Semper Fi Bowl Athletes Kick Off New Years[MIGRATE]

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GARDEN GROVE, Calif. - More than 90 high school athletes and coaches participating in the 3rd annual 2014 Semper Fidelis All-American Bowl attended the welcome address at the Hyatt Regency Orange County in Garden Grove, Calif., Dec. 31.

Brig. Gen. James W. Bierman Jr., commanding general of Western Recruiting Region and Marine Corps Recruit Depot San Diego, addressed coaches and athletes about what is expected of them throughout the numerous events and activities during the forthcoming week.

Brig. Gen. Bierman congratulated each player for their selection to play in the 2014 Semper Fidelis All-American Bowl, and expressed his pride for their success thus far. He challenged each student athlete to push their limits throughout the week, so they can leave with more than they came with.

“You’re all standouts on your teams, and you’re among the very best in high school football throughout the country,” said Brig. Gen. Bierman. “That commitment to excellence is what we as Marines stand for, and all of you exemplify that. Those intangibles are something you can all take back to your schools and communities.”

Other guest speakers included Mike Johnson, athletic director of the 2014 Semper Fidelis All-American Bowl, and Heath Evans, retired NFL player.

The 2014 Semper Fidelis All-American Bowl celebrates academic excellence, proven physical fitness and quality of character amongst the top high school football athletes in the country. Throughout the week, Marines will build on the character of the athletes, instilling Marine Corps values to produce more effective leaders and quality citizens.

Athletes will be involved in many events throughout the week, including volunteer service in the community and team practices. It will conclude with the culminating event of the bowl game, taking place at The StubHub Center in Carson, Calif., and airs live Jan. 5 on Fox Sports 1 Network 6 p.m. PST.

Brig. Gen. James W. Bierman, commanding general Western Recruiting Region and Marine Corps Recruit Depot San Diego, addresses players of the Semper Fidelis All-American Bowl Dec. 31. In its third year, the Semper Fidelis Football Program provides an opportunity for the Marine Corps to connect on a personal and local level with players and influencers. The 2014 Semper Fidelis All-American Bowl will be held on Jan. 5 at 6 p.m. in Carson, Calif. The game will be played at the StubHub Center and aired live on Fox Sports 1. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Pfc. Brandon Thomas/released)