Yurish, Horn head to Australia

January 25, 2002

Yurish, Horn head to Australia


Former Martinsburg High quarterback Joey Yurish and current Musselman running back Ryan Horn are friends. They even hung out together on New Year's Eve.

Good thing. They're going to be spending a lot more time around each other this summer.

The two are part of an all-star football team for players from Maryland, Virginia and West Virginia that will participate in the 12th Annual Down Under Bowl series in Australia in June.

"This makes it a whole lot better," said Yurish, a senior who led the Bulldogs to the Class AAA title game and is The Herald-Mail's reigning offensive player of the year.


"I've flown once and that was just (over Christmas to Myrtle Beach, S.C.). And this is a 24-hour flight. It's something so great; every time I see him, we talk about it. So we're really looking forward to going."

The Down Under Bowl is organized by International Sports Specialists, Inc., a group formed in New Zealand in 1989 to promote sport as a way to break world cultural barriers. The games pit teams from the United States against ones from Australia and New Zealand, while the athletes get to play tourists in the Southern Hemisphere in their down time.

For their trip halfway around the world June 13-30, the two have to raise $3,100 to cover expenses. Neither has seen much of a problem there.

"The money is coming in," said Horn, a junior and second-team All-Area running back. "My parents, they've been saying it's a great thing and have a good time. My mom, she's definitely excited."

"It's going pretty good," Yurish said. "They've been announcing it at basketball games and people have handed me some money and said good luck.

"Heck, the guy that won the 50-50 at the basketball game gave me the money. It was like $156."

Several NFL players have been in the Down Under Bowl, including Arizona quarterback Jake Plummer, Oakland defensive lineman Darrell Russell and Green Bay running back Ahman Green.

Whether Yurish or Horn gets to add his name to that list is still up in the air - after all, they haven't even walked onto a college campus yet. But to start getting the word out? Well, that's just fine.

Even if they have to go to Australia to do it.

"This is definitely a big thing," Horn said. "We're in the (Eastern) Panhandle and people don't always give us credit. We can play with some of the best guys around. Here, we can let people see that there are some good players from around here."

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