PANAMA CITY — The weather couldn’t put a damper on preparation for Friday’s Max Emfinger All-American Bowl Game.
Heavy rain halted Thursday’s afternoon practice, but aside from that the week went smoothly, Bay head coach and Emfinger East team defensive coordinator Jimmy Longerbeam said. More than 100 prep football prospects convened on Panama City with the 10th annual game set for 3 p.m. Friday at Tommy Oliver Stadium.
The game is the final part of five days filled with activities, including players visiting the Panama City Rescue mission and area hospitals and instruction from coaches and special guests. A banquet Thursday highlighted the week with guest speakers and the teams spent time together at Pier Park for the New Year’s Eve beach ball drop as well as at points throughout the week to build camaraderie.
The chilly conditions had some Southeast prospects looking for jackets. Other standouts have a different feeling.
“We might think it’s cold, but the kids from Chicago think it’s hot,” Longerbeam said. “Where some of these guys come from it’s still warm.”
The forecast calls for a high of 46 degrees Friday with mostly sunny skies. It’s a departure from the deluge of rain in recent days, which should provide a better playing surface for what’s expected to be an offensive showcase. The turf at TOS also has been reseeded and is in good condition, Longerbeam said.
It adds up to a fast track for some prospects looking to enhance their college hopes. The Emfinger All-American Bowl Game perennially includes athletes that might not have received many looks from top schools. The amount of offers expands for many heading into National Signing Day in February.
Longerbeam said there will be plenty of surprises in this game.
“There are some really good players to watch,” he said. “There will be names that will jump out after it’s done.”
Admission is $10.