Press Box

Daniel Catalano
Daniel Catalano

MARQUETTE, Mich. – Former Northern Michigan University football player Daniel Catalano has been selected to play on the 2011 U.S. Men’s National Team in the fourth International Federation of American Football (IFAF) Senior World Championship July 8-16 in Austria.

The IFAF Senior World Championship is an eight-nation football tournament held every four years since 1999. Games will be played in Graz, Innsbruck and Vienna. Team USA defeated Japan, 23-20, in double overtime in Tokyo, Japan, to win the 2007 tournament, the first that included the United States. Prior to America’s participation, Japan earned gold medals at the first two IFAF Senior World Championships played in Palermo, Italy (1999), and Frankfurt, Germany (2003).

The United States is part of Group A along with Australia, Germany and Mexico. Group B includes Austria, Canada, France and Japan. A round robin schedule in group play determines who will compete for gold and bronze medals. Team USA plays Australia on July 8 at 9 a.m., Germany on July 10 at 1 p.m. and Mexico July 12 at 1 p.m. All times are Eastern. The Bronze Medal Game will be on July 15 with the Gold Medal Game on July 16.

Team USA is led by former Northwest Missouri State University head coach and three-time NCAA Division II national champion Mel Tjeerdsma. Tjeerdsma led Northwest Missouri State to a 183-43 (.810) record in 17 seasons there. He was among the first three coaches inducted into the NCAA Division II College Football Hall of Fame before retiring in 2010.

“Our roster holds tremendously skilled players who recognize that success in football is rooted in playing as a team – and playing for America galvanizes us even more,” Tjeerdsma said. “We’ll be ready to face excellent competition in Austria and celebrate the world’s greatest game on an international stage.”

Former Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference players Gregg Berkshire, from Ashland, and John Jacobs, from Saginaw Valley State, join Catalano.

USA Football is the sport’s national governing body in the United States. National team participation does not affect NCAA eligibility. All IFAF Senior World Championship players must be at least 20 years old.

More information on the World Championship of American Football can be found at:

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Prepared By
Calvin Larson
Sports Information