Inaugural High School Football World Championship
Written by: Billy Splain on Wednesday, June 24th, 2009
From the shadows of the Pro Football Hall of Fame in Canton Ohio, world’s eight best 19-and-under junior national teams will take part in the inaugural IFAF Junior World Championship from Fawcett Stadium.
Joining host nation the United States as an automatic qualifier is Canada. The Canadians will hold the No. 1 seed with the U.S. claiming the No. 2 seed.
Canada’s junior national team has consistently impressed on an international platform by winning the past three NFL Global Junior Championships, held during Super Bowl week from 1997 to 2007 earning them top seed. They were also crowned champions in 2000.
The Championship Series will kick off on Saturday, June 27 to be followed by Wednesday, July 1 and Saturday, July 4, before the Championship Game is contested on Sunday, July 5.
Japan will fly the flag for Asia, while countries representing Europe are Germany, Sweden and France who finished first, second and third, respectively, at the 2008 European Junior Championship to qualify. Rounding out the tournament field, New Zealand will represent Oceania after defeating Australia in its regional qualifying game on Jan. 24, while Mexico will be the third Pan-American team following its win against Panama back on Feb. 14.
The advent of a junior tackle tournament encompassing four continents and including a nationally selected team from the United States is truly unique in the world of junior international American football. However, several of the federations whose teams will compete in Canton boast many years of experience on the world stage. Canada, France, Germany, Japan and Mexico all took part in the IFAF-sanctioned NFL Global Junior Championship from 1997 to 2007.
The Keystone state will be represented by just one player on the U.S. team, Jordon Roussos from Carlynton High School in district 7 (WPIAL). The 6’4, 240 DE will be continuing his football career at Bowling Green.
The Champs Sports Network will have a big part in the inaugural IFAF Junior World Championship, providing the broadcasters in the booth for 6 out of the 12 games. Matt Farago and the new comer to the Champs Sports Network Dan Reed will have the call of all four games on Wednesday, July 1st with the first game starting at 10am. Reed is the General Manager of the West Virginia Lightning minor league football team and has years of football experience both playing and coaching, he is sure to provide great insight as the color analyst.
Champs will continue their call of the JWC on Saturday July 4th, with Jeff Wink joining Matt Farago in booth for the call of two more contests from Fawcett Stadium. The remaining games will be shown on Fox College Sports website.
The next IFAF Junior World Championship is scheduled for 2012, and it will be held every two years after that.
Follow WesternPAFootball.com on Twitter @WPAFootball