EVART — Derek Bowen had a summer experience at Australia he won’t soon forget for many reasons.

The former Evart running back traveled to Australia over the summer to play international football June 30 to July 12. He was invited to play with an American team in Australia for a Down Under Sports event. His plane landed in Brisbane and the players went to the Gold Coast.

He had four practices and two games. The first game was against another American team and another against Australia.

“We won our first one,” Bowen said. “The second one, we played the Australians and won that for a gold medal.”

Players from Bowen’s team were mostly from the east coast. He was the only player from Michigan. He played outside linebacker and running back.

“In the first game, I had a 15-yard sack,” Bowen said. “At the end of the game, there were two minutes left to go, and their team came down and kicked a field goal and were up by one. We went down and kicked a field goal. They got the ball back and were driving down the field. I got the ball and intercepted it. I returned it 20 yards and got tackled. At the end of that play, I got hurt.”

He sustained a shoulder injury and wasn’t able to play the second game. “But it was worth it because I won the (first) game,” he said.

Bowen was able to see some of the sites around the Gold Coast and later flew to Hawaii.

The style of football was the same, Bowen recalls.

He enjoyed his unique trip and now Bowen will focus on getting healthy after his shoulder injury and wants to walk on at Ferris State University for 2015.