54 Players From 22 Division 3 Schools Head To Mexico As Team Stars & Stripes

54 Players From 22 Division 3 Schools Head To Mexico As Team Stars & Stripes

A squad of 54 college seniors selected from 22 NCAA Division III schools will come together to form Team Stars & Stripes to head to Mexico for the eighth annual Tazón De Estrellas from December 10-18.

An experienced coaching staff will lead Team Stars & Stripes against the host team CONADEIP All-Stars at Zorros Stadium at CETYS University in Mexicali on Saturday, December 17.  The Americans lead the series 4-3 over their rival in the Tazón de Estrellas and Head Coach Don DeWaard holds a 3-1 record.

DeWaard has added former Coe College head coach Steve Staker to his staff, which includes Southwestern University head coach Joe Austin, Minnesota Morris head coach Rob Cushman, Mike Creaney of Stevenson University and Villa Angela-St Joseph’s (Cleveland, OH) head coach John Storey.

The 54 players are scheduled to arrive in Mexico on Sunday, December 11, and in addition to installing their game plan during daily practice sessions at CETYS University, will conduct a service project with local youth and will enjoy a visit to the San Felipe Beach in Baja.

The 22 Division III schools represented on the roster are Central College (8 players), Southwestern University (8), Grove City College (4), Lake Forest College (4), Minnesota Morris (4), Delaware Valley University (3), US Merchant Marine Academy (3), Aurora University (2), Augustana College (2), Kalamazoo College (2), Ohio Northern University (2), Trine College (2), Albion College (1), Beloit College (1), Carthage College (1), Loras College (1), Louisiana College (1), Salve Regina University (1), SUNY Maritime College (1), Trinity (1), Wartburg College (1), Wilkes University (1).  View the full roster below and here.

The offense will be led by quarterbacks Riley Gray from Central College and Brian Hicks of Southwestern University.  Gray earned 2016 First team all-Iowa Conference honors with a 64.5 completion percentage, was second in the league with 24 passing touchdowns and his seven rushing touchdowns were tied for third in the league.  Hicks led the Southern Collegiate Athletic Conference with a pass efficiency rating of 138.3, earning a First Team selection, after he completed 139 of 328 passes for 1,692 yards and 14 touchdowns.  Download player bios here.

“We are overwhelmed by the interest among top quality D3 seniors from coast to coast, wanting to represent America, Division III football and their particular school in the Tazon de Estrellas,” said Global Football President and Team Stars & Stripes organizer Patrick Steenberge.  “We have had to turn down a number of deserving young men in recent days due to our roster size and demand.

“Having 22 schools represented is wonderful, and a testimony to the efforts of John Roslien, our Director of Player Operations. He has been by my side for the past 19 years as we create Team Stars & Stripes and take them on another amazing Mexico experience. We are all eager to get there and share a week of football, friendship and culture.”

Team Stars & Stripes Roster

No. Name Pos. Ht. Wt. School
63 Andy DiFranco C 5-10 252 Albion College
6 Jack Asquini MLB 5-8 233 Augustana College
94 Danny Lattner WR 6-2 201 Augustana College
90 Mike Perry LS 6-3 230 Aurora University
1 Justin Gibbons DB 6-5 210 Aurora University
4 Mike Nolden WR 6-2 210 Beloit College
2 K.J. Simpson OLB 6-1 220 Carthage College
31 Jessie Peterson ILB 6-2 220 Central College
16 Riley Gray QB 6-1 195 Central College
88 Mitchell Boerm TE 6-5 250 Central College
60 Kyle Pepper C 6-1 275 Central College
20 Zach Matter FS/SS 6-0 200 Central College
56 Cole Tanner OL 6-2 275 Central College
32 Aaron Marcellus PK 5-9 205 Central College
11 Zach Martinelli WR 5-8 185 Central College
43 Robert Cleveland RB 5-6 165 Delaware Valley
40 Jarrett Reinhard FB/RB 5-9 225 Delaware Valley
0 Tyler Bing WR 5-6 170 Delaware Valley
21 Jeff Croll OLB 6-0 205 Grove City College
10 Brett Pinson WR 6-0 175 Grove City College
84 Anthony Marnejon P 6-0 200 Grove City College
50 Danny Dorman DE 6-1 230 Grove City College
3 B.J. Smith DB 6-0 195 Kalamazoo College
8 Sean Bauer LB 6-1 225 Kalamazoo College
75 Will Danner OL/DL 6-0 295 Lake Forest College
62 Martin Shine OG 6-2 275 Lake Forest College
12 Brendan Power DL 6-4 235 Lake Forest College
22 Alex Pasiewicz WR 6-0 200 Lake Forest College
76 Joe Pagura OL 6-2 305 Loras College
26 Brandon Battles TE 6-2 250 Louisiana College
58 Colin Everson DE 6-0 225 Minnesota-Morris
38 J.C. Cummings RB 5-7 195 Minnesota-Morris
15 Kyle Petermeier WR/TE 6-3 195 Minnesota-Morris
7 Evan Guffey WR 6-2 180 Minnesota-Morris
24 Daniel Eller SS 6-1 200 Ohio Northern University
99 Scott Rapps DT 6-6 285 Ohio Northern University
47 Ethan Gambale MLB 6-1 240 Salve Regina University
5 Dylan Wilburn RB 5-7 207 Southwestern University
70 Jacob Harton OT 6-2 270 Southwestern University
19 Matt Gillen WR 6-4 195 Southwestern University
13 Dante Smith WR 6-2 210 Southwestern University
14 Bryan Hicks QB 6-0 180 Southwestern University
49 Dereck Harenda LG 6-0 245 Southwestern University
34 Tyler Frisby LB 6-0 205 Southwestern University
45 Zach Cole LB 5-11 220 Southwestern University
18 Brian Price DB 6-5 210 SUNY Maritime College
44 Taylor James LB 5-11 220 Trine University
53 Derek Scott OL 6-0 265 Trine University
9 Darrien Myers WR 5-9 170 Trinity College
86 Robert Baker TE 6-3 230 US Merchant Marine Academy
72 Parker Johnson OT 6-2 272 US Merchant Marine Academy
25 Patrick Keyes DB 5-11 191 US Merchant Marine Academy
93 Seth Hestness TE 6-5 235 Wartburg College
30 Tanner Stengel LB 5-11 220 Wilkes University

Coaching Staff: Head Coach: Don DeWaard (Central College). Assistant Coaches: John Storey (Villa St Angela St. Joseph HS, Cleveland, OH), Rob Cushman (University of Minnesota-Morris, Mike Creaney (Stevenson University), Steve Staker (Coe College), Joe Austin (Southwestern University). Player Personnel: John Roslien (Central College). General Manager: Patrick Steenberge.  Support Staff: Frank Neu, Brett Boddicker, Ben Ewing, Kylie Bradley, Julia Evans (all Central College), Juan Lopez (Tarleton State University), Tim Glon (Ohio Northern University), Dan Vande Lune (University of Iowa/UTEP)

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