In late May, USA Football held tryouts for their 15 and under Developmental Team at Lassiter High School in Marietta, Ga. USA Football is the official youth football partner of the NFL. The Marietta tryouts were one of eight regional sites to hold tryouts, and drew more than 200 players. Of the large group of attendees, a trio of Columbia County players impressed the organizers enough to be chosen for the 15 and under Team USA squad.
USA Football is part of the International Federation of American Football championships, which involves 62 countries and spans six continents. There are currently eight countries still alive for the IFAF title. Those teams will meet in Austin, Texas, for a week-long tournament that will culminate with the IFAF title game July 7.
This event is for the 19-and-under age group and begins Saturday. While the tournament is going on, Team USA’s 17-and-under and 15-and-under squads will take part in Development Week, which consists of workouts, full pad practices, 7-on-7 drills and a full pad all-star game vs. Sweden on July 5.
This is an incredible opportunity for the young men selected. They will be working out at the University of Texas with dozens of terrific instructors, not to mention having the chance to try an impress the large group of college scouts who will be on hand.
Here is a look at the local players who were selected to Team USA’s 15 and under team:
Michael Kay (rising freshman at Greenbrier)
Kay is a speedy wide receiver who has grown up playing with the Columbia County Recreation Department as well as Columbia Area Youth Football League. At the Upstate Football Invitational Championships held in Greenville, S.C., in December, Kay helped lead the 14-and-under Saints to the championship. In four games, he had four touchdown catches and picked off a pair of passes on defense.
The defensive play should come as no surprise. His dad, Bill, played cornerback at Purdue University and was drafted by the Houston Oilers in 1981. He spent three seasons with Houston, picking off four passes, and also played briefly with the St. Louis Cardinals and San Diego Chargers.
Tristan Hawn (rising freshman at Augusta Christian)
Hawn is an offensive lineman who will be a great addition to Augusta Christian’s program. Like Kay, he played for the Saints 14-and-under championship team at the Upstate Football Invitational Championships, anchoring a line that cleared the way for the Saints to average 25 points per game in the tournament. He also caught three passes for two-point conversions during the event. Hawn was an honor roll student a year ago at Riverside Middle School.
Michael McAlvin (rising freshman at Greenbrier)
If the name looks familiar, that is because McAlvin’s older brother, Matt, was an All-Region and All-County offensive lineman at Greenbrier. He is now a 6-foot-5 inch, 300-pound lineman at Gardner-Webb. Michael, like his brother, is a lineman and will also suit up for Greenbrier in high school.
Kay, Hawn, and McAlvin were teammates last season at Riverside Middle School.