At Hermiston High School, and in the Mid-Columbia Conference, Chase Bradshaw and Dustyn Coughlin are two of the biggest players you will find on the field.
On Jan. 20, they joined some of the best players in the nation at the Blue-Grey All-American Bowl at AT&T Stadium, home of the Dallas Cowboys.
Both players saw significant time on the offensive line for the Grey team (West), which won 37-30 in overtime.
“It felt unreal to be at the stadium of America’s team,” said the 6-foot-4, 275-pound Bradshaw. “Being in it, it is so much bigger that what it is. Ezekiel Elliott and Dak Prescott play there. It was crazy.”
The 6-5, 280-pound Coughlin echoed the sentiment.
“I had never been in such a big stadium before,” he said. “It was such a beautiful place. I took as many photos as I could. It was an amazing experience.”
Once the players arrived in the Dallas area, each team had a couple of practices at one of the area high schools.
“They have high schools with indoor facilities,” Bradshaw said. “It was intimidating, but once you start practicing, you realize they are all high school players playing high school football. Coming from Eastern Oregon and Hermiston, when you get an opportunity like this, you have to take it. It was worth it.”
Bradshaw played right tackle, right guard and left tackle during the game. For the most part, he played next to Shane Stoyke from Loyola, California, who has signed to play at Wake Forest.
“I thought we played really well,” Bradshaw said. “We didn’t give up any sacks or hurries. I was out there for three of our touchdowns. I never felt little, or that I shouldn’t be there. I felt I did a good job.”
Coughlin started the game at left tackle, but also saw time at right tackle and right guard.
“They try to get you in at different positions so college coaches can see you in different situations,” Coughlin said.
The West trailed 20-17 at the half, and the East quickly made it 30-20.
But the West never gave in.
“We had just over four minutes left and we needed a touchdown and a field goal,” Coughlin said. “I told them not to get down. We went out there and did it.”
The West got the touchdown, and a 31-yard field goal by Evan Warren (committed to Navy) in the waning seconds of regulation to tie the score at 30-30.
In overtime, Austin Bolt (committed to Boise State) caught a 25-yard touchdown pass from Gunnar Gray for a 37-30 lead. The East was unable to score in overtime.
Bolt, a 6-foot-4, 200-pound tight end out of Borah High School in Boise, was named Offensive MVP following the game. Bolt was named the Idaho Gatorade Football Player of the Year.
Bolt caught TD passes of 37, 12 and 25 yards, with the final one being the game winner in overtime.
Coughlin and Bradshaw were the only players from Oregon, and two of four from the Pacific Northwest.
The West coach was Mark McMillian, who played eight seasons in the NFL for five teams, including the Philadelphia Eagles and Kansas City Chiefs.