Local players get to shine at Shrine Bowl
by Staff Writer
As they stood on Charlotte Country Day School’s verdant-green football field late on the evening of Nov. 25, Tre Hunt, Troy Lowden and Taylor Jurney couldn’t believe their high school playing careers were complete.
But although their North Carolina squad had fallen to South Carolina, 25-24, in the Oasis Shrine Bowl, each player could forge a smile. After all, they had been selected to participate in a game featuring the best private-school players in the region.
Hunt, a tenacious linebacker from Davidson Day School, reflected on an autumn bursting with highlights, including the Patriots’ magical run to the Division III state title.
Lowden, a towering lineman from SouthLake Christian, where he played alongside Jurney, was thankful he took the advice from Eagles coaches to give the sport a try a few years ago.
And the Oasis Shrine Bowl was another memory they could cling to for the rest of their lives.
“The experience was good,” said Hunt. “We came together, just like my old team, Davidson Day. I felt like I was home.
“But I’ve got to give credit to my Davidson Day team. I definitely wouldn’t be here without my team. I won’t forget any of this.”
The 6-foot-4, 280-pound Lowden echoed those sentiments.
“It was a once-in-a-lifetime experience to play in this game,” Lowden said. “Two years ago, when I started playing, I never thought I’d be here. And now, I get to wrap up my career in a game like this. That’s pretty special.”
Hunt said it was a bit of a weird experience, playing on the same team as players from other area private schools. But he said spending time together in the days before the game made for a smooth transition/
“It was fun,” he said. “We kind of settled some battles. I had a lot of likes and dislikes, but we came together as a team.
“Losing the game was tough, though. I really don’t like it. But there was some good competition.”
Lowden said he never envisioned himself competing in such a high-profile game. In fact, Lowden said, he at first didn’t have any interest in playing football, even though he had the stature for it.
“First, I didn’t like it at all,” he said with a laugh. “It wasn’t for me. But the coaches kept pestering me about it, and eventually I caved in. Then it just became my sport. I love it now.”
He loves it so much, in fact, that he aspires to play in college. Currently, he said, nearby Davidson and Campbell University are showing recruiting interest. But on Nov. 25, it was all about the Oasis Shrine Bowl.
“When I went out there, I just thought, ‘It’s my last high school game. Just let it all out,’” he said. “And that was a great feeling.”