Ultimately, the NCAA D-III football players selected to the roster of Team Stars & Stripes have traveled to Mexico this week to play in the Tazón de Estrellas (Bowl of the Stars) against the CONADEIP All-Stars on Saturday.
They have hit the practice field, bonded quickly as a team and for most, this will be their last opportunity to pull on the football pads, since all are graduating college seniors.
But it is the opportunity to interact with the local community, the chance to step out into the harshness of the real world and humbly meet those less fortunate that sets this visit south of the border apart from other similar bowl games. The fact they are playing football at the weekend often becomes irrelevant when the Team Stars & Stripes players, coaches and staff immerse themselves in a local neighborhood as part of their community service commitment during the build up to the game.
On Tuesday, young children from the Santa Teresita del Nino Jesus orphanage visited with the team in the CETYS gym after the day’s second practice. Quite simply, in the words of Ohio Northern University Sports Information Director Tim Glon, whose photos captured the highlight of the trip so far ‘it was a pretty amazing night.’
If you only click through one link among all the news stories you read today, please make it to the Global Football Facebook page to view the gallery of these student athletes giving back to the local community and having their hearts warmed by the excited reaction of the youngsters from the Santa Teresita del Nino Jesus orphanage.