Wilsonville's Bynum selected to participate in All-American Bowl
Wilsonville Wildcats standout Draco Bynum has been big presence on the field for many years. Bynum has been with the high school's football team through some of the more impressive seasons, and has worked hard to contribute to the teams overall success. The fans and coaches have noticed, but it seems they were not alone.
Bynum found out on Wednesday, Dec. 6 that he was selected to participate in the US Army All-American Bowl on Jan. 6, 2018 in San Antonio. Bynum will join 99 other phenomenal high school athletes in a showcase game of east versus west.
The process to get to this point was in the works months ago. The selection committee had reached out to Bynum and made him aware that he was in the running.
"It was a couple months ago that they got in communication with me," Bynum said. "When I first heard that I was in the running, they asked for some of my mid-season highlights and some of my video from last year. It's a whole board of people that were deciding, and there were four other guys that were in consideration, so they were taking film from all four of us. They were asking me to send them some film, some film against the 6A opponents that we'd played because there were concerns about me only going against 5A teams, so I had to compile some 6A footage. It's been quite a while, but I got the news I had been chosen about four weeks ago."
From there, it was a waiting game. Bynum continued to play football into the post-season for Wilsonville, and has since taken his spot on the high school's varsity basketball team. But on Wednesday, the waiting was over. Bynum had made the cut.
"I was in calculus, third period, right before lunch," Bynum said. "I had been in communication with one of the guys, he told me I was in the running, and he asked me to give him a call. I was like, 'Either he's telling me they went with someone else or he's telling me that it's me.' So, I excused myself from class and went out and took his call, and he told me that I got it. It was very emotional, and it was awesome. I couldn't believe it."
He went home, told his dad and the celebratory high fiving, hugging, and shouting commenced. Later that afternoon, Bynum took part in a ceremony where he was the focus, where his lifetime of work was recognized. He also had to give a speech.
"I definitely got really nervous when I was speaking," Bynum said. "I had a whole list of things that I wanted to hit off. I wanted to thank coaches, teachers, parents, teammates, but when I got up there I got through a majority of it, but I wanted to get out of there as soon as I could. They told me I was first Army Bowl selection to give their speech, so I guess that felt good. That was reassuring because there was nothing to stand up against."
Despite the attention he received and the privilege he has of participating in the upcoming game, Bynum remained humble, acknowledging where his successes have come from.
"I definitely want to say that I couldn't have done any of this without my amazing parents, my coaches, my teammates," Bynum said. "I wouldn't be half the player I am today without them. My teammates every day in practice push me to get better, give me good looks on scout team. My coaches never settling, and always pushing me to be better even when I get a little complacent. My parents have raised me, they've made me what I am today, and I couldn't be more grateful for everything, all the blessings I've received in my life."
Bynum will fly down to San Antonio a week before the game to train and practice with his team of football standouts, before finally hitting the gridiron on Jan. 6