I ran into Norris Vaughan at a Mountain Pointe wrestling match and he was still beaming from the experience of the U.S. Army All-American Bowl in San Antonio.

In fact he was all decked out in swag from the event.

He was the defensive coordinator for the West squad that won 28-6 and allowed less than 200 yards of offense to the East, which was littered with talent headed to top Division I programs, despite having to play a bland front per showcase game rules.

Vaughan hopes to return next year after thoroughly enjoying the experience.

“It was truly a great event,” he said. “I’ve never seen anything like it. The level of talent was a sight to behold. The linebackers were all 6-2, 225 pounds and could fly.”

He said the Pride’s Jalen Brown was the team’s best receiver and that offensive lineman Natrell Curtis, who committed to Oklahoma after returning, was challenged and kept competing against the country’s best.

One of the best parts for Vaughan, who was a finalist for the national coach of the year presented at the game but didn’t final, was working with the other coaches like Bishop Gorman’s Tony Sanchez and St. John Bosco’s Jason Negro.

While in Texas Vaughan found out he is up for the Don Shula Coach of the Year Award presented by the NFL. He was named the Arizona Cardinals coach of the year in Arizona and that allowed him to be nominated for the national award.

As the national 2013 Don Shula NFL High School Coach of the Year, Steve Specht of St. Xavier High School in Cincinnati, Ohio, received a trip to the Super Bowl and $25,000; $15,000 of which was granted to the St. Xavier High School football program.

He also said the Pride will play in the Sollenberger next year but details needed to be worked out.

Contact writer: (480) 898-7915 or Jskoda@ahwatukee.com. Follow him on Twitter @JSkodaAFN.

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