Senior All-NCAC honoree Kyle Bates (Painesville/Thomas W. Harvey) played in the USA Football Bowl on Monday in Jackson, Mississippi.
Bates started at right tackle for the Admirals and played into the third quarter. His team fell in the game 69-54.
“This was a really fun experience,” said Bates. “It was way more than expected. We had to learn the schemes and the playbook in a really short time.”
The four day trip included three practices, a group dinner and the chance to march in the MLK Day Parade, which was the largest in the country.
The game featured players from Division I, Division II, Divison III and NAIA schools.
“While it was a challenge to learn everything, it really showed that players from across all divisions can work together,” added Bates. “Being one of the few Division III players to particpate was an awesome feeling. It showed that Division III players can compete.”
Bates earned his second straight Honorable Mention All-NCAC accolade in 2014, after starting all 10 games on the offensive line.
He was the anchor of the line that helped lead Hiram to its best offensive season in recent memory. The Terriers finished the season with a 5-5 record, its best finish since the 1988 season.
“Playing in this game was awesome,” said Bates. “It was a honor to represent Hiram and the NCAC.”