JOINT BASE SAN ANTONIO-FORT SAM HOUSTON –
A pair of local high school football players will be joining dozens of other elite high school football players for the U.S. Army All-American Bowl at the Alamodome Jan. 4.
First is Trey Lealaimatafao, a 6-foot, 301-pound senior defensive tackle from San Antonio's Warren High School. The second is senior place kicker/punter Clayton Hatfield from Boerne Champion High School.
Lealaimatafao, who owns a 3.4 grade-point average as well as 4.9-second speed in the 40-yard run, will suit up for the West team at noon Jan. 4 as the nation's top seniors battle each other on the gridiron in this, the 14th edition of what is essentially an all-star game for high school football players.
Lealaimatafao is described on the bowl website http://usallamericanbowl.com as "a big defensive lineman that takes up a lot of space along the line. He is described as a very explosive player who can get into the backfield right away and also chase down a ball carrier when needed.
"Lealaimatafao is one of those players that teams avoid running at because they know they stand no chance getting by him," the description continues. "His body control and balance make him a dominating force on the defensive side of the ball."
A three-star prospect, according to recruiting websites http://www.Rivals.com, Scout.com and http://www.247sports.com, Lealaimatafao committed to the University of Texas-Austin Longhorns March 3 while on an unofficial visit to Texas, turning down offers from more than a dozen other schools.
Sports website SBNation http://www.sbnation.com names Lealaimatafao among the best defensive tackles in Texas, as well as the nation.
"When Lealaimatafao lines up in a gap, he appears to be almost impossible for opponents to stop, in part because of his size and height, but mostly because his anticipation of snap counts and impressive first-step quickness allow him to get into the opposing backfield almost before offensive linemen trying to reach block him can get their hands on him," said SBNation writer Wescott Ebbers.
"In Lealaimatafao, Texas is making progress toward revamping a depleted cupboard of interior linemen," wrote William Wilkerson of http://www.ESPN.com.
Hatfield, who stands at 5 feet 10 inches tall and weighs in at 160 pounds, is described on the USAAAB website as having "an explosive leg that allows him to rocket the ball into the end zone on almost every kickoff. He is a very accurate field goal kicker from any distance and at any point of the game. Hatfield also handles his high school's punting duty and does with exceptional accuracy, kicking the ball with plenty of hang time and direction, which allows his coverage team to limit the return yards."
In the 2013 season for the Chargers, goal attempts for a total of 66 points, according to http://www.MaxPreps.com.
In his three seasons on the Boerne Champion team, he has made 109 out of 118 PAT and 20 of 114 field goal attempts for a total of 169 points. Hatfield also scored on a two-point conversion run.
Hatfield has verbally committed to playing for the Texas Tech University Red Raiders as a walk-on player in 2014 according to the website.
"Hatfield is a talented athlete whose leadership and teamwork qualities have made him a standout at Champion," said Mark Davis, deputy assistant secretary of the Army for marketing.
"Hatfield continues to show his explosive power on kickoffs and field goals," said Chris Shaw from Kicknation, an organization which trains and grades kickers, punters and long snappers from across the nation.
"He is one of the smoothest kickers I have seen. His velocity on his kicks on field goals are tops on any playing field.
"He is a Division 1 player that will play at a top program," Shaw added. "He will be a true game changer for any program he plays for in the future."