Patrick Steenberge and Global Football are honored and excited to again bring Team Stars & Stripes – an American squad of select Division III college seniors – to Mexico to participate at the eighth annual Tazón De Estrellas in Mexicali on December 17.
This will be the 19th time that a Global Football-organized team has ventured to Mexico to play in the Tazón De Estrellas and its forerunner, the Aztec Bowl, a game that was initiated by Patrick Steenberge in 1997.
“I vividly recall getting the phone call in 1996 from legendary Coach Ron Schipper asking me – rather demanding – that I help him create a very special postseason opportunity for worthy D3 senior players,” said Steenberge, who is attending press conferences for the 2016 event in Tijuana and Mexicali. “Since then we have been able to take more than 800 top NCAA Division III student athletes and dozens of coaches for a full week immersion into the Mexican culture, culminating in the highly competitive football game. It is my favorite week of the year!”
An experienced coaching staff will lead Team Stars & Stripes against the CONADEIP All-Stars, led for a fifth time by head coach Don DeWaard, the former longtime defensive coordinator with Central College (Iowa). His bold two-point conversion call on the game’s final possession earned a 15-14 win at the Margarita Astiazrán de Fimbres Stadium on the CETYS Tijuana campus last December.
Returning to the five-man coaching staff are Southwestern University head coach Joe Austin and Minnesota Morris head coach Rob Cushman. Two newcomers bringing a wealth of experience are former Notre Dame teammate of Patrick Steenberge, tight end Mike Creaney, and Villa Angela-St Joseph’s (Cleveland, OH) head coach John Storey. Director of Player Personnel and Football Operations John Roslien returns for a 19th year. Full details of the Tazón de Estrellas can be found at www.GlobalFootball.com.
Team Stars & Stripes leads the Tazón de Estrellas series 4-3 and DeWaard holds a 3-1 record. The previously named Tazón Azteca had Team Stars & Stripes holding a 9-2 record. The event has produced three notable players who have gone on to enjoy successful NFL careers in Washington Redskins Pro Bowl LB London Fletcher (John Carroll / 1997 game), Buffalo Bills & Seattle Seahawks RB Fred Jackson (Coe College / 2002 game) and Miami Dolphins LB Jason Trusnik (Ohio Northern / 2007 game).