Global Football will venture to China for the first time in 2017 when Team Stars & Stripes travels to Beijing and Shanghai to participate in the 2017 Global Ambassadors Bowl China from March 11-19.
As the 26th country to welcome Global Football travelers, China will host the ninth Global Ambassadors Bowl, which provides the opportunity of a lifetime for deserving student-athletes to travel internationally, while playing the sport of American football and representing their school, state, nation and themselves. The squad of high school senior standouts is selected as much for a player’s conduct off the field as for his performances on the gridiron and is known as Team Stars & Stripes.
“During the past two decades, I have been able to work with dedicated coaches and inspired student athletes as we travel, learn through experience and compete in far-off lands,” said Global Football Founder & President Patrick Steenberge. “China has always been a dream of mine, and I am thrilled to work with Chris McLaurin, a former University of Michigan standout, to organize a unique American football tour visiting two of its most notable cities, and exposing our team to the wonders and peoples of China.”
Chris Adamson of Viewpoint School in California will serve as head coach for Team Stars & Stripes, who will experience spectacular cultural sites including the Great Wall, the Forbidden City, Tiananmen Square, the Beijing Olympics Complex, and a Shanghai River tour. They will face a team from the American Football Academy (AFA) at Yuanshen Stadium in the Pudong district of Shanghai, on Saturday, March 18.
“During my career I have seen firsthand how skilled and passionate football players and fans outside the United States are about the game,” said Coach Adamson. “The reality is that China presents one of the relatively new frontiers for American football. In a short period of time the game has taken off at every level and is rapidly gaining momentum. The chance to lead a team of American High School All Star players and coaches into China to showcase the game of football and bridge cultural differences along the way is truly once in a lifetime. We are excited to do what we can to help the game of football continue to grow and flourish in China and we are even more excited to represent the United States of America in this game.”
Coaches who wish to nominate suitable high school seniors for Team Stars & Stripes should contact Coach Adamson: Chris.Adamson@viewpoint.org. Players wishing to join Team Stars & Stripes, as well as family members wanting to join the 9-day tour should register online through Anthony Travel: http://www.anthonytravel.com/gab-china/
The American players and coaches will host an American football clinic in both cities for local Chinese players discovering a sport growing in popularity in China.
Joining head coach Adamson on the coaching staff are Jerry Ralph (El Camino High School, CA), Oscar McBride (Servite High School, CA), Brandon Hickman (Dallas Jesuit, Texas) and Drew Gamere (Suffield Academy). The coaching staff has strong links to Global Ambassadors Bowl organizer Patrick Steenberge, the President of Global Football.
Chris Adamson coached future first round NFL Draft pick Bjoern Werner at Salisbury School in Connecticut when the German defensive end came to the United States as a member of Global Football’s International Student Program as a high school sophomore. This summer, Adamson’s Viewpoint School hosted visitors from Ritsumeikan Uji High School in Japan, whose developing student-athletes visit America annually through Global Football.
Jerry Ralph was the offensive coordinator for Team USA, which won the Global Football-organized NFL Global Junior Championship during the week of Super Bowl in San Diego in 2003, featuring the Under 19 national teams of USA, Canada, Japan, Mexico and Europe. Brandon Hickman coached his Dallas Jesuit team to victory at the inaugural Global Ireland Football Tournament (GIFT) in 2012 when 12 high school and college teams traveled across the Atlantic to play a series of Friday night games in Dublin.
Having held a combine and individual tryouts for local players, the American Football Academy is currently recruiting local Shanghainese and expatriot players to represent China in the Global Ambassadors Bowl. The AFA was founded in 2016 and provides education and professional football training, promoting the core values of football players: leadership, teamwork, discipline, integrity, and endurance.
“We are extremely pleased to provide the opportunity for youth in and around Shanghai to compete and match-up against a team from the United States,” said Chris McLaurin, founder of the AFA and the team’s defensive coordinator. “For me, this has been a long time goal to see our teams compete at a U.S. standard, and our coaches and managers will be doing everything we can possibly do to prepare. This game also shows how the game of football can serve as a powerful touchpoint between the United States and China as the game continues to grow in China, a positive form of people-to-people diplomacy.”
The AFA team coaching staff will include McLaurin, as well as former AFLC Titans Head Coach Kevin Coleman, former Ohio State cornerback Dionte Allen, former U.S. H.S. Defensive Line Coach Eric Minor, and local coaches from the Shanghai area.
The Global Ambassadors Bowl traces its origins back to Japan in 2008 and has taken high-school aged travelers and mentoring coaches to Europe and Asia to expand their appreciation of the world, make new friends and play football. The series has graced Japan (2008 and 2009), France & Belgium (2010), Germany (2011), Italy (2012, 2013 and 2015), Spain (2014) and Czech Republic & Germany (2016), with Team Stars & Stripes boasting a 7-2 overall record.
A second 2017 Global Ambassadors will be played in England when long-time Episcopal Academy (Philadelphia PA) head coach Bill Gallagher, who has taken charge of Team Stars & Stripes for the past four journeys overseas, takes a separate squad to London, Bristol and the West Country from April 1-9.