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Local football players participate in combine

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As the other players stood near the track edge, wanting to get a look, Ruben Garnett and Brendan Douglas took turns speeding past.

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Ryan Bowers (center), the head trainer and owner of AthElite Sports Training Academy, times a player in the 20-yard dash.  JON-MICHAEL SULLIVAN/STAFF
JON-MICHAEL SULLIVAN/STAFF
Ryan Bowers (center), the head trainer and owner of AthElite Sports Training Academy, times a player in the 20-yard dash.

“You feel that breeze?” someone said, drawing chuckles.

The Aquinas duo were just two of the more than 30 area high school football players to participate in the All-Area Football Combine, which was held Saturday at AthElite Sports Training Academy in Evans. The players, many found on The Augusta Chronicle’s All-Area football teams from this past season, competed in events seen at the NFL Scouting Combine.

Though the rain changed some plans and kept the players inside, Douglas and Garnett managed to post two of the best 20-yard dash runs, with Douglas’ 2.50 seconds topping Garnett’s 2.51-second finish.

“We want to highlight these guys and their efforts,” said Ryan Bowers, AthElite owner. “We want to celebrate the guys and get to know them.”

Douglas, who has signed with the University of Georgia, had the best showings in events such as the broad jump with his 10’ 2” and the vertical at 40’ 1/2” and the bench press. His 37 reps at 185 on the bench drew a large crowd.

Players also took part in events like the shuttle and vertical jump. The local athletes also had their times and reps recorded by NFL coaches Brett Bech, of the Dallas Cowboys, and the Carolina Panthers’ Lance Taylor. Each student-athlete also got to take a 10-minute Wonderlic Test.

Bowers said he hoped the day reinforced the notion that the Augusta area is home to great football players.

One of those players, Douglas, thinks the stage will help some people take notice.

“It’s good for all players in the area,” Douglas said. “They get to let people know what they can do.”


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