There is no event or personal experience that can rival the Tazón de Estrellas (Bowl of the Stars) produced exclusively for NCAA Division III student-athletes eager to travel to face the best college football all-stars from across Mexico, and to enjoy a full week in Mexico.
For the sixth year in succession and for the 17th time since Global Football first took standout football players south of the border in the original Aztec Bowl, a NCAA Division III all-star roster, known collectively as Team Stars & Stripes will take on the CONADEIP All-Stars in the Tazón de Estrellas in Mexico on December 20.
“It is something you will always remember, so definitely, if you get the opportunity, take part in it,” advised Buffalo Bills running back Fred Jackson of his 2002 experience when he was the game’s MVP. “We played against the national champion team mixed with other all-star players. It was a really good team. I remember how crazy the crowd was and the great team camaraderie.”
Team Stars & Stripes will again be led by head coach Don De Waard, defensive coordinator at Central College (Iowa). The Americans will spend seven days in the colonial city of Puebla and will face the premier players from across the nation from the CONADEIP Conference at El Tempo Del Dolor (Temple of Doom Stadium) at Universidad De Las Americas Puebla (UDLAP). American Eric Fisher, who won the 2010 CONADEIP championship with UDLAP and led the hosts to a 45-27 win over Team Stars & Stripes in 2011, returns to coach the Mexican all-stars.
Division III coaches who believe they have graduating college seniors deserving of an opportunity to represent their school and country in Mexico may nominate athletes for Team Stars & Stripes. Nominations should be sent to Director of Player Personnel & Football Operations John Roslien: RoslienJ@central.edu
An ‘Aztec Bowl’ game being offered to college players of any ability does not provide the same level of personal experiences off the field, a full week of practices, or the same quality of opposition, instead playing against a lower level Mexican all-star team. Within its history the 1997-2007 Aztec Bowl games were organized by Global Football, in partnership with the Mexican Universities League. Since 2009 the Mexico CONADEIP Conference has been the working partner with Global Football for the annual Tazón de Estrellas, and was also the partner for the 2011 Global Kilimanjaro Bowl in Tanzania.
With this being the last time many of the graduating seniors will pull on their helmet and pads, the Tazón de Estrellas offers them a true final football experience, with no special all-star rules in place.
The players and coaches will travel to Mexico for seven days, with two-a-day practices and an opportunity to explore the local region and experience a different culture. The visit also focuses on community service projects, with previous initiatives including clearing an area of land to benefit an impoverished neighborhood, creating a play area for children, and holding a football clinic for local youngsters.
Alumni of the Global Football games in Mexico include Miami Dolphins starting linebacker Jason Trusnik (Ohio Northern), former Washington Redskins Pro Bowl linebacker London Fletcher (John Carroll) and Buffalo Bills running back Fred Jackson (Coe College).
The Tazón de Estrellas and its forerunner the Aztec Bowl have produced a series of exciting games and established a fierce but friendly rivalry between the Americans and Mexicans. The hosts won 24-12 in 2009 before Team Stars & Stripes leveled the series with a 48-7 victory in Toluca in 2010 and the CONADEIP All-Stars won by a margin of 45-27 in 2011. It was the turn of the Americans to triumph 32-15 in 2012 on the head-coaching debut of De Waard, and a 29-7 win in 2013 established a 3-2 series lead.
The Tazón de Estrellas is the focal point for the Global Football Foundation, a 501(c)(3) non-profit initiative, which assists athletes in meeting the expenses associated with traveling overseas to realize their dreams of competing against other American football enthusiasts and experiencing different cultures. The foundation allows potential benefactors to make charitable donations to offset costs that might otherwise prevent the student athletes from undertaking the trip of a lifetime. To inquire about making a donation to the Global Football Foundation to assist student-athletes, please contact Patrick Steenberge at Patrick@GlobalFootball.com or 817-219-7274.
Global Football-organized Tazón de Estrellas (2009-2013) and Aztec Bowls (1997-2007)
Tazón de Estrellas
2013: Team Stars & Stripes 29 CONADEIP All Stars 7
December 21, 2013 – Estadio Tecnológico, Monterrey
2012: Team Stars & Stripes 32 CONADEIP All Stars 15
December 15, 2012 – La Fortaleza Azul, Guadalajara
2011: Team Stars & Stripes 27 CONADEIP All Stars 45
December 17, 2011 – El Tempo del Dolor, Puebla
2010: Team Stars & Stripes 48 CONADEIP All Stars 7
December 18, 2010 – La Congeladora, Toluca
2009: Team Stars & Stripes 12 Tec Monterrey All Stars 24
December 19, 2009 – Tec de Monterrey Campus Estado de Mexico, Mexico City
2007: USA 37 Mexico 19 December 8, 2007 – Estadio Olimpico Universitario, Chihuahua
2006: USA 28 Mexico 7 December 16, 2006 – Estadio Victoria, Aguascalientes
2005: USA 53 Mexico 15 December 17, 2005 – Estadio Chivo Cordoba, Toluca
2004: USA 23 Mexico 3 December 11, 2004 – Estadio Cancun 86, Cancun
2003: Mexico 34 USA 31 December 13, 2003 – Estadio Cancun 86, Cancun
2002: USA 15 Mexico 9 December 14, 2002 – Estadio Infierno Azul, Torreon
2001: USA 37 Mexico 5 December 15, 2001 – Estadio Olimpico, Saltillo
2000: USA 27 Mexico 26 December 15, 2000 – Estadio Alvarado, Merida
1999: USA 44 Mexico 13 December 18, 1999 – Estadio Wilfredo Massieu, Mexico City
1998: USA 40 Mexico 13 December 12, 1998 – Estadio Universitario, Monterrey
1997: USA 42 Mexico 41 December 20, 1997 – Estadio Chivo Cordoba, Toluca