U.S. men pack up training camp and head for IFAF World Championship in Canton, Ohio
By Tim Glon
After 16 practices in a span of nine days, the U.S. National Team broke training camp at the University of Akron on Tuesday afternoon.
The Americans’ 45-man roster is set, and the squad is ready to begin its quest for the gold medal at the 2015 International Federation of American Football World Championship on July 9-18 at Tom Benson Hall of Fame Stadium in Canton, Ohio.
The U.S. team will make the short 20-mile trek this afternoon to Walsh University in North Canton, Ohio, which will serve as the Olympic Village for the seven-nation tournament.
“It is amazing what we got installed in a week,” U.S. head coach Dan Hawkins said. “I am impressed how our guys bonded in such a short period of time. I really like our talent, and I really like our attitude. We are ready to start playing games.”
The roster is comprised of 22 offensive players, 21 defensive players and two special teams players.
Four of the players hail from NCAA Division III colleges, 11 are from Division II schools and 30 are from Division I programs.
ROUNDING IT OUT. Ed Ruhnke of Division III Mount Union was a late addition to the squad after winning a camp tryout to be the kicker and punter. He was second-team All-America and first-team Academic All-America his senior season in 2014. “It’s been a wild couple of days,” Ruhnke said. “I’m just very excited to be a part of the team and have the opportunity to represent my country.”
MAKING A NAME FOR HIMSELF. The man with the most famous last name on the squad is hoping to make his own mark on the world stage. Dylan Favre (above photo), the nephew of soon-to-be Pro Football Hall of Famer Brett Favre, is hoping to win a gold medal for his country. “Growing up, he was just Uncle Brett, a good guy,” Dylan said. “He went to work just like anyone else – except he was one of the greatest quarterbacks to ever play the game. Sharing the last name adds some pressure and causes some unrealistic goals to be set by some people. I was resentful of it at first, but it’s past me now. I am just trying to be Dylan Favre, quarterback. Winning a gold medal for my country would be incredible.”