Taylor Patskanick and Abigail Woodward will ring in 2013 in Texas.
The two Forsyth County students were among 125 high school seniors selected to showcase their talents in band and color guard Jan. 5 at the U.S. Army All-American Bowl in San Antonio.
They will perform in front of nearly 40,000 people, along with the other marching band and color guard students during halftime of a game that features the nation’s top 90 high school football players.
Kelly Donahue, bowl selection tour representative, told the teenagers during two separate events that each displayed mental, emotional and physical strength.
“It’s these strengths, along with dedication, determination and teamwork that allow them to succeed and excel in school, in training and in life,” Donahue said. “It is these strengths that earn All-American Bowl players and marching band members the right to wear the colors of the U.S. Army.”
Patskanick, who attends West Forsyth, was recognized by bowl representatives Wednesday in an auditorium full of classmates.
She thanked her parents and brothers Jason and Josh for “always encouraging me, allowing me to pursue my passions and being my No. 1-biggest fans.”
Forsyth Central’s Woodward also addressed peers and family members during a recognition ceremony Thursday at her school.
“This is the biggest thing that has ever happened in my entire life. I am so honored,” she said. “My father, who just passed away last year, and my grandfather were both in the Army and this is just a tremendous honor to be able to do this and honor them both.”
Woodward thanked her mother and sister for their support, as well as the band, color guard and directors.
After the ceremony, Woodward said she was inspired to apply for the bowl after her best friend did it last year.
“I watched her perform and I watched how much fun she had doing this and I was like I want to do that,” she said. “I’m looking forward to meeting people from other places and seeing how their color guards work because color guard isn’t just taught one way.”
Being part of color guard was the best decision Woodward said she’s made.
For Patskanick, it was a good fit after years of twirling baton and dancing.
“It was a natural thing for me to progress into,” she said. “It’s one of those things that just kind of happened and I’m glad it did.”
Patskanick said the All-American Bowl is “definitely an honor.”
“I’ve worked very hard for this, but I’m really, really grateful and thankful to have this opportunity,” she said. “I’m really, really excited to be able to go to bowl week and I hope that I can perform well and that it’s all a really good experience.”
The game is set for 1 p.m. in the Alamodome and will be broadcast live on NBC.