KINGS POINT, N.Y., December 12, 2016 -Three members of the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy (USMMA) football team have been selected to play in the eighth annual Tazon de Estrellas this coming Saturday, Dec. 17 – tight end Robert Baker (Whitinsville, Mass.), offensive lineman Parker Johnson (Middletown, Md.) and defensive back Patrick Keyes (Parsippany, N.J.).
The Tazon de Estrellas is a senior "all-star" game that is played in Mexico featuring the top seniors from NCAA Division III representing Team Stars & Stripes against the CONADEIP All-Stars, Mexico's top senior student-athletes. The game will be held at Zorros Stadium at CETYS University in Mexicali this Saturday.
Baker, Johnson and Keyes are three of 54 Division III players that were selected from a total of 22 institutions to compete in the annual game, now in its eighth year. The Americans lead the series, 4-3, over their rival in the Tazón de Estrellas.
The 54-man Team Stars & Stripes roster features representatives from 22 Division III schools: Central College (8 players), Southwestern University (8), Grove City College (4), Lake Forest College (4), Minnesota Morris (4), Delaware Valley University (3), U.S. Merchant Marine Academy (3), Aurora University (2), Augustana College (2), Kalamazoo College (2), Ohio Northern University (2), Trine College (2), Albion College (1), Beloit College (1), Carthage College (1), Loras College (1), Louisiana College (1), Salve Regina University (1), SUNY Maritime College (1), Trinity (1), Wartburg College (1), Wilkes University (1). Team Stars & Stripes will again be led by head coach Don De Waard, former defensive coordinator at Central College (Iowa).
The players arrived in Mexico yesterday, Sunday, Dec. 11, and, in addition to installing their game plan during daily practice sessions at CETYS University, they will conduct a service project with local youth and will enjoy a visit to the San Felipe Beach in Baja.
This is the third time that members of the USMMA football program have been selected to play in this game. Last year, quarterback Matt McDaniels '16 suited up for Team Stars & Stripes and back in 2012, quarterback Alex Coviello '13 participated in the event.
More updates from Mexico will be available later in the week on www.USMMASports.com. For more information on the Tazon de Estrellas, click here.