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Aired live today (Saturday, 6/30/12) —Am. Samoa’s Under 19 Football team plays in Austin

jeff@samoanews.com
The American Samoa team offensive line, going over blocking drills last week in Austin, in preparation for today’s game. [courtesy photo]

The American Samoa Under 19 Football Team will be playing today in the International Federation of American Football (IFAF) Under 19 World Championships, against the reigning IFAF Under 19 World Champions, Team USA.

The game is to be aired live on KVZK and Island Info Channel 13 today at 2:00 p.m. American Samoa time and will be played in Austin, Texas at Burger Stadium. The American Samoa team is seeded last of the eight team field.

The other opening round games that will be played will have the number two seeded team Canada going against the number seven seeded team of Sweden. Japan, who is seeded at number three will battle it out with the number six seeded team of France, while number four seeded Panama will be playing against Austria who is seeded number five.

According to the IFAF Under 19 World Championship Game preview: United States vs. American Samoa website: http://u19championship.com/game-preview-united-states-vs-american-samoa/, the players to watch from American Samoa are Running Back (RB) Faafouina Sitagata (KHS). and Shalom Luani (FHS)

Sitagata, at 5-foot-11-and 195 pounds, carried the ball 12 times for 107 yards and three touchdowns in the win over Australia during the Oceania IFAF Championships earning him game MVP honors.

Free Safety (FS) Shalom Luani (FHS) scored on a punt return, kickoff return and a 2-point conversion against Australia. At 6’0 195 lbs. he is also one of the leaders on defense.

For the United States team, Quarterback Brayden Scott, at 6’3 and 200 lbs from Tulsa, Oklahoma, completed 158 of 253 passes (62.4%) for 2,270 yards and 26 touchdowns last fall at Tahlequah-Sequoyah High School. The 6’1 247 lbs. Linebacker (LB) Reggie Chevis as a Junior at Sharpstown High School in 2011,  registered 12 sacks and 102 tackles

The winner of this game plays the winner of Austria and Panama on Wednesday at 8:00 p.m. (2:00 p.m. local time). The loser of this game plays the loser of Austria and Panama at 8:00 p.m. Tuesday (2:00 p.m. local time).

The American Samoa Under 19 Team will be led by head coach of the Faga’itua High School Vikings football team, Suaese “Pooch” Ta’ase, who was the IFAF World Team Linebackers coach in 2010-2011. Ta’ase is also the managing and coordinating director of the USA Football Eastern Star League here in American Samoa, which is a non-profit organization leading the development of youth and international amateur football here in the territory.

American Samoa was able to earn their way to the IFAF Under 19 World Championships when they defeated Australia on February 25 of this year by a score of 97-3 in the Under 19 Oceania IFAF Championship games, that were held in Brisbane, Australia.

During the inaugural IFAF Under 19 World Championships in 2009, the United States won the Gold Medal in the championships that took place in Canton, Ohio earning them the number one seed. New Zealand, who was representing the Oceania Region at the time, lost all three of their games, forcing the Oceania Representative (American Samoa) this year to be seeded at number eight.

The IFAF Under 19 World Championships are played every three years and this year was American Samoa’s first trip to the Under 19 Oceania Championships.



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