Five high school-aged U.S. National Teams will take on national teams from Canada on Friday, Feb. 7, and Saturday, Feb. 8, 2014, at Maverick Stadium at the University of Texas at Arlington. The games are a collaboration of the sport’s national governing bodies in each country – USA Football and Football Canada – featuring top student-athletes in football’s greatest annual international competition.
The 2014 International Bowl series will feature a week of activities culminating with international competitions. Under-19 National Teams play 7:30 p.m. CT on Feb. 7 with Under-18, Under-17, Under-16 and Under-15 games following on Feb. 8. U.S. and Canada players at the following ages will compete on behalf of their countries:
- Under-19: U.S. 12th graders vs. Canada athletes born in 1995
- Under-18: U.S. 11th graders vs. Canada athletes born in 1996-97
- Under-17: U.S. 10th graders vs. Canada athletes born in 1997-98
- Under-16: U.S. ninth graders vs. Canada athletes born in 1998-99
- Under-15: U.S. eighth and seventh graders vs. Canada athletes born in 2000-01
At the Under-19 age level, the upcoming International Bowl marks the third contest between Team USA and Team Canada. Team Canada defeated the Under-19 Americans, 23-17, on July 7, 2012, at Burger Stadium in Austin, Texas. On July 5, 2009, Team USA defeated the Canadians, 41-3, at Fawcett Stadium in Canton, Ohio. U.S. Under-19 National Team alumni include RB TODD GURLEY (Georgia), QB KEVIN HOGAN (Stanford), DE STEPHON TUITT (Notre Dame), RB David Wilson (N.Y. Giants/Virginia Tech) and QB JAMEIS WINSTON (Florida State).
The Under-19 competition kicks off two days after National Signing Day, when Team USA and Team Canada players will sign national letters of intent during a morning breakfast event. Last year, 44 eventual college football players signed their letters of intent during International Bowl week alongside family, friends and media.
The Team USA coaching staff is led by Brandon Faircloth, head coach at Port Neches-Groves High School in Port Neches, Texas. Faircloth took over the Port Neches-Groves program in 2007and led the team to a perfect 10-0 regular season record, becoming only the third coach to achieve that mark in the school’s history. Faircloth was named his area’s Coach of the Year in 2009 by The Beaumont (Texas) Enterprise.
Faircloth served as the U.S. Under-19 National Team offensive coordinator in 2011 and 2013 as well as the head coach for the U.S. Under-18 Development Team last July in Austin. Faircloth’s staff will include current NCAA and high school coaches. As the national governing body for the sport, the NCAA allows USA Football staffs to include current NCAA coaches. Football Canada’s National Teams also will feature college-level coaches.
“This is an important step in the development of our U.S. National Team program and in our players’ football development,” USA Football Senior Director Garrett Shea said. “Our young men have the chance to represent their country and learn from top coaches while working alongside the best athletes in their grade levels and will do it all in North Texas – a region steeped in football heritage and history.”
Coaches, players, schedules and ticket information will be announced in the coming months.
The NCAA recognizes USA Football’s International Bowl as a national team competition. Playing for the United States in the International Bowl is exempt from high school seniors’ two all-star game appearances.
USA Football and Football Canada are among the 64 national federations who are members of the International Federation of American Football (IFAF). IFAF’s member nations span six continental regions: Africa, Asia, Europe, North America, Oceania and South America.
About USA Football: Indianapolis-based USA Football is the sport’s national governing body, leading the game’s development for youth, high school and other amateur football players. The independent nonprofit is the official youth football development partner of the NFL, its 32 teams and the NCAA’s Atlantic Athletic Conference. USA Football (usafootball.com), endowed by the NFL and NFLPA in 2002, is the sport’s leader in coaching education and player skill advancement for a better, safer game.