The senior River Rat is one of only 80 high school football players in the country chosen for this prestigious competition to be held Dec. 17 in Dallas
You might say that Adam Samaha has made quite a name for himself in high school sports.
He was part of a great turnaround in Michigan high school sports history as the Huron football had been on a state record 39-game losing streak when he and his class of 2023 teammates arrived. They got to work and made the playoffs three years in a row.
Adam has the school record for the longest field goal in a game at 49 yards.
He finished his football career ranked in six different categories in the MHSAA record book.
As for basketball: Adam set a school record by making 65 3-pointers in 19 games during his junior season.
And now the Huron senior—who is committed to playing football for Coach Jim Harbaugh at the University of Michigan—has earned another accolade shared by just 80 others in the country.
In an announcement Wednesday in front of friends, family, and staff in the Huron High School dome gym, he was invited to compete in the 2023 U.S. Army All-American Bowl, an annual high school football all-star game.
Rich McGuinness, chairman of the All-American Bowl, said that being selected as one of just six specialists from across the country, and just one of 80 high school football players overall, is a huge honor. Especially considering that about one million students play high school football.
McGuinness noted that Adam was selected for his athletic ability as well as his character.
“He was described as all-American in character and all-American ability—a terrific athlete, athletic foot, smooth and a lot of great attitudes that kind of blew us away,” he said. “I know how hard he’s worked because word is he started at four years old. So on the other hand, I’m not surprised. I don’t find a lot of athletes starting that young.”
Adam is the son of Waleed and Sheri Samaha. , U of M, Center for Education Outreach.
Waleed Samaha, a social worker at Huron, was the school’s all-time winningest basketball coach with a 302-99 record until he became head basketball coach at LEAD Prep Academy this summer.
He’s proud of his son for many reasons.
“Adam’s a hard-working student who has excelled in AAPS from kindergarten through 12th grade. He’s had great teachers all the way through,” said his father. “His work ethic, his drive, and passion for competition are what have allowed him to achieve at a high level in school and in athletics. He’s a confident and humble young man. He’s a great friend and mentor to his peers and younger athletes. We’re excited to watch him continue to grow and succeed in his next challenge.”
Sheri Samaha, who works at the University of Michigan Center for Education Outreach, says she’s an “indoor sports kind of girl” who has particularly enjoyed watching her son play basketball, and was nervous for both him and her husband during games.
As for football – she’s thrilled that he will attend the University of Michigan, where she works.
“Do I get nervous? Yeah. All the time,” she says. “All the time. Kicking is a big responsibility, but it does include more than just the kicker. It’s the snapper and the holder and then the kick. So you’re always like hoping all three go perfectly so other than that, I feel that yeah, nervous all the time.”
Q & A with Adam Samaha
Q: How do you handle the pressure of being a kicker?
A: That’s why I kick. I love the pressure. I love when all the attention is on me and I got to make a big kick to win a game. You know, I dreamed for those moments … It’s just zoning everything out and just focusing on one thing. Just keeping a consistent routine—and that’ll get the results done.
Q: How do you feel about being invited to play in the U. S. Army All American Bowl game?
A: I’m truly humbled and super grateful for it.
Q: As you leave high school, what are your proudest accomplishments in football and—so far—in basketball?
A: Just turning the football program around … We had a losing streak for a while and with the help of Coach Mack and my teammates, we had a winning season and were in the playoffs three years straight. And in basketball, I’d probably say the 2021 season when we went to the state championship. That was really a fun experience.
Q: Anyone you’d like to thank?
A: I like to thank my teammates for always pushing me and expecting great things out of me that always brought the best out of me. I would like thank all the teachers that supported me and understood my schedule when things got tough. I’d like to thank my coaches and my dad because he helped me a lot throughout the process for sure.
Q: How did you manage to keep a high GPA while spending so much time in sports?
A: it’s just preparation and just being able to compartmentalize academics and just locking in on what you got to do.
Q: Do you think we’ll all see you on the field at Michigan Stadium next fall as a freshman?
A: I’m just gonna work my hardest. I hope I get a shot.
Q: Your thoughts on Jake Moody?
A: He’s a great guy. I mean, he’s a great kicker and I’ve learned so much from him … We talk all the time. He’s kind of taken me take me under his wing as like his little brother. So I love it.
Q: Any thoughts about what you’ll do after college?
A: I’m choosing between business or getting into kinesiology and then going into sports management.