The brights lights of one of the nation’s most famous football venues will soon be shining down on a local athlete.
Indiana McAlpine, a Santa Monica resident who has starred on the Malibu High School football team, will participate in an all-star game at AT&T Stadium featuring top players from the United States and Canada.
He’s one of more than 50 teenagers on the American roster for the under-18 division of the seventh annual International Bowl, which is scheduled for Feb. 3 at the home of the Dallas Cowboys in Arlington, Texas.
“This opportunity means a lot to me,” said McAlpine, who was chosen for the exhibition after taking part in a USA Football regional development camp over the summer. “It shows my abilities in the sport and proves what I can do on the field. It is also a big honor to represent the country and a sport I love to play.”
The upcoming competition comes at a crucial juncture for McAlpine, a 6-foot-1 wide receiver who is hoping to continue playing football after high school. The bowl game will serve as a potential opportunity for the aspiring art student to catch the attention of college coaches.
In any case, the all-star game adds another chapter to a football career that already spans a full decade. McAlpine has spent time on the gridiron since he was 8 years old, when his father signed him up for a Pop Warner league. He said he’s never looked back.
“I like how physical the sport is, and the mental aspect of the game as well,” he said. “You have to use both to play the game well. I also enjoy the team aspect of the game. Having people to play for and play next to is a great experience.”
McAlpine, who attended Grant Elementary and John Adams Middle schools, spent two years at Santa Monica High School. He then transferred within the district to Malibu High when his father moved to Malibu, but he said also he realized that his new, smaller school would be a better fit for him academically.
Meanwhile, McAlpine found a comfort zone on the football field. As a junior with the Sharks, he tallied 56 catches for 1,093 yards and 11 touchdowns as a wideout while recording 25 tackles and four interceptions as a defensive back. He also served as a kickoff and punt returner.
This past season, McAlpine challenged opposing defenses as a receiver and running back. He amassed 257 yards and a score through the air, but he also took 108 carries for 670 yards and seven touchdowns.
“He is capable of making a big play on offense every time he touches the ball,” Sharks coach Terry Shorten told the Malibu Times. “I see Indiana playing college football on Saturdays next year.”
McAlpine, who was named a team most valuable player and a first-team all-conference honoree in each of the last two seasons, said he’s still waiting to hear from a few universities. For now, he’s keeping his options open.
“I am excited to see what is ahead,” he said.