school football games are at an all-time high in popularity, as many
teams will travel across state lines to test their mettle in unfamiliar
However, the newest trend may be international games.
teams are scheduled to take on squads from Mexico and Canada this fall,
and several teams will even be taking the field in Ireland. Unique
opportunities and difficulty in scheduling early season games have
driven the growth of these matchups.
Last weekend Eastern
Christian Academy, which has had a difficult time scheduling and
retaining opponents, hosted Niagara Academy from Ontario, Canada. As
more American teams cancel scheduled games
with Eastern Christian Academy (Elkton, Md.)
, it may have to look for more opportunities against international opponents.
Sills IV, founder and financial backer of Eastern Christian
Academy, said that he and his coaches are working on getting Maryland
public schools to schedule games, hoping it will attract other American
programs to do the same.
common are cross-border pairings between teams from Texas and Mexico,
which also are a result of scheduling difficulties, according to
editor Christopher Lyke.
believe they end up playing them because nobody else usually wants to
play certain teams," Lyke said. "It's crazy that it's come down to teams
ducking other teams because they either don't want the challenge or
don't think they can compete."Prepa Tech (Monterrey, Mexico)
, one of the top teams in Mexico, has a schedule that features road trips to Aledo
and The Woodlands
among several other Texas opponents.
The school ran into a roadblock—literally—last fall when threats from a Mexican drug cartel
forced it to cancel a trip to take on Stony Point.Universidad Autonoma de Nuevo Leon (Monterrey, Mexico)
, a top Mexican program which nearly knocked off Stony Point (Round Rock, Texas)
in 2011, will also face some Texas competition this year including Tyler.
Other international showcases are born from opportunity, not necessity.
most interesting international tilts involve the six American high
school teams that are crossing the pond to take part in the Global Irish
Football Tournament this weekend.Loyola Academy (Wilmette, Ill.)
opens the action against Dallas Jesuit (Dallas, Texas)
. Notre Dame (Sherman Oaks, Calif.)
is scheduled to take on Hamilton (Chandler, Ariz.)
, while Notre Dame Prep (Scottsdale, Ariz.)
will play Father Judge (Philadelphia, Pa.)
.Kent School (Kent, Conn.)
is taking things a step further. Not only is it taking part in the
event on Irish soil, it's also playing a European opponent in the
National School of American Football from the UK.
Other international games to watch this year include Ferndale (Wash.)
, alma mater of Jake Locker, taking on Vancouver's Notre Dame Regional and Castle Park (Chula Vista, Calif.)
hosting Instituo Mexico, two schools separated by a mere 10 miles.
Overall, the caliber of play outside of the United States seems to be rising. Canada beat the United States
in the gold medal game at the 2012 International Federation of American Football Under-19 World Championship in July.