GRANBURY, Texas — Simpson senior Braden Meints will represent the Storm football team at the 20th annual Tazón De Estrellas (Bowl of the Stars) on Saturday, Dec. 16 in Tijuana, Mexico.
Meints and 39 other standout student-athletes from NCAA Division III schools will represent Team Stars & Stripes against the CONADEIP All-Stars from Mexico's private universities. Kickoff is set for 2 p.m. CT from Margarita Aztiazarán de Fimbres Stadium at CETYS University in Tijuana.
A jack-of-all trades throughout his career, Meints did a little bit of everything for the Storm in 2017. Beginning the season as a running back, he transformed into a tight end/running back hybrid by season's end. The Garner, Iowa native made 30 receptions for 232 yards and two touchdowns, ran for 181 yards on 52 carries, averaged almost 39 yards on eight punts and tallied eight tackles on special teams.
Meints becomes the 10th player in school history to compete in the all-star game. Jeremy Whalen (1997), Clint Head (1998), Guy Leman (1998) and Mike Donnenwerth (2003) competed when the game was known as the Aztec Bowl. Colton Calvert, Braden Everding, Brian Tjossem, Ben Coy and Ty Larsen played in the Tazon de Estrellas in 2011.
ABOUT THE GAME
The Tazón de Estrellas series is currently tied at four wins each as Mexico's CONADEIP All-Stars won the eighth edition in 2016 with a convincing 51-26 victory over a Team Stars & Stripes select squad drawn from 22 NCAA Division III schools across the United States at Zorros Stadium at CETYS University in Mexicali.
In 2015, Team Stars & Stripes recovered from a 14-point deficit at the scene of this Saturday's game to produce a stunning a fourth quarter comeback and claim a 15-14 win.
The Tazón de Estrellas was established after the Aztec Bowl came to an end in 2007. Former AFCA President, Coach Ron Schipper, who led Central College for 35 years from 1961 to 1996, helped conceive the idea of the Aztec Bowl, as an event that would provide NCAA Division III senior football players with a true post-season opportunity.
Read the full history of the games here: http://www.globalfootball.com/tazon-de-estrellas/history/
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.