In action at the annual Army Arena Bowl game played Friday in Bakersfield, Warrior quarterback Bobby Howell scrambles for nine yards on this play late in the first half.
Howell played most of the second quarter throwing three passes for 42 yards. Photo by Michael Duffy, The Tehachapi News.

Warriors Play In Arena Bowl

Posted by Tom Shea, The Tehachapi News, on April 20, 2013

Two talented football players represented the Warriors in the 12th annual U.S. Army Arena Bowl last Friday night, which features the best football players in Kern County.

Seniors Bobby Howell and Ryan Flick were tapped to play in the all-star game, the nation's only all-star football contest played with arena football rules.

Last season for Tehachapi, both Howell and Flick were All-SEYL first team selections on offense. Howell closed out his senior year with 624 yards passing and four touchdowns, earning co-most valuable player of the year by his team. Flick also had a strong season with 274 yards receiving and two touchdown receptions.

"It's an honor to represent the town. For me it will probably be my last football game so it's great to go out there and be represented as an all-star," said Flick.

In addition to the game, Both Howell and Flick were involved in some promotional campaigns around the area, serving as advocates for the 3-Way Chevrolet TXTL8R program, which encourages Kern County citizens to make a pledge to not text while driving. Both players also served as mentors for the Tehachapi Tomahawk Youth Football program, helping to run drills and provide coaching for future Warriors.

"We actually wore Tomahawk stickers on our helmets during the arena game to represent them," added Flick. "I'm putting the old sticker I had on my helmet when I was in the sixth grade, just to send a message to the young football players in Tehachapi to keep playing and keep working hard."

In the game itself, all-stars were hand-picked to a Black vs. Gold team in a draft held earlier this year. Howell and Flick were members of the 'Gold' team, which lost 68-48 at game's end. Howell did see time at quarterback, throwing three completions for 42 yards and running a quarterback keeper for nine yards. Flick saw time at linebacker in the second half.

"The football field is half the size, the rules are different and practice is interesting," said Howell. "I've known some of the guys from the other teams but when you play together you get to know each other. It makes it fun."

Now that their high school playing days are over, Howell will be attending Portland State on a partial academic scholarship and will participate on the university's football team. Flick earned one of seven scholarships presented by the U.S. Army Arena Bowl committee, receiving the Academics Scholarship with an impressive 4.3 GPA and 2090 (out of 2200) SAT score. Flick will go on to either UCLA or Cal Poly -- San Luis Obispo next fall to pursue a degree in engineering.

"I know God put me in Tehachapi for a reason," Howell said. "It's cool to have Tehachapi attached to your name and knowing your representing the great football program that we have here."

Along with the players, Tehachapi was also represented on the field with their famed chain crew, with long-time Mountain Football markers Gary Childress and JC Hickey providing the down and sets. DJ Rickheim and Michael Rickheim also participated on the event staff crew. Monroe Principal and TVPRD Board member Paul Press led the event as the Arena Bowl Director.

Ryan Flick, left, and Bobby Howell, right enjoy the festivities of the Army Arena Bowl,
that was played Friday night, April 19, 2013 in Bakersfield. Photo by Michael Duffy, The Tehachapi News.

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