It’s been a big year for Sabino football.
Longtime coach Jay Campos got his 100th career win, tight end Matt Bushman had a whopping 1,583 yards and 26 touchdowns and the 6-foot-7-inch, 285-pound Andrew Mike was one of the best linemen in the state, helping the Sabercats reach the state quarterfinals.
The great season officially came to end Sunday night for that trio, at the Semper Fidelis All-American Bowl.
Both Bushman and Mike were among five players from Arizona selected on the West team and Campos was the running backs coach for that same squad, which jumped out to a big lead and won the nationally-televised game 31-24.
“It’s kind of icing on the cake, the fact we’re able to pull out the win and get another week with these guys practicing football,” Campos said. “Any time I get an opportunity to coach kids like this at least one more time it’s always pretty special.”
The game Sunday night at the Stubhub Center in Carson, Calif., capped off the event that began on New Year’s Eve and continued for the next five days. It was all hosted by the United States Marine Corps and included 100 players and 22 coaches from around the nation.
Mike, who is still undecided on where he will play in college, said the experience gave him insight on some of his future potential teammates.
The Scout.com four-star recruit had some substantial playing time at right tackle during the game and was acknowledged on the Fox Sports 1 broadcast after he had a pancake block in the second quarter.
“There’s definitely no other way I could have asked for this season to end,” said Mike, who is expected to chose between Arizona, Vanderbilt and Washington later this month. “It was the last high school game, but it felt more like a college game with all the great talent we had out there.
“It was also awesome to have Coach C out there. Even though he was coaching the running backs, we still go to interact with him throughout the week.”
Bushman, a BYU verbal commit who will play football and baseball for the Cougars, was unable to play in the game because of a torn ligament in his thumb but was still walking the West sideline with some other injured players. He said he learned a lot and it was a nice experience to mingle with good players from all around the country and cheer on his teammate one last time.
“It was cool to see him compete with some of the other top players in the nation,” Bushman said about watching Mike. “We saw him get a pancake on one of his blocks and everyone was going crazy.”
The players and coaches stayed at the Hyatt Regency in Orange County and, in addition to having team meetings and practices, went to a Los Angeles Clippers game, visited Universal Studios and did a community service event.
Campos called the treatment first-class from the start.
“It was a little bit of what they’re going to see in college,” Campos said. “Particularly if they end up playing in bowl games, that type of atmosphere is the equivalent to what we saw.”