Travel football experience eye-opening for SMS 8th-grader

By: 
Stephanie Taylor Ferriell, Print Editor
A Salem youth who was chosen to take part in a travel football league was part of a team that made it to national competition in December.
Porter Howey, the son of Aaron and Tracy Howey of Salem, was a member of Indiana FBU (Football University). His younger brother, Rogan, was also on a team. While his team advanced to regionals, they did not qualify for nationals.
Selection for a team is a tryout process. The boys, who are from all over Indiana and some from neighboring states, practice together weekly, then teams are chosen in the summer. There are 100 teams throughout the country.
Once teams are established, the boys practice every Saturday and Sunday for four hours. The practices were held in Indianapolis. “It was intense for Tracy and I both,” said Aaron. “It’s a two-hour drive up, then they practice two hours, take a break, and practice two hours more. It was nine-hour days. It took up an enormous chunk of time.”
The family traveled to South Dakota for the central region competition, which starts the FBU tournament. Porter’s team beat Kansas City 36-0 to advance to the national finals in Naples, Florida, Dec. 17-21.
Going up against some of the best middle school athletes in the country was a reality check for the Salem Middle School eighth grader. “It was eye-opening,” he said. “When you see kids from other states that are 6’ 5” and weigh 300 pounds, it’s eye-opening!” He said the linemen for the Seattle team, which Indiana faced first, were all over 6 feet tall. “They were pretty big!”
Indiana played two more games, against Rhode Island and Orange County, California, winning both. Against Rhode Island, Team Indiana FBU came from a 6-17 halftime deficit to finish the game 20-17, keeping Rhode Island scoreless in the second half. They placed fifth out of eight teams competing. 
See the full story in Thursday's edition of The Salem Democrat.

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