Mount Union teammates set to reunite on U.S. Men’s National Team
When the U.S. Men’s National Team comes together for its first practice June 28, most players will have to adjust to competing with a whole new group of teammates.
Quarterback Kevin Burke and wide receiver Luc Meacham will face no such obstacle.
After teaming up for four years at the University of Mount Union, a period in which they played in three national championship games and won an NCAA Division III title in 2012, the duo has another opportunity to play together. They will do so July 9-18 in Canton, Ohio, at the 2015 International Federation of American Football World Championship.
Burke and Meacham follow another pair of Mount Union players to play for the United States. Running back Nate Kmic and offensive lineman Luke Summers both played for the gold medal-winning 2011 squad, a team that also included former Mount Union head coach Larry Kehres as the offensive coordinator.
Both Burke and Meacham were thrilled to get the call telling them they’d get to participate in the tournament.
“I was ecstatic,” Burke said. “I was really excited for the opportunity, and I didn’t hesitate to say I was 100 percent on board. I can’t even describe how awesome it is.”
Burke is the only two-time winner of the Gagliardi Trophy, given to Division III’s top player each season. He threw for 4,412 yards and 52 touchdowns in 2014, a year after throwing for 4,855 yards and 44 touchdowns.
Meacham caught 101 passes for 1,678 yards and 21 touchdowns in two years as a college starter. He was especially excited to get another opportunity to play with the quarterback he has been friends with since their freshman orientation at Mount Union.
“It doesn’t get any better than that,” he said. “To have one more go together and to represent the country is going to be a blast.”
Meacham also believes his easy rapport with Burke will help other players break the ice as they adapt to a new social environment.
Though each is holding out hope that professional opportunities will arise after the tournament, both players currently plan on returning to Mount Union to finish their degrees in the fall. When school ends, Meacham also is giving consideration to joining the U.S. Navy with the goal of becoming a Navy SEAL, an opportunity he says would be as exciting as a pro football career.
But before that, he’s set on bringing another gold medal home for the American team.
“Obviously, a gold medal is what we’re going for, and that’s the only thing that will be acceptable,” he said.
His Purple Raider teammate agrees wholeheartedly.
“This is our country’s game,” he said. “We are this game’s powerhouse. That may sound a little cocky, but that’s the way it is. It’s either win it all or it’s a bust.”