Tippecanoe Valley High School freshman Dalton Alber returns to the gridiron this fall with some serious experience under his belt.

Alber, as an eighth-grader, was selected as a member of Team Indiana, a football experience that brought him together with standout eighth-grade players from across the state for a successful youth tournament season.

He then was named an eighth-grade All-American defensive tackle by the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

Team Indiana’s season culminated with the Pro Football Hall of Fame 8th Grade All-American Bowl Game in Orlando, Fla.

Alber said Team Indiana Coach Kyle Ochs invited him for a tryout after camp. He ended up playing defensive end on the state’s elite squad. The team “was welcoming. All the coaches, and even teammates too, it was like a family,” he said

Dalton’s mother Holly credits a Sgt. Nick Patterson Memorial Fund Scholarship in the spring of 2019 for starting the process that led to her son’s success. The scholarship paid for Dalton to attend a Bishop Dullaghan Football Camp in Indianapolis. The overnight camps, with a low coach-player ratio, teach fundamentals and drilling techniques, flexibility and speed development.

Dalton’s Tippecanoe Valley Middle School eighth-grade team was undefeated in 2019.

From there, he moved into the Team Indiana season.

Team Indiana won the Rocky Top Tournament in Knoxville, Tenn., on Nov. 23 and 24.

It then won the Midwest Gridiron Classic, Nov. 29-Dec. 1, in St. Louis, Mo.

Next the team traveled to Canton, Ohio, for the Dec. 6-9 Pro Football Hall of Fame World Youth Championships.

On Dec. 14-15, Team Indiana won in the Casey Ochs Memorial Tournament in Indianapolis. Over 10 games during the tournament season, Team Indiana was undefeated and outscored its opponents 204-47.

Dalton’s last stop, by invitation only, was the Pro Football Hall of Fame eighth-grade game. Alber experienced Pro Bowl Week in Orlando, Fla., as an All-American and played in the Hall of Fame Eighth Grade All-American Game. “Your football ability and accomplishments have earned you the right to be named an 8th Grade All-American with the nation’s other top 70 best football players in the world,” Dalton’s invitation letter said. “On behalf of myself, The Pro Football Hall of Fame and Hall of Fame Village, our team is excited to have you featured in the biggest all-Star week in football.”

NFL Pro Bowl Week featured this year’s top NFL players alongside such legends as Terrell Davis, Darrell Green, Bruce Smith and Michael Vick.

Dalton collected his uniform, Hall of Fame gear and swag, sideline passes to the World Bowl National Combine, tickets to the Pro Bowl Tailgate Party and the Pro Bowl Game and attended a National Media Day session and breakout sessions with guest speakers and college scouts.

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