Global Football is celebrating 20 years of providing standout Division III college football players an opportunity to play football in Mexico by naming 25 players to the All-Tazón Team.
The team includes four individuals who went on to play in the NFL in London Fletcher (John Carroll University, Washington Redskins), Fred Jackson (Coe College, Buffalo Bills, Seattle Seahawks), Jason Trusnik (Ohio Northern University, New York Jets, Cleveland Browns, Miami Dolphins and Clint Kriewaldt (Detroit Lions, Pittsburgh Steelers).
The All- Tazón team was selected by a panel of veterans of the Tazón De Estrellas (Bowl of the Stars) and its Global Football-organized predecessor The Aztec Bowl, from games played between 1997 and 2016. Players were chosen based on their on-field performances and the leadership qualities they displayed south of the border, by 20-year veterans of the event, Global Football President Patrick Steenberge and player personnel director John Roslien (Central College), and several coaches who have traveled as members of the Team Stars & Stripes staff during the past two decades.
Players were selected from: Alfred University, Augustana College, Baldwin-Wallace University, Buena Vista University, Carnegie-Mellon University, Central College, Cow College, De Pauw University, Framingham State University, Grove City College, John Carroll University, Lycoming College, North Central College, Ohio Northern University, Otterbein College, Pomona-Pitzer, Tufts University, Wartburg College, University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point and University of Wisconsin-Stout.
“It has been an amazing run during the past 20 years, and the chance to interact with more than 900 D3 student athletes and dozens of coaches and staff has been a true blessing,” said Global Football President Patrick Steenberge. “I am most grateful for the tireless efforts made by each or our staff, led by John Roslien, Frank Neu and Juan Lopez who year after year have kept this event running smoothly for the players and coaches. This stellar list, the All-Tazon Team, is representative of the talent and dedication of NCAA Division III football players. Congratulations to all.”
Former NFL running back Fred Jackson (Coe College) said of his 2002 experience playing in the game, when he was named MVP: “It is something you will always remember. We played against the national champion team mixed with other all-star players. It was a really good team. I remember how crazy the crowd was and the great team camaraderie.”
The selection of players from 20 different colleges comes ahead of the annual Tazón De Estrellas, being played for the 20th time, in 14 cities, this year at CETYS University in Tijuana on Saturday, December 16. The unrivaled event will again host a week-long event of team practices, community service during the buildup to the game between a Team Stars & Stripes squad of select NCAA Division III student-athletes, led by head coach Don De Waard, and the CONADEIP All-Stars from Mexico’s private universities.
Coaches wishing to nominate deserving D-III athletes for a place on the 2017 Team Stars & Stripes roster should contact Director of Player Personnel & Football Operations John Roslien: RoslienJ@central.edu.
Highlights of the players selected include (position, name, college, year):
• LB London Fletcher, John Carroll University, 1997: Future NFL star led the team with 9 tackles; named game MVP; team captain
• RB Fred Jackson, Coe College, 2002: 71 rushing yards including 60-yard TD, 3-34 yards receiving, PR 3-19, KR 1-34; game MVP
• DE Jason Trusnik, Ohio Northern University, 2006: Recorded 8 tackles, 1.5 tackles for loss, and a sack as the defense allowed only 150 yards
• LB Clint Kriewaldt, Wisconsin-Stevens Point, 1998: Captained the USA to victory; Drafted by the Detroit Lions, Won Super Bowl XL with Steelers
• KR Wes Hostetler, Ohio Northern University, 2005: scored 3 TDs (86-yard KR, 54-yard PR, 75-yard INT), 18 points, 233 all-purpose yards; game MVP
• QB Jake Caron, Pomona-Pitzer, 2010: Completed 14 of 21 pass attempts for 143 yards and 4 TDs; named game MVP by the media
• RB Jesse Raynor, Alfred University, 2003: Rushed for a 42-yard TD, kicked a 30-yard field goal and made 4 PATs; Game MVP
• RB Ben Smith, Buena Vista University, 1999: Carried the ball 29 times for 137 yards and 2 TDs, earning MVP honors
• WR Frank Ross, John Carroll University, 2010: Caught 7 passes for 103 yards and 3 TDs of 45, 21 and 11 yards; named Jim Hershberger MVP
• WR Josh Peach, Grove City College, 2015: Caught 7 passes for a Tazón/Aztec Bowl record 114 yards and a comeback TD that sparked the win
• TE Anthony Richie, Grove City College, 2013: Caught 5 passes for 49 yards and a touchdown in a 29-7 win
• DE Curt Perschnick, Augustana College, 2010: Recorded 6 tackles, one sack and a forced fumble as the defense dominated in a 45-7 win
• LB Nick Zitelli, Carnegie-Mellon University, 2000, Recovered a blocked punt for a TD and had an interception in a one-point win; game MVP
• LB Dustin Hertel, De Pauw University, 2006: Led the team in all categories with 9 tackles, 3 tackles for loss, 2 sacks and a forced fumble
• CB Tyrone Notice, Framingham State University, 2012: Returned an interception 43 yards for a TD, blocked a punt for a safety; MVP in a 32-15 win
• CB Sean Graf, Lycoming College, 2000: Was a leader of the secondary that edged Mexico 27-26 at a sold-out Estadio Elvarado
• CB Micheaux Robinson, Otterbein College, 2004: Had two interceptions for 83 yards, one returned for a 60-yard TD, 4 tackles; game MVP
• K Chris Kondik, Baldwin-Wallace University, 1997: Kicked 5 Field Goals (49, 49, 46, 30, 30 yards) and made 3/4 PATs
• P Carlos Martinez, Buena Vista University, 2001: Averaged 55.2 yards per punt, 8-441 yards total, kicked a 35-yard FG and 4 PATs; game MVP
|RB||Fred Jackson||Coe College||2002|
|RB||Jesse Raynor||Alfred University||2003|
|RB||Ben Smith||Buena Vista University||1999|
|WR||Frank Ross||John Carroll University||2010|
|WR||Josh Peach||Grove City College||2015|
|OL||Jon Orr||Wartburg College||2012|
|OL||Travis Hook||Central College||2013|
|OL||Mike Wiley||Tufts University||2001|
|OL||Eric Knaperek||North Central College||2015|
|TE||Anthony Richie||Grove City College||2013|
|DE||Curt Perschnick||Augustana College||2010|
|DE||Jason Trusnik||Ohio Northern University||2006|
|DL||Danny Samson||Central College||2013|
|LB||Clint Kriewaldt||Wisconsin-Stevens Point||1998|
|LB||London Fletcher||John Carroll University||1997|
|LB||Nick Zitelli||Carnegie-Mellon University||2000|
|LB||Dustin Hertel||De Pauw University||2006|
|CB||Tyrone Notice||Framingham State University||2012|
|CB||Sean Graf||Lycoming College||2000|
|CB||Micheaux Robinson||Otterbein College||2004|
|KR||Wes Hostetler||Ohio Northern University||2005|
|K||Chris Kondik||Baldwin-Wallace University||1997|
|P||Carlos Martinez||Buena Vista University||2001|
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.