Global Football president Patrick Steenberge developed and organized the Tazón de Estrellas in association with the CONADEIP private universities in Mexico and Division III schools in the United States since 2009, after having produced the Aztec Bowl for 11 years 1997 to 2007, working with the combined CONADEIP and ONEFA leagues.
The annual event gives student-athletes from the U.S. an opportunity to travel internationally and enjoy a cultural exchange, then to compete against their Mexican counterparts on the football field. The event features Team Stars & Stripes, an American select team made up of non-scholarship Division III senior college football players traveling annually to Mexico to take on the home team CONADEIP All Stars.
The event has produced notable players who have gone on to enjoy successful NFL careers including 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).
In 2017, the CONADEIP All-Stars produced a stunning and unlikely comeback to overturn a 24-point deficit and dramatically win the 20th annual Tazón De Estrellas by a score of 28-24 in Tijuana. Trailing 24-21, Mexican RB Kevin Correa was handed the ball to burst in for the decisive touchdown to spark wild celebrations at the Margarita Aztiazarán de Fimbres Stadium at CETYS University, which was the scene of a dramatic one-point American victory two years earlier. A successful extra point meant Team Stars & Stripes had only 1:05 to find the end zone themselves, but a swarming Mexican defense had other ideas and preserved the famous victory.
The CONADEIP All-stars convincingly won the eighth edition of the Tazón De Estrellas in 2016 with a thrilling 51-26 victory over a Team Stars & Stripes select squad drawn from 22 NCAA Division III schools across the United States at Zorros Stadium at CETYS University in Mexicali.
The representatives of Mexico’s private universities led 35-13 at halftime having set the tone during an action-packed first quarter that produced a total of 28 points. After the break, the hosts controlled the tempo of the game and a dominating defense continued to frustrate and clamp down the Americans’ offensive threat.
Team Stars & Stripes recovered from a 14-point deficit in 2015 to produce a stunning a fourth quarter comeback and claim a 15-14 win. With his team trailing by seven points and three yards from the end zone, quarterback Brady Huber was flushed from the pocket, but retained his composure to find George Vidas for a touchdown, meaning the Americans trailed by a point. Head coach Don De Waard decided to go for it all rather than kick the tying point and a perfectly executed two-point conversion pass from Matt McDaniels to Huber capped a thrilling victory.
In 2014, the CONADEIP All-Stars leveled the Tazón de Estrellas series at 3-3 with an impressive 31-17 win over Team Stars & Stripes as Mexican college league MVP Norman Contla threw four touchdown passes at El Tempo Del Dolor (Temple of Pain Stadium) in Puebla. The win earned Eric Fisher his second victory as head coach of the Mexican university team.
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 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.
In 2010 Team Stars & Stripes rolled up 475 yards of total offense, including 370 yards passing, to defeat the CONADEIP All-Stars 48-7 at La Congeladora (The Freezer) at the Tec de Monterrey Toluca campus.
In 2009 Team Stars & Stripes comprised of 52 players from 35 colleges and 20 states took on the Tec de Monterrey All-Stars in Mexico City at the Estado de Mexico. The American visitors fell 24-12 despite a rousing fourth quarter comeback attempt to overturn a 17-point deficit.
Head Coach Bill Manlove, who presided over the Aztec Bowl U.S. team in 2006 and 2007, was also at the helm of Team Stars & Stripes for Tazón de Estrellas between 2009 and 2011, having compiled a 212-110-1 record, in 32 years of coaching and was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame in 2011.
The Tazón de Estrellas was established after the Aztec Bowl came to an end in 2007. Former AFCA President, Coach Ron Schipper, who led Central College for 35 years from 1961 to 1996, helped conceive the idea of the Aztec Bowl, as an event that would provide NCAA Division III senior football players with a true post-season event.
In the 1997 Aztec Bowl, the U.S. All-star team won in a thrilling manner, as Chris Kondik (Baldwin-Wallace) kicked five field goals and the U.S. defense thwarted a late Mexico two-point conversion to win a wild 42-41 shootout in Toluca, Mexico.
The U.S. teams dominated the following two years defeating Mexico by a score of 44-13 and 40-13 in 1998 and 1999, but only narrowly defeated Mexico in the 2000 Aztec Bowl in Merida, Mexico. That year, Illinois Wesleyan’s Jeff Heinzl deflected a Mexico PAT attempt with one minute left in the game to give the USA a 27-26 win over Mexico.
In 2003, the United States suffered their first defeat in the Aztec Bowl history. The U.S. All-Star team overcame a record 180 yards in penalties but could not survive two fourth quarter turnovers as Mexico rallied from a 31-13 deficit to win the 2003 Aztec Bowl 34-31 at Estadio Cancun.
The United States bounced back the following year, defeating Mexico 23-3 in the 2004 Aztec Bowl at Estadio Cancun 86 in Cancun. In the victory, Otterbein’s Micheaux Robinson returned a second half interception 60 yards for a touchdown and Wooster’s Tony Sutton ran for two scores.
The U.S. All-Star team won the last four Aztec Bowls from 2004-2007 for an overall record of 9-1 in Global Football-produced Aztec Bowl History. The Aztec Bowl was established in 1950 and was played intermittently between U.S. college teams and Mexico All-Stars until 1986. The series then became an annual fixture and was organized by Global Football from 1997 until 2007. The event has been played in 11 different Mexico cities, allowing fans nationwide, where American football has been played for more than a century, the chance to witness this game. Nearly 800 Division III senior student athletes have represented the sport and their schools in Mexico through this game!
The Tazón de Estrellas is the focal point for the Global Football Foundation, a 501(c)(3) non-profit initiative, which assists athletes in meeting the expenses associated with traveling overseas to realize their dreams of competing against other American football enthusiasts and experiencing different cultures. The foundation allows potential benefactors to make charitable donations to offset costs that might otherwise prevent the student athletes from undertaking the trip of a lifetime. To inquire about making a donation to the Global Football Foundation to assist student-athletes, please contact Patrick Steenberge at Patrick@GlobalFootball.com or 817-219-7274.
2017: CONADEIP All Stars 28 Team Stars & Stripes 24
December 18, 2017 – Margarita Astiazrán de Fimbres Stadium, Baja, Mexico
2016: CONADEIP All-Stars 51 Team Stars & Stripes 26
December 17, 2017 – Zorros Stadium, CETYS University, Mexicali, Mexico
2015: Team Stars & Stripes 15 CONADEIP All Stars 14
December 19, 2015 – Margarita Astiazrán de Fimbres Stadium, Baja, Mexico
2014: CONADEIP All Stars 31 Team Stars & Stripes 17
December 20, 2014 – El Tempo del Dolor, Puebla, Mexico
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