Prolific Goldsboro High School running back Xzavior Bowden was recently selected to be a member of the East All-Star football team. It’s the first time since 2013 that an athlete from Goldsboro High School has been chosen to compete in the annual celebration in Greensboro.

“Coach Ray told me I was selected,” Bowden said. “I had forgotten about it, but once I was selected, it sunk in because it is a big game. It put a smile on my face when I saw the certificate.

“It’s an opportunity to put Goldsboro back on the map, and I’m just taking it as another opportunity. I’m really excited for it, I know it’s going to be very competitive, and I’m willing to work harder than everybody else because it’s going to be one of the biggest games I’ve ever played in.”

Bowden anchored an offense that put up atomic numbers the past few years.

In three years, Bowden rushed for 4,385 yards and 49 touchdowns. For his career, he averaged 7.8 yards per carry and 129 rushing yards per game.

On the defensive side, Bowden filed 262 tackles, four interceptions, and two sacks.

Bowden, a leader on and off the field, will attend Independence Community College in Kansas this fall.

“It feels really good to have all of my hard work pay off,” Bowden said. “I’m ready to go to college and play at the next level.”

Goldsboro head coach Timothy Ray didn’t need long to compose his thoughts about Bowden.

“He deserves it,” Ray said. “I’m really glad he’s being recognized for his talents and the hard work he put in. Playing against the west side of the state, I’m sure they’re going to get the Xzavior Bowden experience that everyone who’s played against him has gotten.

“He doesn’t take his natural born talents for granted, because he continues to work and make sure he’s the best at everything he does. He’s a natural born leader, and with that football, he’s truly gifted.”

Bowden credits some his success to Ray, not only does he regard Ray as a coach, but he also thinks of him as a father figure.

“Coach Ray has been a big help,” Bowden said. “He’s very supportive, and at the end of the day he’s my head coach, but it’s also a father-son type of thing. We still get our laughs, but when it’s time to go to work we go to work.”