The band played on, first doing a short intro number and then concluding the Under Armour All-American game jersey ceremony for Southern Lab linebacker Chris Allen with an upbeat version of the school’s alma mater.
Allen admitted he was still nervous even after putting on the 2017 Under Armour jersey in front of friends, family and the SLHS student body.
The 6-foot-4, 235-pound Allen reiterated that playing in the Jan. 1 all-star game is a dream of nearly a lifetime.
“Ever since I was in middle school, I have watched the Under Armour All-American game,” Allen said. “I thought to myself how fortunate those players were and how much of an honor it was. I thought that I would never be this lucky to become an Under Armour All-American.
“It feels great to know that my hard work is paying off. I would never have gotten this far with my past and present teammates and coaches and most importantly my parents.”
Allen was a Class 1A all-state and All-Metro selection a year ago while helping lead SLHS to the Division IV state title. In six games, Allen has 211/2 tackles for the Kittens, who are ranked second in Class 1A.
It was the second Under Armour ceremony in as many days in the Baton Rouge area. Plaquemine safety Todd Harris received his jersey Tuesday, a day after St. James quarterback Lowell Narcisse got his jersey.
Narcisse is an LSU commitment. Harris discussed his recruiting plans and LSU on Tuesday. He said he would commit at the Under Armour game.
Allen said he has narrowed his choices to LSU and Alabama and hedged his bets on when he will actually commit.
“I possibly could commit at the Under Armour game, but I’m most probably going to wait until national signing day,” Allen said. “It’s like a 50-50 thing. I’m going to take an official visit to Alabama when they play Auburn, and I think I’m going to take my official visit to LSU when they play Alabama.”
Southern Lab coach Marcus Randall, a former LSU quarterback, was not surprised to hear that Allen has narrowed his choices to LSU and Alabama. More than anything else, Randall was relishing what the day and the Under Armour ceremony meant.
“I want to thank Under Armour and the selection committee for selecting one of our own, Christopher Allen, to play in this (game),” Randall told the crowd. “There are only 90 players out of the hundreds of thousands of players from across the country who get selected to play.
“So he (Allen) is about a .009 percent of the players who get selected. On behalf of Southern Laboratory School and all the people who support it, I want to congratulate Christopher Allen.”