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PELLA—Longtime Central College defensive coordinator Don De Waard will again serve as head coach of Team Stars and Stripes for the fifth annual Tazon de Estrellas (Bowl of the Stars) football game set for Estadio Tecnológico in Monterrey, Mexico, on the Tec de Monterrey campus Saturday, Dec. 21.
Three Central players have been selected for the team of NCAA Division III all-stars. Defensive back Jason Breon (senior, Anamosa), linebacker Mike Young (senior, Country Club Hills, Ill., Hillcrest HS) and offensive lineman Travis Hook (senior, Grundy Center) were named to the initial roster.
The Mexican game is organized by Global Football.
John Roslien, director of Central’s athletic training education program, is also a veteran of the Division III team staff and serves as the player personnel director. In addition, Central’s Frank Neu will serve as head athletic trainer, while Paden Kleinhesselink (senior, Sioux Center) and Chris Lobberecht (senior, Fort Madison) will serve as athletic training students and equipment managers. It is Neu’s eighth trip to the all-star game.
Befored being named head coach in 2012, De Waard previously served as an assistant for the U.S. team and also coached in its predecessor, the Aztec Bowl. He succeeded former Widener College (Pa.) coach Bill Manlove, who served as head coach of the Division III all-star team for three years, and follows his mentor, the late Ron Schipper, a hall of fame coach at Central from 1961-96 and former Aztec Bowl head coach.
Team Stars and Stripes will play a team of all-stars chosen from a national conference of Mexican private colleges. The Aztec Bowl was staged in Mexico for 11 years while the Tazon De Estrellas enters its fifth year. The series is tied 2-2 after a 32-15 victory by the Americans in De Waard’s head-coaching debut last year.
The 50-player U.S. roster is chosen from senior players nominated by Division III head coaches.
This fall Breon matched a team high with 35 solo tackles for the Dutch and was fourth on the squad with 54 total tackles, along with one interception and five pass breakups. Young was second on the team with 68 total tackles and third with 13 tackles for loss, as well as two sacks, two interceptions, two fumble recoveries and two pass breakups. Hook started all 10 games on the offensive line, leading the way for 1,546 Central rushing yards.
Four Dutch players were chosen for last year’s game, with six in 2011, five in 2010 and two in 2009. Twelve Central players earlier participated in the Aztec Bowl, including current Dutch assistant coaches Jeff Sanger, Reid Evans and Matt Paulsen.
De Waard is in his 32nd year on the Central staff. He is a 1982 Central graduate and former Dutch player. In 2000, the American Football Coaches Association named De Waard the Division III Assistant Coach of the Year and he was honored at the AFCA convention in Atlanta in January 2001.
A native of Kanawha, he is a certified public accountant and also serves as president of the Molengracht, a downtown development project in Pella, Iowa. De Waard and his wife Jean have four children and five grandchildren.