U.S. Under-19 National Team roster announced for North American Championship, led by Bishop Gorman head coach Kenny Sanchez

By Steve Alic | Posted 12/22/2016

Top-of-the-line car models are built with an abundance of power and features, delivering an optimum driving experience. Not your everyday sedan, such vehicles demand an experienced driver.

Enter the 2017 U.S. Under-19 National Team and Kenny Sanchez, head coach of the Bishop Gorman High School (Las Vegas) Gaels.

Rich in smarts and skills, the U.S. squad features top football student-athletes in their senior year of high school that will face Team Canada on Jan. 28 in the North American Championship at ESPN’s Wide World of Sports Complex in Orlando, Fla.

The U.S. roster includes quarterback Mac Jones of Bolles (Jacksonville, Fla.); defensive lineman Fred Hansard of The Hun School (Princeton, N.J.), who has accepted a scholarship offer from Penn State; and Memorial (Port Arthur, Texas) cornerback Kary Vincent Jr., who has verbally committed to LSU.

Sanchez holds the head coaching keys to the high-octane American depth chart.

“The kids playing on this team are selectively chosen,” said Sanchez. “They’re competitors and you have to be that way in football.”

In two seasons as the Gaels’ head coach, Sanchez has attained a 30-0 record, two Nevada state titles and USA Today’s Super 25 “national championship” in both 2015 and 2016. Bishop Gorman, which has won eight consecutive state titles, also finished No. 1 in the MaxPreps Xcellent 25 National Rankings. Prior to becoming the Gaels’ head coach in 2015, Sanchez was their defensive coordinator from 2009-14. He also is a dean of students at the school.

Sanchez and his Bishop Gorman staff, which will serve in the same capacity for the Under-19 National Team, will have four practice days to prepare for a formidable Canadian team. Canada defeated the U.S., 24-6, in the 2016 International Federation of American Football Under-19 World Championship in Harbin, China, this past July.

“You’ve really got to be a teacher that week,” Sanchez said. “We’ll have our team clearly understand what we want accomplished and let them play and have fun. We’ll need to grind, but it’ll also be fun and exciting.”

Leading the Americans holds personal significance for the U.S. head coach, whose brother, Joseph Sanchez, is a U.S. Army Staff Sergeant presently serving his third tour of duty in Iraq.

“We live in the greatest country on earth,” Sanchez added. “Any time that a coach or an athlete can represent the United States and wear ‘U.S.A.,’ it’s special.”

2017 U.S. Under-19 National Team roster: 

1 Elijah  Blades III DB 6’2" 180 SR John Muir Undecided
2 Trajan  Bandy DB 5’9" 179 SR Christopher Columbus Miami (Fla.)
3 Tre’  Bugg DB 6’0" 175 SR Williams Field Air Force
4 Evan  Fields DB 6’2" 190 SR Midwest City  Undecided
5 C.J.  Henderson Jr. DB 6’0" 180 SR Christopher Columbus Undecided
6 Nick  Pickett DB 6’2" 180 SR Bishop Mora Salesian Oregon
7 D’Andre  Swift RB 6’0" 210 SR St. Joseph’s Prep Georgia
8 Johnny  Johnson III WR 6’0" 190 SR Chandler Oregon
9 Josh  Clarke LB 6’2" 218 SR Riverdale Ole Miss
10 Jalen  Reagor WR 6’0 185 SR Waxahachie TCU
11 Eddie  Lewis WR 6’2 185 SR Mater Dei Prep Undecided
12 Cristian  Zendejas K 5’9" 160 SR Perry Arizona State
13 Kary  Vincent Jr. DB 6’0" 172 SR Memorial  LSU
14 Laviska  Shenault WR 6’2" 205 SR DeSoto Colorado
15 KD Nixon WR 5'8" 185 SR DeSoto Colorado
16 John  Kirven DL 6’6" 245 SR Woodberry Forest Virginia
17 Mac  Jones QB 6’3" 190 SR The Bolles School Alabama
18 Lindell  Stone QB 6’3" 205 SR Woodbury Forest Virginia
19 David  Heaton III P 6’0" 165 SR Atascocita Undecided
20 Dallas  Blacklock Jr. DB 6’0" 170 SR Sharpstown Army
21 Deommo  Lenoir DB 6’0" 190 SR Bishop Mora Salesian Oregon
23 Jonathan  Taylor RB 6’0" 210 SR Salem Wisconsin
25 Khalan  Laborn  RB 5’0" 210 SR Bishop Sullivan Catholic Florida State
30 Rahyme  Johnson LB 6’3" 210 SR Bishop Mora Salesian UCLA
34 Joshua  Brown LB 6’2" 235 SR Long Beach Polytechnic Arizona
35 Christopher  Allen LB 6’3" 234 SR Southern Lab Alabama
42 Riko  Jeffers LB 6’0" 230 SR Sachse Texas Tech
48 Malik  Herring DL 6’4" 275 SR Mary Persons Georgia
52 Deonte  Johnson DL 6’5" 240 SR Luther Burbank Miami (Fla.)
56 Pierce  Banbury OL 6’2" 290 SR Oakton Navy
62 Ben  Brown OL 6’5" 290 SR Saint Aloysius Ole Miss
68 Viktor  Beach OL 6’5" 305 SR Bishop Verot  Central Florida
70 Kendrick  Green DL 6’3" 280 SR Peoria Illinois
71 Dalyn Wade-Perry DL 6'4" 330 SR Pope John XXIII Regional H.S. Stanford
73 Justin  Shaffer OL 6’6" 355 SR Cedar Grove Georgia
74 Marquis  Hayes Jr. OL 6’6" 320 SR Pattonville Senior Oklahoma
75 Fred  Hansard DL 6’3" 307 SR The Hun School Penn State
77 Idris  Patterson OL 6’5" 280 SR The Avalon School Undecided
78 Jalen  McKenzie OL 6’6" 285 SR Clayton Valley Charter Southern Cal
79 Netori Johnson OL 6'3" 335 SR Cedar Grove (Ga.) H.S. Georgia
80 Randal Grimes WR 6'4" 210 SR Desert Pines H.S. Southern Cal
86 Matt  Dotson  TE 6’5" 230 SR Archbishop Moeller Michigan State
87 Alexander  Marshall WR 6’7" 245 SR Bridgton Academy Florida State
90 Axel  Nyembwe DL 6'0" 300 SR The Avalon School Duke
91 Chase  Young DL 6’5" 240 SR DeMatha Catholic Ohio State
93 Camaron Spence DL 6'3" 307 SR St. John's College H.S. Maryland

Play for your country and join the U.S. National Team family – the journey begins here.