In the midst of the World Cup competition in Brazil, American football will try to establish a toehold in Kuwait next month. Williams College football coach Aaron Kelton and two of his players will be part of that effort.
Kelton is an assistant coach for the United States team in the International Federation of American Football's Under-19 World Championships. The team will leave for Kuwait City on Wednesday, and the tournament runs from July 7-16.
"I'm extremely excited. I've never been over to that side of the world," said the Williams coach. "I'm extremely excited to represent the United States and Williams College for sure. It's a tremendous honor and I'm just trying to do my part."
Kelton will be bringing two Williams players with him, sophomore defensive back Taysean Scott and defensive lineman John Fives. Kelton will coach the defensive line for the Americans.
Aaron Brady, the coach at Malvern (Pa.) Prep, is the head coach. Kelton and Brady are friends.
"I've known Coach Brady for double-digit years now and we were together at a reception during the [American Football Coaches Association] convention," the Williams coach said. "He mentioned it to me and I thought it would be a great opportunity."
The team is practicing at Shenandoah University in Winchester, Va., where Scott and Fives are two of the 44 players on the U.S. roster. The roster is made up of high school and prep school players along with collegians who just finished their first years.
"We're going to go over and play in an eight-team world tournament," Kelton said. "We'll be there for about 16 days, playing every third or fourth day.
"We'll play three games and you have to win your side to get into the championship game."
The Americans will open on July 7 in a 1 p.m. game against Mexico.
"It's just a national team, and you don't know all of your players, so you have to go through an acclimation period," said Kelton. "Getting to know your guys. The other part of it is the challenge of playing in a foreign country and representing the United States, which is a tremendous honor.
"There is some pressure with that. It's about us going out and being successful. It's about us doing what we do."
The Americans will compete against teams from Mexico, Canada, France, Germany, Japan and the host nation.
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