The Rams hosted the inaugural High School All-Star Experience 7-on-7 flag football tournament in partnership with Nike at the team's practice facility. The High School All-Star Experience gave 96 of the top high school football players in Southern California a Pro Bowl experience. Each participant received Nike products including a performance top, a Dri-Fit t-shirt, shorts, a duffle bag, gloves, and socks. In addition, the Rams provided the athletes with cleats, arm sleeves, wristbands, and headbands.
Rams Legends Cedric White, Robert Delpino, Akeem Ayers, Chris Draft, Roland Williams and Ivory Sully made appearances. In addition, members of the Rams coaching staff, front office, Rams Cheerleaders, and mascot Rampage joined to support the student athletes. Carl's Jr. provided lunch for all attendees and the Super Bowl LVI Trophy was onsite for photo opportunities with friends and families.
The All-Star Experience kicked off with an opening ceremony that included remarks from Rams High School Football Coordinator, Ghalee Wadood, and three pool play games, followed by single elimination games until the overall winner was crowned. Eight teams, ranging from San Diego to Santa Barbara, played in the flag football tournament.
"We're giving these guys a chance to play at the Rams facility in Rams gear and be an NFL player for the day. We felt the need to put this showcase on to raise the bar and help them reach their goals. A lot of them have NFL dreams," said Wadood. "I was a high school coach and a high school student at one time. We never had time to play in front of NFL coaches, players, and staff. We wanted them to get that experience and exposure so they could get used to it. We want them to set a bar for themselves and set it high. Football is not promised. You never know what will happen. It is important for us to mentor student athletes because we've been where they are in life. What better way to teach them than to give them an experience? It will always be important for us to be involved in these kids' lives."
The Los Angeles Rams partnered with Nike to host Southern California's top high school football players for the inaugural All-Star Experience. Take a look at photos of the event where players showed off their skills, played a variety of games and took part in a championship style tournament.
Rams Legend and Super Bowl XXXIV champion Roland Williams did not only attend the event as a Rams Legend but as a parent supporting his son's football aspirations. Williams believes it is important for the Rams to create lasting memories for young football players at the high school and middle school levels. It allows students from schools all over the region to get together and compete, build relationships, and make each other better.
"We have a history of working with middle school and elementary school students," said Williams. "I think this is a great opportunity for young people to engage and be around the Rams experience. Coaches and players are being unified all around southern California. This is what it is all about."
Rams Legend Chris Draft expressed the importance of the young football players competing in clinics to sharpen their skills and make themselves better athletes. Being a native of Southern California, he was excited to see the next generation of athletes that could make it to the NFL, including his own nephew.
"We have high school student-athletes prepping and competing. We are finding out who is the best. Iron sharpens iron, so having the top guys here together to see each other and compete makes them all better," said Draft. "They have a chance to compete out here, but it is important that we let them know that they are student-athletes. This game is greater than just going to the league. They see the facility in the background, they get the chance to be on the field where the world champions Los Angeles Rams train. It's not just about showing up, but about being consistent and going to work. That is what it takes to be a champion on the field but also off it. This was important for me to come because one of my nephews is playing. I grew up in Southern California. I grew up watching the Rams in Anaheim. I get the chance to go all over the country and see young people play but it's totally different when you get to see young men from my hometown where I grew up. To be out here and see them compete is special."
The event included multiple athletes who have committed to several SEC, Big 12 and PAC-12 programs. St. John Bosco High School safety and University of Georgia commit, Peyton Woodyard, spoke about how fun it was playing both sides of football.
"This event was cool. As Coach Wadood said earlier, it's great to be around everyone out here. You never know, they can draft you one day," said Woodyard. "This is great exposure but also fun. Who doesn't like playing football? It's been fun playing with my team and playing both sides of football."
Carlsbad High School quarterback Julian Sayin competed on the San Diego team that was crowned as the champions, and he was named the Offensive MVP. As a recent commit to the University of Alabama, he believes this experience helped him enhance his skills.
"This was awesome. I am so gracious to the Rams for hosting this and being able to be at a facility where NFL players play," said Sayin. "This was definitely a fun day. I was very excited about receiving the most valuable player award. I am just very grateful for my coaches that helped me out today. This experience will help me with teamwork and leadership building skills, especially playing with guys I have never met before."
The Defensive MVP Award was given to Mission Viejo's safety, Travis Anderson. He expressed how this event strengthened his hopes of playing professional football in the NFL.
"We won the championship, which is a great feeling. It was a hard and very long day, but I had a lot of fun with the team, meeting new players and coaches. We lost the first game which did not faze us, but we got to get the feel of playing flag football, which I have not done since the fourth or fifth grade. It reminded me of being a child and playing both ways. I caught a couple touchdowns and got a pick. I played great defense and got the game winning touchdown which felt nice," said Anderson. "This is a dream come true. Participating as an LA Ram was amazing. My dream is to get to the NFL, and it is getting closer. I know I must keep working but I loved being here today. The competition and the coaches were great. It was a blessing to be here. All these guys are going to go to PAC-12 or SEC schools, so this was a great experience."
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