IFAF announces first of 12 players named to World Team roster to face USA in annual International Bowl

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE – WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 23, 2011 – The International Federation of American Football has announced the first 12 players named to the IFAF World Team roster that will face Team USA in USA Football’s International Bowl on Wednesday, February 1 in Austin, Texas.

The state capital will host the third annual game – formerly known as USA vs. The World – when an IFAF World Team of teenage football players led by Canadian head coach GREG MARSHALL takes on American’s Under-19 National Team, composed of current high school seniors (class of 2012). Both teams will field a 50-player roster for the game at The Palace Round Rock ISD Stadium in Austin.

Eight of the 12 IFAF selections will be prepared for what lies ahead in Austin as they boast either previous World Team or Development Team experience.

“It is important that we are able to bring back some experienced players who can become leaders on our team during what will be a short time together to prepare to face Team USA,” said coach Marshall. “There are some very talented players emerging around the world and I am excited to work with them and to announce further selections in the coming weeks.”

Returning at wide receiver is 2011 IFAF World Team MVP, Canadian TEVAUN SMITH, who scored the first ever touchdown conceded by the U.S. U19 national team in all competitions when he returned a kickoff 79 yards to the end zone when the teams met in February 2011. Smith plays at the Kent School in Connecticut and has helped his team to six straight wins to open the current season.

Two more Canadians, offensive lineman MATTHIAS GOOSSEN of Simon Fraser University and defensive back MARCUS GRANDISON of York University, were also members of the 2011 IFAF World Team as was Austrian pair, running back ANDREAS HOFBAUER and wide receiver LAURINHO WALCH. Earning a third selection is defensive end DAVID KATINA from American Samoa, who lined up for the IFAF World Team in both 2010 and 2011.

In 2011 IFAF established a Development Team Program for younger players and two prospects who have progressed to the full IFAF World Team roster are Australian offensive lineman ADAM GOTSIS and Japanese running back SHINGO MAEDA.

Newcomers to the roster are defensive end SONNY SANITOA of American Samoa, who plays college football in the United States at UNLV and three Canadians: defensive end ELI ANKOU (Red Lion Academy), defensive end FAITH EKAKITIE (Lake Forest Academy) and defensive back KALVIN JOHNSON (University of Western Ontario).

Players selected to the IFAF World Team

Player Pos Ht Wt Country Club / school World Team
David Katina DE 6-3 250 American Samoa Hawaii 2010 & 2011
Sonny Sanitoa DE 6-4 235 American Samoa UNLV
Adam Gotsis OL 6-5 262 Australia Monash Warriors 2011 Dev Team
Andreas Hofbauer RB 5-11 206 Austria Swarco Raiders Tirol 2011
Laurinho Walch WR 5-11 148 Austria Raiffeisen Vikings 2011
Tevaun Smith WR 6-1 187 Canada Kent School 2011
Matthias Goossen OL 6-3 290 Canada Simon Fraser Univ. 2011
Eli Ankou DE 6-3 245 Canada Red Lion Academy
Faith Ekakitie DE 6-3 285 Canada Lake Forest Academy
Marcus Grandison DB 6-0 215 Canada York University 2011
Kalvin Johnson DB 5-9 180 Canada Univ. Western Ontario
Shingo Maeda RB 5-10 191 Japan Kansai University 2011 Dev Team

In order to be eligible for the IFAF World Team program, players must be nominated by their national federation and are evaluated by the coaching staff based on film review and weekly training log results collected through the IFAF World Team web portal. The selection and announcement of players to both the final roster and Development Team will continue on an ongoing basis until all positions are filled. A limited number of roster spots will be available for players promoted from the Development Team during training camp.

In 2011 the IFAF World Team narrowly lost 21-14 to Team USA at Westlake High School in Austin, and in 2010, the Americans were held scoreless until the final play of the first half before going on to win 17-0 at Lockhart Stadium in Fort Lauderdale, FL.

The NCAA recognizes USA Football’s International Bowl as a national team competition, meaning the game is not an all-star game. Playing for the United States in the International Bowl is exempt from high school seniors’ two all-star game appearances.

IFAF World Team Player Bios:

David Katina, DL, American Samoa, 6-3, 250, Hawaii (grey shirt)

Returns for his third consecutive year as a member of the IFAF World Team… was a grey shirt at Hawaii… has played football for 14 years… played flag football and Pop Warner for Ewa Beach Cardinals… played JV football at Word of Life and then varsity football at Campbell High School… played at Marist High School… represented American Samoa in a 49-6 junior international victory over Australia in January 2010… greatest football memory is when his entire family came to watch a game this past year… the people who have most influenced his life are his parents, particularly his mother, who has always taught him how to keep priorities straight and was the main person keeping him in check with everything including football. She is a coach on and off the field… favorite current NFL player is Dwight Freeney and favorite NFL team is the Cincinnati Bengals… sings and plays the drums… favorite music is Samoan, Christian and Island Jams… speaks English and partial Samoan… looks forward to the experience of working with other great players from around the globe.

Sonny Sanitoa, DL, American Samoa, 6-4 235, UNLV

Completed his freshman year at University of Nevada Las Vegas… was a four-year letterman playing for coach Simon Mageo at Samoana High School… registered more than 30 tackles along with 7.5 sacks as a senior for the Sharks… was a two-time all-league selection… also lettered in baseball as a pitcher and first baseman and basketball as a center and power forward.
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Adam Gotsis, OT, Australia, 6-5, 262, Monash Warriors

Plays for the Monash Warriors in Victoria, Australia… has seven years of football experience… two-time state champion… two-time team MVP and in 2010 had most sacks on the Warriors team… also named league defensive MVP… played for Australian Junior Outback Team and played on the 2011 IFAF Development team… represented Australia at the 2011 IFAF Senior World Championship in Austria… greatest football memory is being named captain of national team… most influential people are his family and friends… speaks English and Greek… favorite NFL player is Demarcus Ware… favorite NFL team is New Orleans Saints.
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Andreas Hofbauer, RB, Austria, 5-11, 206, Swarco Raiders

Plays for the Austrian powerhouse Swarco Raiders Tirol… has five years of football experience… three-time offensive MVP… three-time Austrian championship MVP… greatest football memory was winning the 2011 European Junior Championship with Austria and the Austrian Bowl and Eurobowl with the Raiders, all in 2011… named Tournament MVP of the 2011 European Junior Championship in Spain and scored three touchdowns in the Gold Medal game… most influential people are his mother and father who have always supported him and taught him the importance of sports which is not only physical but learning… speaks German, English and Spanish… also competes in Track & Field… favorite NFL player is Maurice Jones-Drew… favorite NFL team is Philadelphia Eagles.
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Laurinho Walch, WR, Austria, 5-11, 148, Raiffeisen Vikings

Currently plays for the Raiffeisen Vikings… has seven years of football experience… won the 2011 EFAF European Junior Championship with Austria and led the team in receiving in the Gold Medal game… began his football career with the Dark Angels flag football team… a two-time Judend Bowl champion and one time runner up… helped team to a College Bowl victory… his team finished third at the IFAF Flag Football World championship in Netherlands… scoring first career touchdown was greatest football memory… his family are the most influential people in his life… speaks German, English and Spanish… favorite NFL player is DeSean Jackson… favorite NFL team is Detroit Lions.
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Tevaun Smith, RB, Canada, 6-1, 187, Kent School

Wide Receiver Tevaun Smith finished his post-grad first year at Kent School, a Preparatory school located in Kent, Connecticut… has been playing for ten years… first-ever player to score a touchdown against a Team USA Team in the 2011 Team USA vs. the World game… previously played at Chaminade School… played for the IFAF World Team in 2010 scoring on a kickoff return… greatest football memory is defeating the No. 1 ranked team in NESPAC conference in New England… looking forward to meeting and playing with the best players from around the world… favorite NFL team is San Diego Chargers…favorite NFL player is Dez Bryant.
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Matthias Goossen OL, Canada, 6-3, 290, Simon Fraser University

Matthias Goossen, an offensive lineman from Canada, completed his first season with Simon Fraser University… has been playing for 11 years… helped SFU defeat Dixie State in triple overtime for the school’s first conference win in NCAA DII play…previously played for Richmond Raiders and Vancouver College Prep… named Best Lineman in Grade 10 & 11 and Team MVP in Grade 12… looking forward to playing against the top players from the United States… speaks French and English… favorite NFL team is Indianapolis Colts… favorite NFL player is Peyton Manning… future ambition is to get a degree in communications from SFU and play in the CFL.
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Eli Ankou, DE Canada, 6-3, 245, Red Lion Academy

Plays at Red Lion Academy… the 6-3, 230 pound defensive end is being recruited by top US programs receiving scholarship offers from UCLA, Vanderbilt and Virginia… also received interest from Rutgers, Pittsburg, Arkansas, Notre Dame, Buffalo and Syracuse… played his first season of organized football in 2009.
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Faith Ekakitie, DE, Canada, 6-3, 285, Lake Forest Academy

Plays at Lake Forest Academy in Illinois… a four-star 6-3, 285-pound defensive lineman who made back to back official visits at Boston College and Iowa… has received 30 offers from top US programs… moved from Canada to play high school sports at Lake Forest Academy located outside of Chicago, Illinois… also plays basketball… his family is originally from Nigeria.
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Marcus Grandison, DB, Canada 6-0, 215, York University

Completed his first season at York University… previously played for Chaminade College School… has eight years of football experience… also played for North York Grizzlies and Metro Toronto Wildcats… named OVFL All-Star in 2009… 2010 GTA All-Canadian… 2009 MVP for both Toronto Wildcats and Chaminade College… most influential person is his mother who gave him strength to continue… greatest football memory is playing in the 2011 USA v World game… looking forward to showcasing his skills on a world class stage… favorite player is Troy Polamalu… favorite NFL team is Baltimore Ravens.
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Kalvin Johnson, DB, Canada, 5-9, 180, Western Mustangs

Defensive back for the University of Western Ontario Mustangs… has eight years of football experience… previously played for St. Marguriete d’Youville Secondary, Brampton Bulldogs and Team Ontario… named BMFA MVP and Canada Cup defensive MVP… greatest football memory is winning the provincial championship… most influential person is his father… most looking forward to beating Team USA… favorite NFL player is Darrelle Revis… favorite NFL team is New York Jets.
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Shingo Maeda, RB Japan, 5-10, 191, Kansai University

Plays for Kansai University… named to the first-ever 2011 IFAF World Development Team… selected to the 75-man Japanese Senior National team before the cutdown to 45 players who represented Japan at the 2011 IFAF Senior World Championship in Austria… the person who has most influenced his career is Japanese coach and former NFL Europe player Masato Itai… favorite NFL player is Adrian Peterson on the Vikings… favorite NFL team is the Philadelphia Eagles… His ambition is to play in the NFL.

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