Mr. Football contender also led on the court

By Charles grove


While there’s plenty of moments Warren Harding High School football coach Steve Arnold can choose from the Lynn Bowden file, one surpasses the others.

“His junior year at Cleveland Heights stands out,” Arnold said. “We took the lead, they fought back and we were up seven in the fourth quarter facing a fourth-and-five on their 30.

“I was discussing what to do with my offensive coordinator and [Lynn] said ‘Give me the ball and I’ll get the first down.’”

Bowden not only got the first down but scored a touchdown.

Last fall, the Raiders had a 9-1 regular season and advanced to a regional final, falling to Hudson 24-21 — but Bowden made his presence felt through the playoffs.

In one game, he racked up 201 rushing yards, four touchdowns, threw for another touchdown and returned a punt for a 75-yard score.

Against Chardon, he was even more impressive. Bowden ran for six touchdowns and threw for another in a 49-31 victory.

Bowden finished second in the voting for Ohio’s 2016 Mr. Football Award.

“Lynn obviously has God-given ability but the two qualities that may go unnoticed unless you coach is his tremendous football IQ and his will to win,” Arnold said.

Bowden also stood out on the basketball court. He was named to the Special Mention team in Division I by the Ohio Associated Press. The senior led a team that was missing Derek Culver to a district final, falling in overtime to Uniontown Lake, 59-56.

“He’s a leader. No doubt about it,” Arnold said. “It didn’t matter what sport it was.”

Bowden signed on with the University of Kentucky for football. He chose the Wildcats after receiving offers from Indiana, Cincinnati, Marshall, Michigan, Michigan State, Nebraska, Penn State, Rutgers, Tennessee, Toledo, West Virginia and Wisconsin.

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