R.J. Bowers is regarded by many as the greatest all-around athlete to ever grace the football and baseball fields at West Middlesex High School who went on to pro careers in both sports.
In baseball at West Middlesex, he was a perennial Mercer County Athletic Conference pick and was named league MVP in 1991 when the team reached the Western Pa. finals. Highlight of his senior year - he hit 3 homers (1 grand slam) and had 10 RBI in a game against Grove City.
In football for the Big Reds, he set a single-season rushing record with 1,408 yards in 1990 and had 2,121 for his career.
In 1992, R.J. was drafted in the 11th round by the Houston Astros and played 6 seasons in the organization. He was named to the All-Star Team in the Midwest League in 1994 and ‘95.
He enrolled at Grove City College in 1997, where he shattered records in football. In 4 seasons he rushed for 7,353 yards (an NCAA record). He finished with 92 touchdowns and 562 points.
He earned AP Little All-American honors 3 times and twice was named AFCA All-American.
In the 1997 and ‘98 seasons he led GCC to their first ever PAC titles and in ‘98 set an NCAA Div. III record with 32 TDs and rushed for 2,283 yards.
When he left GCC, he was college football’s all-time leading rusher and set an NCAA record by rushing for 100 yards or more in 32 straight games.
He received the Melberger Award as the outstanding player in NCAA Div. III and won his 3rd straight PAC MVP Award. He played in the Blue-Gray Game and Hula Bowl.
R.J. signed with the Pittsburgh Steelers as a free agent in 2001 and then played for the Cleveland Browns in 2002 and 2003.