This week, Disney's Wide World of Sports transformed into the land of the elite. Disney played host to the best 90 high school football players in the nation. Their fields were loaded with All-Americans, which included five from Tampa Bay.
Armwood High had two representing, wide-receiver Alvin Bailey and defensive back Leon McQuay lll. Wharton's Vernon Hargreaves lll is one of the top rated players. St. Pete's Sean Covington handled the kicking and punting for the Black team and St. Pete Catholic's Ryan Green recovered in time from injury to enjoy the honor.
"It's been a great experience," Green said. "There's talent everywhere, everybody is the same caliber. It's been a good week."
"It's been awesome," Covington said. "They give you all the stuff you need. All free stuff. They just provide you with everything."
It's a tremendous accomplishment just to make this team. What's more impressive is that three of Tampa Bay's elite five will start in Friday night's game inside Tropicana Field. Tampa Bay's pedigree hasn't gone unnoticed.
"Florida to me has the best football," Bailey said. "Tampa puts out some good athletes, and it's good for me to be one of those top five to come from Tampa Bay, and also to be one of the top 90 guys that's here."
Armwood head coach Sean Callahan is also a part of this all-star week. Callahan is coaching the defensive backs on former NFL head coach Herm Edward's Black team.
"He really set the tone for this thing," said Callahan about Edwards. "Made things very simple and did a great job with his stories encouraging kids and motivating them. Getting them ready for the next level."
Former NFL head coach Steve Mariucci runs the show for White squad. These kids are getting great guidance in what will be their last high school game.
For these All-Americans, this week was all about the experience, from on the field to off it. Whether they were enjoying Disney's theme parks with new friends or giving back to Central Florida communities with charity work, Friday night's game in Tropicana Field will be the culmination of a once-in-a-lifetime experience.
FOX 13 / WTVT-TV
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