Big opportunity for Kentwood’s Norris at All American Bowl

Rex Norris made the most of a rare opportunity when he coached eight high school football players who have committed to top tier college programs such as Louisiana State University and Stanford Jan. 4 in the Semper Fidelis All American Bowl.

Sponsored by the United States Marine Corps, the game featured 100 of the nation’s elite high school football players in an East-West gridiron contest at the Home Depot Center in Carson, Calif. Norris, who has been the head coach for Kentwood High’s football team for nine seasons, served as the defensive line coach for the West team.

“It was a great experience,” Norris wrote in an email interview. “The West — my team  — lost with five seconds left in the game. Unfortunate but understandable. The East had a kickoff return for a TD during the game and really, just one drive the entire game. It was a good night.”

During the game the defensive line Norris coached tallied six sacks and pressured the West quarterbacks eight times along with two tackles for a loss.

This is the second year the Semper Fidelis All-American Bowl was played and in 2012 the West won on a 30-yard field goal. This year it was broadcast live on the NFL Network. Players and coaches arrived Dec. 30 in order to practice together before the game. A third-party company used scouts to select each player who participated based on both athletic ability and academic excellence. The game is an opportunity for players, coaches and Marines to meet, practice and work together to develop skills that are important both on and off the field, according to the event’s website,

Norris, a Texas native, has coached football at Kentwood for 17 years. Prior to taking over as head coach, he was the defensive coordinator for the Conquerors. He earned his bachelor’s degree at Arizona State University where he also worked for the football program.

Reach Assistant Editor Kris Hill at or 425-432-1209 ext. 5054.


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