Taase ‘Pooch’ Suaese of American Samoa named Coach of the Tournament; Canada defensive back Kevin McGee takes the tournament MVP award
The International Federation of American Football has selected the All-Tournament team for the 2012 IFAF Under-19 World Championship played at Burger Stadium in Austin from June 30 to July 7.
American Samoa head coach Taase “Pooch” Suaese is Coach of the Tournament, while Canada defensive back Kevin McGee is Most Valuable Player.
Suaese took his team from its eighth-seed ranking to a fifth-place finish. The first-time entrants on the international stage became the first team to score a touchdown against the United States in a first-round 27-6 loss. American Samoa then bounced back to defeat Panama, 51-0, and France, 27-14.
“I thank our assistants and all of our players,” Suaese said. “Their effort made this happen. It’s also special with our governor being here tonight.
“Our experience here means a lot because the community back home went through a lot of effort to finance the trip to make it possible for us to be here. The players had to work through a lot to be here. They had to work hard.
“We’re getting ready for 2014, and we’re already getting emails from people interested in playing for us. American Samoa players are scattered everywhere, and they want to participate in 2014, so it’s going to get better.”
McGee’s two interceptions helped Canada defeat the United States, 23-17, in the the Gold Medal game. McGee finished the tournament with 14 tackles, including 2½ for loss, to go with four pass breakups and the two picks.
“I didn’t think I’d even be a game MVP let alone the tournament MVP,” McGee said. “It’s unexpected. They’ll be really happy and really proud of me back home (at Champlain College in Sherbrooke, Quebec). I’m pretty happy.
“Everybody expected the Americans to win, and we shocked the world. Hopefully, everybody realizes we’re not just a hockey nation. We’re a football nation.”
McGee led the tournament with 4 passes defended and had 2 interceptions and recorded 12 tackles.
The all-tournament team featured 24 players in total with nine from the United States, eight from Canada, two from American Samoa and Japan and one each from Austria, France and Sweden.
Canadian quarterback Will Finch, who completed 19-of-29 pass attempts for 380 yards and three touchdowns, was joined by his Canada’s leading receiver Doug Corby, who had 12 receptions for a tournament-high 290 yards and two touchdowns.
American running back Tarean Folston had 26 carries for 184 yards and three total touchdowns was joined by USA receiver Demarcus Ayres (12 receptions, 179 yards, two touchdowns) and tight end Durham Smythe (seven receptions, 55 yards).
American Samoa running back Ietiaia Manu completed the all-tournament backfield in recognition of his tournament-best 27 carries for 208 yards and two touchdowns.
USA had Hunter Bivin and Logan Tuley-Tillman selected for offensive line honors alongside Louis-Gabriel Beaudet from Canada, Daniel Feichter of Austria and Japan’s Kenzo Shimano.
On the defensive side, Canada’s Edward Godin-Gosselin and Charles Remi-Sarrazin were joined by Dakota Jackson of the USA and Justus Faaiu of American Samoa on the defensive line. Faaiu led the tournament with three sacks and was second with 4 1/2 tackles for a loss
Eric Beisel and Reggie Chevis from Team USA were joined by Canada’s John Rush as the linebackers. Rush was the tournament’s third-leading tackler with 14½, while Beisel posted 3½ tackles for a loss and Chevis three for loss among their stats.
Four different nations were represented in the defensive backfield. McGee joins Cameron Walker from USA, Yuta Shimozuru from Japan and Carl Tembo from France.
Two players were honored as specialists. Canada kicker Louis-Phillipe Simoneau made 4-of-5 field goals with a long of 37 yards, 8-of-10 extra points and punted eight times for 309 yards and a 38.6-yard average.
Swedish running back Oscar Nevermann scored a tournament single-game record five touchdowns in his team’s seventh-place win over Panama and led the tournament in points scored with 30. He also led the all-purpose yardage with 445.
First team all-tournament selections:
Replays of all 12 tournament games can be found at USA Football’s YouTube channel: www.YouTube.com/usafootballeducation.