June 27 – HARBIN, CHINA – Bethany College football sophomore defensive tackle, Daniel Gibson (Pittsburgh, Pa./Woodland Hills), has been selected to take part in the 2016 International Federation of American Football (IFAF) Under-19 World Championships. Gibson will play as a member of the USA Football U-19 team.
USA Football, a member of the U.S. Olympic Committee, manages U.S. national teams for international competitions. Approximately 70 countries across five continental federations possess a national federation dedicated to the sport.
“Being chosen to compete for your country is the greatest honor that an athlete can receive, and I know that Daniel is really humbled by the opportunity,” stated Bison defensive coordinator, Joe Battaglia.
Gibson is one of 44 players, aged 19 or under, representing 20 states, that will compete in the seven-nation tournament. The tournament is being held June 30-July 11 in Harbin, China. Gibson, a defensive tackle for the Bison football program, is the only NCAA Division III athlete on the roster, which is also comprised of two other college players (both from the National Junior College Athletic Association) and 41 high school players from across the country.
Following last week’s training camp, which took place in Union, N.J., on the campus of Kean University, the National team traveled to China, where they will compete in an eight-day tournament against teams from Canada, Mexico, Austria, Japan, Australia and China.
Gibson, a 2015 graduate of Woodland Hills High School, burst onto the scene in his first year with the Bison, playing in all 10 games at defensive tackle. Last season, as a freshman, Gibson ranked second on the team in forced fumbles (three), third on the roster in sacks (4.5) and fourth in tackles for loss (10.5). He finished the year with 49 tackles, including a season-high nine in a win over Geneva on October, 24.
“Daniel has been everything and more that the U.S. National Team represents,” commented Aaron Ingram, who serves as the head coach of the U-19 team. “He makes everyone around him play better, and I believe that he is going to have an excellent tournament.”
Gibson and the U.S. U-19 National Team will open their tournament schedule as the top overall seed, and will compete against fourth-seeded Austria on Thursday, June 30 at 4 p.m. The team will be attempting to capture their second-straight title, coming on the heels of a 40-17 victory over Canada in the gold medal game in 2014.
“We couldn’t be more proud to have Daniel represent Bethany College and USA Football on the world stage,” remarked Battaglia. “Coming from and elite high school program like Woodland Hills, Gibson made an immediate impact on the field as an all-conference performer in his freshman season.
“Not only is he a very talented and productive student-athlete, he is also a positive leader and a great teammate. We want to wish him the best of luck in China and look forward to watching USA Football bring home a gold medal.”