News Column

Football in Mexico -- with Helmets and Pads

Dec. 23, 2012

Dan Macarthur

Ken Schetroma ended his football career last week in style.

Schetroma, a four-year starter at Susquehanna Univeristy and a Southern Columbia graduate, played in the Tazon de Estrellas Division III all-star game in Guadalajara, Mexico.

While the United States won the game 32-15 and Schetroma had four tackles on the defensive line, it was everything that led to the game that gave Schetroma chills.

For a week before the game, Schetroma bonded with new friends, volunteered in a small town and represented his country.

"The trip was amazing," Schetroma said by phone.

"We were there for a week and had five days to get together as a team.

"Football is on the rise in Mexico and there have been some good players that have represented the United States."

Washington Redskins' middle linebacker London Fletcher and Buffalo Bills' running back Fred Jackson are alums of the game, which has been played annually since 1996.

Also on the trip was Susquehanna head coach Steve Briggs, who was in charge of the defense.

The highlight of the trip for Schetroma came when he and his teammates visited Villa de Sol, a small town an hour away from Guadalajara.

There, to repay donations received during fundraising to make the trip possible, the players cleaned weeds, repainted a basketball court and helped build the foundation of a new home.

"Helping people out in a community really helps you realize how lucky we have it," Schetroma said.

The players also took an hour to teach some youngsters the fundamentals of the game.

"We lined them up on defense and showed them how to get down in a stance," Schetroma said. "Then they went against our offense and let them play.

"They wore our helmets and we signed autographs. It was really a lot of fun."

While the trip may have spelled the end of Schetroma's football career in pads, following a senior season in which he made 51 tackles, including 10 for a loss and 1.5 sacks, he will report back to Susquehanna in early January to start practicing for track season with the Crusaders.

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Distributed by MCT Information Services



Source: (c) 2012 The News-Item (Shamokin, Pa.)


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