AFW ELITE Announces Team to Represent USA vs. Ireland National Team

0 Submitted by on Tue, 30 January 2018, 09:41

AFW Announces 2018 ELITE HS Select Team to Represent USA vs. Ireland National Team

American Football Worldwide is proud to continue building bridges and relationships between aspiring young football players in Ireland and American football players from the United States.  For the second consecutive year, and in history, AFW has organized a friendly international game between high school football players from the United States and the newly developed national U20 team of Ireland. The contest will be played in Dublin, Ireland on March 31, 2018.

American Football Worldwide’s ELITE high school select team is assembled from recommendations and nominations made by coaches directly to AFW and from the NCSA (Next College Student Athlete) recruiting service. The USA representative roster is from a true cross-section of the country with players from every region represented.  In an additional cross-cultural educational development, besides players from 16 different states on the AFW ELITE roster there are also players from Puerto Rico and British Columbia.

The AFW team and tour group will depart from various locations and assemble in Dublin, Ireland the morning of Sunday, March 25th.  For the week, football practices will typically take place at the start of the day, however an added element to work with players in Ireland and promote the development of the sport will take place with a scheduled evening co-practice with aspiring players from the American football club at the University of Limerick which has outstanding facilities.  Besides daily practice, the remaining time will be invested exploring the iconic landmarks, learning the history and experiencing the culture and people of Ireland – one of the more popular and enjoyable tourist destinations in the world.  After landing in Dublin the team and tour group will depart to County Meath to explore this authentic and charming Irish town that hosts famous Trim Castle.  The group will continue west to mystical Galway Bay with a stop at Clonmacnoise Monastery. While on Ireland’s west coast, the team and joining family members will visit and marvel at the world famous Cliffs of Moher.  Amongst other touring highlights during a stay in Limerick, time will also be invested exploring historic Bunratty Castle and the history of this place that was pivotal in the Irish Republic uprising.  Upon returning to the capital city of Dublin, the team will visit Trinity College with its renowned Book of Kells, St. Patrick’s Cathedral, Temple Bar, Croke Park and the Gaelic Athletic Association Hall of Fame and the Guinness Storehouse amongst other highlights.

AFW President Jim Barnes commented, “The most rewarding aspect of these tours is watching young men visibly grow from this entire experience.  Of course there is the unique education that only international travel provides as each day is structured with a couple of special life-expanding experiences for them. This tour will add to their intellectual depth and curiosity as they go on to pursue their college degree work.  Then there is the football development, sharing the game with others in a foreign land who love American football as well. There is no doubt that for many reasons this will be a journey that will impact them deeply and they will never forget.”

Intermixed with the immense educational value of the trip, the US team will diligently work to look to come together in one week’s time learning new terminology and football schemes.  New players will have to time-up their run game, pass routes, defensive and special team assignments. In addition, there may be an opportunity for a co-practices with the Irish national team who AFW ELITE will play.  A distinct part of AFW’s purpose is to help serve the development of the game with players overseas while being goodwill ambassadors for American football.  Though unusual to pre-game practice with an opponent, should it be afforded AFW looks forward to this opportunity to help aspiring players abroad.

“The bonding between players that takes place during the week is a truly remarkable and inspiring dynamic to observe.  Many of these players will stay friends for years to come,” commented Barnes.

This game will be the 7th annual clash between AFW ELITE and American football teams in Europe. In March of 2013 and 2014 AFW ELITE traveled to France for a similar educational and cultural tour defeating the French national U19 team and then their national champion team in two consecutive years. The past three years AFW ELITE accepted the invitation of the Italian Federation of American Football earning victories over the Italian national 19U team.  Last year AFW and it players were part of making history being a part of the inaugural contest between US high school players and Ireland’s national team.

The AFW ELITE Roster vs. Ireland National U20 Team – Dublin, Ireland March 31, 2018

First Last D O Ht Wt High School Hometown, ST
Brayden Arnold DB SL 5’7 145 Watsonville Watsonville, CA
Ryan Baerg QB 6’ 190 Gig Harbor Gig Harbor, WA
McCormac Barry DT OL 6’1 270 Bishop Shanahan Malvern, PA
Austin Behnke DE TE 6’1 200 Roseville Roseville, MI
Robert ‘Tre’ Blakes CB WR 5’6 135 Second Baptist Pearland, TX
Wyatt Brennan DE TE 6’5 220 Holy Cross Woodbury, CT
Patrick Charbonneau Jr. NG OC 5’11 255 Crosby Crosby, TX
Michael Cicolani DE TE 6’2 200 Wooster Wooster, OH
Gavin Dooley OLB SL 5’11 180 Prairie Cedar Rapids, IA
Chauncey Flemings III DT OL 6’1 285 Coal Ridge Silt, CO
Christopher Fuentes-Romero CB RB 5’9 175 Dorado Academy Dorado, PR
Brandon Garst CB WR 5’10 165 Hamilton Heights Arcadia, IN
Spencer Kuhn DT OL 6’1 300 Riceville Riceville, IA
Orion Mathis CB SL 5’8 150 East Wilkes N. Wilkesboro, NC
Jonathan-Michael McCown DT OL 6’1 235 Country Day La Jolla, CA
Declan Minogue DB ATH 5’10 160 Butler Butler, NJ
Zachary Ntia DL OL 6’ 235 Wooster Wooster, OH
Edgar Quintas OL 5’10 210 Willowbrook Villa Park, IL
Nicolas Sabatino DB WR 5’10 175 Willowbrook Villa Park, IL
Robert Savage DE OL 5’11 205 Handsworth N. Vancouver, BC
Hogan Scheid DL OL 6’1 240 Monroeville Monroeville, OH
Markus Sidwell LB QB 6’ 185 Glen Burnie Glen Burnie, MD
Connor Simpson FS WR 6’3 185 Westiew San Diego, CA
Trevor Thompson SS RB 6’1 170 Lake County Christian Fort Worth, TX
Dakota Van Dyke OLB TE 5’11 180 Cosumnes Oak Elk Grove, CA
William ‘Jared’ Vaughn LB TE 6’ 220 Heritage Leesburg, VA
Thomas Yager NG OT 6’3 250 Maine South Park Ridge, IL


For additional information or to recommend a player for a future AFW ELITE tour and international game contact AFW through

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