School senior Ainuu Taua is invited to 2014 All-American Bowl

BY CAMILLIA LANHAM


HANDPICKED
Master Sgt. Joshua Nieratko, 1st Sgt. Lavan Alston, and Capt. Luis Effio presented Lompoc High School senior Ainuu Taua with an All-American Bowl football jersey.
PHOTO COURTESY OF THE U.S. ARMY

The U.S. Army marched into Lompoc on Sept. 30 and selected Lompoc High School standout football player Ainuu Taua for the 2014 U.S. Army All-American Bowl in San Antonio, Texas, on Jan. 4, 2014.

Local soldiers presented Taua with his honorary All-American jersey during a ceremony at the high school in front of his friends, family, team, and fellow students. The Army also recognized Lompoc High football coach Andrew Jones for his leadership and emphasis on teamwork that helped develop Taua as an All-American athlete.

Being chosen as a U.S. Army All-American is not for just any football player. Only 90 high school football players in the nation are selected to participate each year. Athletes are chosen because they excel on the field, but also because they possess the strengths similar to that of a soldier—mental, emotional, and physical toughness.

“Taua is a talented athlete whose leadership and teamwork qualities have made him a standout at Lompoc,” said Army spokesperson Mark Davis in a press release. “Only the strongest wear the Army colors, and [we] are proud to welcome all of the U.S. Army All-American Bowl players and commend each of them on their selection.”

Taua joins All-American Bowl alumni such as NFL stars Andrew Luck, Mark Sanchez, and Tim Tebow. In addition to selecting 90 players and presenting them with jerseys in its fall tour across the country, the Army is also choosing 125 band and color guard members who will participate in the Jan. 4 game.