Augusta's Trae Goken took full advantage of a rare opportunity.
Goken was offered a chance to play football in Australia as one of the few from around the country selected to compete in the Down Under Sports Tournament.
The event is hosted by the Down Under organization and International Sports Specialists, Inc. in an effort to promote cross-continent sports. Goken, who represented the East Central Conference, played for the Wolfpack.
The Wolfpack defeated the Bobcats 16-6 in a defensive battle to win the championship game. Goken was selected by the Down Under committee to receive the game's Most Valuable Player honor. Goken rushed for 60 yards on about a dozen carries.
""The people hosting the show, Down Under, felt I had the most impact on the game with sportsmanship, and skillwise," Goken said.
Not only did they play in a few games, the athletes were able to rotate and run plays from different positions. In addition to fullback, Goken played as the placekicker and punter. Despite so many players trying different things, the players developed some chemistry as the week went on.
"We caught on really easily," Goken said.
For Goken, the trip was fun. He enjoyed seeing the beach and swimming in the ocean for the first time. They stopped at Hawaii for a couple days, then enjoyed a couple nights out on the town in Australia. He even got to see the Wildlife Sanctuary and pet the kangaroos.
"It was great. There were a lot of nice people. It was beautiful.
"It was really fun meeting new people and everything. I really enjoyed it, seeing how everyone else lived, how they play football. It was really nice to see how different states do things," Goken said.
There were even some differences with the type of players at the camp, most notably their size.
"There were some big boys. I was not prepared for that," Goken laughed.
As a whole, Goken said it was a memorable experience. Just to be nominated to go, then to have this as a strong resume builder, are quite the honor for Goken.