Twenty six Canadians have been named to the World Team which will take on Team USA in the International Federation of American Football (IFAF) International Bowl.
The Canadians will be joined by players from American Samoa, Mexico, Austria, Brazil, Netherlands, Spain, Denmark, France and Japan (all participants are under the ago of 19).
The game takes place Feb. 5, 2013 (two days after Super Bowl XLVII) in Austin Texas. Team USA is made up of America’s top high school football players . This is the fourth annual installment of this game. Team USA leads the series, 2-1.
This year’s event has also grown to include Under-18 and Under-16 national teams from the United States and Canada, who will take the field for the first competition in football between the two countries at those age levels.
IFAF World Team alumni include projected 2013 first round NFL draft picks Jesse Williams (Alabama) and Bjoern Werner (Florida State), 2012 1st overall CFL Canadian draft selection Ben Heenan (Saskatchewan Roughriders), as well as current CIS standouts Lindon Gaydosh (Calgary), Matt Sewell (McMaster) and Jérémi Roch (Sherbrooke).
Last February the World Team defeated Team USA 35-29 – the first time that Team USA has been defeated in international (IFAF) competition.
Of the twenty-six Canadians selected to the World Team, 14 helped bring home gold with a 23-17 victory over Team USA at the 2012 IFAF U-19 World Championship while 9 participated in the 2012 International Bowl as either a member of the IFAF World or Development Team.
Among the Canadian contingent are Shaquille Johnson, Jacob LeBlanc and Kevin McGee.
A product of Brampton minor, Johnson was named RSEQ Rookie of the Year after leading the league in both receptions (61) and receiving yardage (792), achieving the fourth-highest single-season catch total in Quebec university history. His 61 receptions are a new CIS record for a rookie, eclipsing the previous mark of 57, set in 2002 by current Hamilton Tiger-Cat Andy Fantuz (Western).
Jacob LeBlanc and Kevin McGee suit up for the IFAF World Team to face a familiar foe after representing Canada at the 2012 IFAF U19 World Championship.
McGee earned tournament MVP honors after recording a pair of interceptions in the championship game. He led the tournament with 4 passes defended in addition to 12 tackles, earning him a tournament all-star selection.
After being named AUS Rookie of the Year in 2011, LeBlanc was named to the IFAF World Team last year but was unable to participate due to injury. As an 18-year-old freshman LeBlanc started for the Mounties, recording 30-and-a-half tackles, 9 of which were for a loss, and finished fourth in the Atlantic University Sport (AUS) conference with 5 sacks.
International Bowl official site http://internationalbowl.com/
2012 International Bowl photo gallery http://internationalbowl.com/gallery-2/2012-international-bowl/
Complete list of participating Canadians:
Keldyn Ahlstedt, DB, Whitby Ontario (McMaster University)
- Jordan Arkko, OL, Edmonton Alberta (University of Saskatchewan)
- Keegan Arnyek, DB, Moose Jaw Saskatchewan (University of Saskatchewan)
- Antony Auclair, QB/WR, Notre-Dame des Pins Quebec (Champlain CEGEP)
- Brett Blaszko, WR, Burlington Ontario (University of Calgary)
- Drew Burko, QB, Saskatoon Saskatchewan (University of Saskatchewan)
- Nic Demski, RB, Winnipeg Manitoba (University of Manitoba)
- Tanner Doll, LB, St. Albert Alberta (University of Calgary)
- Jordan Filippelli, OL, Sherwood Park Alberta (University of Calgary)
- Edward Godin, DL, Saint Augustin de Desmaures Quebec (Notre Dame de Foy)
- Shaquille Johnson, WR, Brampton Ontario (McGill University)
- Jacob LeBlanc, DL, Halifax Nova Scotia (Mount Allison University)
- Sean McEwan, OL, Calgary Alberta (University of Calgary)
- Kevin McGee, DB, Sherbrooke Quebec
- Adam Melanson, DL, Kentville Nova Scotia (Champlain CEGEP)
- Jordan Medal, OL, Winnipeg Manitoba (McGill University)
- Rees Patterson, DB, Sherwood Park Alberta (Edmonton Huskies CJFL)
- Jean-Gabriel Poulin, LB, St. Nicolas Quebec (Vanier CEGEP)
- Connor Ralph, LB, Raymond Alberta (University of Alberta)
- Hugo Richard, QB, St. Bruno de Montarville Quebec (Vanier CEGEP)
- Michael Schmidt, DB, Calgary Alberta (University of Calgary)
- Louis-Phillipe Simoneau, K, Saint Hyacinthe Quebec (FX Garneau)
- Brayden Twarynski, DL, Calgary Alberta (University of Saskatchewan)
- Mercer Timmins, RB, Burlington Ontario (University of Calgary)
- Brett Wade, DL, Regina Saskatchewan (Regina Thunder CJFL)
- Troy Weissbach, DL, Sherwood Park Alberta (Edmonton Wildcats CJFL)