Casey Filkins, Steve Coury lift West to victory in All American Bowl
Three of Lake Oswego High School's best took their places among the nation's best at the 2020 All American Bowl.
And those three — Laker senior running back Casey Filkins, LO head coach Steve Coury and longtime assistant Karl Halberg — proved that they belonged.
Together, they helped lead the West team to a 33-20 victory over the East in the latest iteration of the game, an annual matchup featuring the nation's top 100 high school football players. The game was held Saturday, Jan. 4, in the Alamodome in San Antonio, Texas, and was nationally televised live on NBC.
Both Filkins — who scored one touchdown in the West team's victory — and Coury were thrilled with their participation in the game.
"The whole experience was incredible," said Filkins, a Stanford commit who was previously named Three Rivers League Player of the Year, Oregon Class 6A Offensive Player of the Year and Gatorade Oregon Player of the Year. "It truly was a top-notch experience, and it was a great way for me to get some exposure against those guys on a national scale."
"It was a great honor to be named the head coach for the West, (but) it was a greater privilege to be able to coach Casey Filkins one last time," said Coury, who led the Lakers to the 2018 Class 6A state championship and a runner-up finish in 2019. "We had an incredible time and winning the game made it even more special."
Filkins, a 5-foot-11, 190-pound running back, finished the game with four carries for 20 yards and one touchdown, providing his team's final score midway through the fourth quarter.
His touchdown run — a 6-yarder — was classic Filkins. Starting seven yards deep in the backfield, Filkins took a handoff out of the shotgun, stutter stepped and leaned to the right, drew the defense toward him, then cut back left at the 7-yard line and rolled into the end zone untouched to score.
"It really allowed me to evaluate myself and reflect," he said. "I feel confident that I belong with those caliber of players and I know I proved it, too."
As great as all that was, Filkins said the true highlight for him was meeting all the other players and coaches and starting relationships that he'll carry with him into his college career.
"What was even better, though, was meeting guys that were super cool and genuine off the field," Filkins said. "Everyone there was more than just a good football player. … It's more than football. It was a great time."
Likewise, Coury and Halberg reveled in the chance to coach such stellar players.
"You got to really realize what great players and great young men are out there around the country in this game," Coury said. "(It was) a once-in-a-lifetime experience and an honor to represent Lake Oswego High and this great community."
You count on us to stay informed and we depend on you to fund our efforts. Quality local journalism takes time and money. Please support us to protect the future of community journalism.