Three years ago, Team Stars & Stripes left El Tempo Del Dolor (Temple of Doom Stadium) at Universidad De Las Americas Puebla (UDLAP) having suffered a 45-27 loss to Mexico finest college football players selected from the CONADEIP Conference.
Head coach Don DeWaard, the Central College defensive coordinator, was an assistant on that team and since taking over the reins has posted two wins and no defeats in leading the NCAA Division-III all-stars to victories over CONADEIP in Monterrey last year by a score of 29-7 and in Guadalajara on his head coaching debut by 32-15 in 2012. The last coach to lead the Mexican hosts to victory was American Eric Fisher, head coach of UDLAP, in that game three years ago and he will again direct the fortunes of the CONADEIP all-stars in an intriguing encounter.
“We’ve got a lot of work done and we’ve got a pretty good football team getting ready for a great football game on Saturday,” said De Waard after his squad of 40 players from 17 NCAA Division-III schools held its penultimate practice. “Everything that we’re going to attempt to do we’ve talked about in practice. We might have to pair it down a little bit, but so far, so good.”
The sixth annual Tazón de Estrellas will be broadcast live from Puebla at 2pm EDT (1pm local time) on Saturday via a webcast, available with Spanish language commentary at http://www.tvudlap.mx/.
Game Notes: The Americans have been putting in work on the practice field at Universidad De Las Americas Puebla (UDLAP), completing their two-a-day sessions on Thursday… Giving back to the local community, the Team Stars & Stripes squad undertook a service project coordinated by Tec de Monterrey Puebla… The game marks the 17th time Global Football has taken standout NCAA D-III football players south of the border, beginning with the original Aztec Bowl in 1997… Head coach Don DeWaard takes charge of his third Tazon de Estrellas having previously served as an assistant coach and defensive coordinator… the game is the fifth time on the staff for Joe Austin (Southwestern University) and third for Jim Catanzaro (Lake Forest College)… Player Personnel Director John Roslien (Central College) has ventured south of the border on all 17 Global Football visit to Mexico for the annual game… CONADEIP head coach Eric Fisher was named Sporting Director of the Department of Sports UDLAP and head coach of the football team in 2009… He was named coach of the year and won the CONADEIP championship in the 2010 season… Veteran official Bill LeMonnier will take charge of the Tazón de Estrellas (Bowl of the Stars) for the fourth time on Saturday… LeMonnier officiated the 2011 BCS National Championship Game between Auburn and Oregon and in 20 seasons with the Big 10 Conference, was honored with 16 Bowl assignments… Center judge Mario Matos and head linesman Alex Zarganis have officiated previously at the Tazón de Estrellas and the Global Kilimanjaro Bowl (Tanzania, 2011)… They will be joined by Mexican officials side judge Edmundo Rubio, field judge Sergio Avila, line judge David Avila, umpire Ivan Veronico and back judge Ricardo Siller… Notable game alumni include former Washington Redskins Pro Bowl LB London Fletcher (John Carroll / 1997 game), Buffalo Bills RB Fred Jackson (Coe College / 2002 game) and Miami Dolphins LB Jason Trusnik (Ohio Northern / 2007 game).
The 17 schools represented are Allegheny College, Central College, Coe College, Cornell College, Elmhurst College, Endicott College, Gallaudet College, Grove City College, Hanover College, Knox College, Lake Forest College, Lawrence University, Manchester University, Ohio Northern University, Rockford University, UW Stout and Wartburg College.
Wide receivers coach Rob Cushman (head coach Augustana College 2010-2014)
“Our offense can seem complex, but it is user friendly and our guys have picked it up real quick. We have put a lot in so far. The guys are not just talented, but smart and they know what to do. I am amazed at how much offense we have in and how good we are in practice. Hopefully that carries over to Sunday.
Offensive line coach Aaron Hafner (head coach at Luther College)
“We only have eight guys, but that is not a challenge at all. The challenge is to get some continuity with the eight guys we have in a very short period of time. It’s good that we are coaching smart kids who know how to play on the offensive line. Many of the guys will play multiple positions. It’s been really fun. The guys are focused on learning our system both in team meetings and on the practice field. We will keep things simple and by the end of the week when it’s time to play we will ready to go.”
Patrick Steenberge, President of Global Football, joint organizer of the Tazón de Estrellas
“Every December it is an honor to work with some outstanding men who will coach and lead select Division III senior ambassadors as they experience Mexico for a full week and then compete against their top players. With all that is involved this event is totally unique in college football.”
The last three games
In December 2013, Team Stars & Stripes had too much offensive firepower for their Mexican hosts, winning 29-7 at the 36,000-capacity Estadio Tecnológico on the Tec de Monterrey campus.
In 2012, Team Stars & Stripes scored 15 unanswered points in the second quarter and went on to win the fourth annual Tazón de Estrellas 32-15 at Fortaleza de Azul in Guadalajara, earning Don De Waard of Central (Iowa) College a victory on his debut as head coach.
In 2011, the third annual Tazón de Estrellas was played at El Tempo del Dolor (Temple of Pain) in Puebla and the CONADEIP All-Stars triumphed 45-27 over Team Stars & Stripes, drawn from 28 D-III colleges in the United States, in front of a close to capacity crowd.
After the visiting Americans raced to a 14-0 lead early in the game, their Mexican hosts scored 38 unanswered points to take control of the game. Team Stars & Stripes gained some offensive momentum in the fourth quarter but two late touchdowns were not enough to make a dent on the final outcome.
Global Football-organized Tazón de Estrellas (2009-2013) and Aztec Bowls (1997-2007)
2013: Team Stars & Stripes 29 CONADEIP All Stars 7
December 21, 2013 – Estadio Tecnológico, Monterrey, Mexico
2012: Team Stars & Stripes 32 CONADEIP All Stars 15
December 15, 2012 – Fortaleza de Azul, Guadalajara, Mexico
2011: Team Stars & Stripes 27 CONADEIP All Stars 45
December 17, 2011 – El Tempo del Dolor, Puebla, Mexico
2010: Team Stars & Stripes 48 CONADEIP All Stars 7
December 18, 2010 – La Congeladora, Toluca, Mexico
2009: Team Stars & Stripes 12 Tec Monterrey All Stars 24
December 19, 2009 – Tec de Monterrey Campus Estado de Mexico, Mexico City, Mexico
2007: USA 37 Mexico 19
December 8, 2007 – Estadio Olimpico Universitario, Chihuahua, Mexico
2006: USA 28 Mexico 7
December 16, 2006 – Estadio Victoria, Aguascalientes, Mexico
2005: USA 53 Mexico 15
December 17, 2005 – Estadio Chivo Cordoba, Toluca, Mexico
2004: USA 23 Mexico 3
December 11, 2004 – Estadio Cancun 86, Cancun, Mexico
2003: USA 31 Mexico 34
December 13, 2003 – Estadio Cancun 86, Cancun, Mexico
2002: USA 15 Mexico 9
December 14, 2002 – Estadio Infierno Azul, Torreon, Mexico
2001: USA 37 Mexico 5
December 15, 2001 – Estadio Olimpico, Saltillo, Mexico
2000: USA 27 Mexico 26
December 15, 2000 – Estadio Alvarado, Merida, Mexico
1999: USA 44 Mexico 13
December 18, 1999 – Estadio Wilfredo Massieu, Mexico City, Mexico
1998: USA 40 Mexico 13
December 12, 1998 – Estadio Universitario, Monterrey, Mexico
1997: USA 42 Mexico 41
December 20, 1997 – Estadio Chivo Cordoba, Toluca, Mexico
Team Stars & Stripes 2014 Roster (by school)
|No.||Pos.||Ht.||Wt.||First Name||Last Name||College|
|33||LB||6-0||200||Jason||Skyrm||Grove City College|
|13||LB||6-0||240||John||Preston||Lake Forest College|
|22||S||5-11||195||Joey||Kropp||Lake Forest College|
|63||OL||6-0||260||Bryan||Feltman||Lake Forest College|
|97||DL||6-4||250||Ramel||Samuel||Lake Forest College|
|7||QB||6-1||220||Patrick||Angle||Ohio Northern University|
|45||LB||5-11||230||Dillon||Kwiat||Ohio Northern University|
|43||DE||6-2||250||Steven||Kenny||Ohio Northern University|
|76||OT||6-4||300||Michael||Howell||Ohio Northern University|
Coaching Staff: Don De Waard, Central, Head Coach; Joe Austin, Southwestern University; Jim Catanzaro, Lake Forest; Aaron Hafner, Luther; Rob Cushman, Augustana; John Roslien, Central, Player Personnel Director; Patrick Steenberge, General Manager; Frank Neu, Central, Athletic Trainer; Tim Glon, Ohio Northern, Sports Information; Trevor Curry, Central, Athletic Training Student/Equipment Manager; Drew Kleis, Central, Athletic Training Student/Equipment Manager; Juan Lopez, Team Coordinator