A ROSTER of 36 high school football standouts selected from Jacksonville and nine surrounding counties will represent America at Super Bowl XXXIX in January when they fly the Team USA flag at the NFL Global Junior Championship IX.
The annual tournament brings together the cream of football talent from five countries – USA, JAPAN, MEXICO, FRANCE and CANADA. The teenage all-stars will play a shootout-style jamboree tournament on Wednesday, February 2 to determine who will contest the Championship Game on Saturday, February 5. All games will be played at BOLLES HIGH SCHOOL SKINNER-BARCO STADIUM.
Bolles head coach CORKY ROGERS, a three-time state champion who holds the proud record for the most wins in Florida high school history, will take charge of Team USA. His 36-man roster will be chosen from high schools in St Johns, Duval, Nassau, Clay, Putnam, Baker, Union, Bradford and Flagler counties. To recognize scholar athletes, only players who recorded a 3.0 GPA through their junior year will be eligible. A maximum of three players may be nominated for selection by coaches at each participating school.
"It's a real honor for our local players to be invited to participate in this event," said coach Rogers at a press conference at Alltel Stadium in Jacksonville. "I'm exited about it and am looking forward to getting to coach some of the best young players the area.
"The USA has won the past four championships and we have a lot to live up to if we are to carry on where they left off. It will be a unique experience to meet players and coaches from foreign countries on the football field."
Adding to the local flavor of the event, players from the four visiting countries will live with volunteer host families from participating high schools during their stay. Bolles high school will host Japan, University Christian will make France feel at home, Nease opens its doors to Canada and Mandarin welcomes Mexico. Those schools will also provide practice facilities for the competing nations during the week of the tournament and have tickets available priced $6 per day.