PILOT MOUNTAIN — Sam Whitt, an eighth-grader at Pilot Mountain Middle School, is on his way to represent Surry County football on a big stage.
Whitt, who plays on the PMMS football team, participated in the USA Football Regional Development Camp in Rock Hill, S.C. on April 17. There were 30 camps held nationwide, with more than 20,000 athletes ranging in ages 13-17 in attendance. Later that month, he received notification that he was selected to attend the Invite Only Developmental Games held in July to further his tryout process for the 15U National Team.
From July 18-22, Sam went to Canton, Ohio to participate in those games. There were only four regional development games nationwide designed to identify the top players in each age group. Only 500 youth football players from around the country participated in the games.
In Canton, the coaches and scouts selected Sam as a starter in the games. He competed with players from 30 different states and represented North Carolina, Surry County, and Pilot Mountain Middle School with pride, honor, and integrity.
On Thursday, Oct. 12, his performance there paid off, when he learned he had been selected by the USA Football Team to play offensive line on the US U15 – Select Team at the 2018 International Bowl IX in Texas at the AT&T Stadium, the home of the NFL’s Dallas Cowboys.
“It was a privilege and honor to represent North Carolina, Surry County, and PMMS this past spring and summer. I am thankful to USA Football for the experience and grateful for all the knowledge I gained from the coaches and camp directors,” said Whitt. “It is cool that I played with guys from all over the country. We came together for one cause, to represent the USA and the red, white, and blue. Now, I am excited about traveling to Texas in January and playing in the Bowl IX game. It will be a great opportunity to play with some of the kids I have already met and to get to know others.”
The International Bowl is an annual event that features four select teams chosen from across the United States, chosen by USA Football, an organization based in Indianapolis that leads the game’s development for youth, high school and other amateur players. USA Football coordinates with two overseas organizations that promote the game of American football — Football Canada, which governs youth football in that country; and the Japan American Football Association, which does the same in Japan. On Jan. 16-17, teams representing Japan, Alberta, Ontario and Saskatchewan competed against U.S. teams of various age classifications.
To learn more about the event, visit http://internationalbowl.com.
Sam is the son of Steven and Laura Whitt. His sister, Leah Grace, and his brother, Luke, attend Pilot Mountain Elementary School.
The staff of Pilot Mountain Middle School is very happy for Sam, as they know he has been personally conditioning for this for two years.