Bryant Named to Aztec Bowl Squad
Occidental College linebacker Mike Bryant has been named to the American Football Coaches Association’s Division III All-Star team and will represent the United States against Mexico in the 2005 Aztec Bowl. Kickoff is scheduled for 11 a.m. PST Dec. 17 at Estadio Chivo Cordova in Toluca, Mexico.
Bryant, a senior from Alamogordo, N.M., is the first three-time Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference Defensive Player of the Year since the award was first presented in 1981. Bryant collected 34½ tackles, intercepted three passes, blocked one punt, and recorded 3½ tackles for a loss with one sack this fall, helping lead Occidental to a perfect season and its second consecutive conference championship. He also served as place-kicker on kickoffs.
Bryant is one of 46 NCAA Division III seniors on this year’s squad. Former Central (Iowa) College Head Coach Ron Schipper will coach the team for the ninth consecutive year.
The Aztec Bowl is the traditional finale of Mexico’s college football season. The game has been played 34 times since 1947 with the last eight contests featuring the United States-Mexico match-up. The United States defeated Mexico 23-3 in 2004 in Cancun and has won seven of eight in the series.
Chitwood Sports Media of Jefferson, Texas will provide a live webcast of the game. In addition, broadcasters Charlie Chitwood and Ned Fratangelo will produce a 90-minute preview show on December 14, 15 and 16. The preview shows will originate from Team USA’s hotel and will begin each afternoon at 4:30 p.m. PST.
The preview shows and game webcast can be accessed via the AFCA website and the Aztec Bowl website. Postgame results will also be available on the AFCA website.
Two Aztec Bowl alumni, London Fletcher and Clint Kriewaldt, are currently playing in the National Football League. Fletcher, who played collegiately at John Carroll and was a member of the 1997 U.S. team, is a linebacker with the Buffalo Bills. Kriewaldt, a Detroit Lions’ fifth-round draft pick out of Wisconsin-Stevens Point in 1999, played in the 1998 Aztec Bowl and is currently a member of the Pittsburgh Steelers.
"This is a tremendous honor for Mike and a chance for him to compete against some of the best talent in NCAA Division III," said veteran head coach Dale Widolff. "Mike has represented Occidental very well over the past four years and I know he'll do the same at the Aztec Bowl."