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A squad of 40 standout student-athletes from NCAA Division III schools will represent Team Stars & Stripes and travel to Mexico next week for the 20th annual Tazón De Estrellas (Bowl of the Stars).

The Americans, who were nominated by their respective football coaches, will face the CONADEIP All-Stars from Mexico’s private universities on Saturday, December 16.

Head Coach Don De Waard will lead the Global Football-organized squad of select NCAA Division III student-athletes in the annual Tazón De Estrellas for a sixth time at the Margarita Aztiazarán de Fimbres Stadium at CETYS University in Tijuana. De Waard, who holds a 3-2 record in the cross-border rivalry, and will face a Mexican team that will be coached by UDLAP head coach Eric Fisher for a third time.

Players have been selected from Central College, Concordia University Chicago, Denison University, Franklin College, Grove City College, John Carroll University, Kalamazoo College, Kean University, Knox College, Lake Forest College, North Park University, Ripon College, Salve Regina University, Siena Heights University, Simpson College and Trinity College.

Among the highlights on the roster are Franklin College QB Chase Burton, who won a third consecutive Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference (HCAC) Offensive Player of the Year award. In 2017 he completed 242 of 351 pass attempts for 3,636 yards, 42 touchdowns and a 193.2 passer efficiency rating. Central College’s all-time leader in receptions, receiving yards and receiving touchdowns Sam Markham will be one of Burton’s potential targets.

Defensively, Eastern College Athletic Conference (ECAC) Division III Defensive Player of the Year Darin Hungerford from Kean University leads the linebackers along with Chaun Maiava of North Park Chicago, an All-College Conference of Illinois and Wisconsin first team selection who led the conference in virtually every defensive category in 2017.

De Waard’s five-man coaching staff includes three returning from previous years and two newcomers. Joe Austin (Southwestern University), Jim Lyall (former Siena Heights & Adrian College) and Rob Cushman (Occidental College) have coached the D-III select team before, while Jim Margraff (Johns Hopkins University) and Joshua Meeks (Hamilton College) make their debuts.

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