A former Goose Creek High School football standout has a chance at a world championship.
Rashard Alston is one of 45 players that will represent the United States national team in the International Federation of American Football Under-19 World Championships in Kuwait City, Kuwait next month. The IFAF is composed of 64 nations spanning six continents.
“It's a blessing,” said Alston, a 2013 graduate of GCHS and rising sophomore at Newberry College. “A lot of people grow up dreaming about representing the country. Most people don't even get a chance to leave the state and play a sport, let alone leave the country. It's going to be an incredible experience for me.”
The championships will be held July 7-16. The American team will take on Mexico (July 8), Germany (July 11) and Japan (July 13) in pool play.
The medal rounds will be held July 15-16.
Alston leaves for Winchester, Va. this week for a training camp at Shenandoah University. The squad is set to fly to Kuwait on July 1.
Alston said Canada, who won the second bi-annual event in Austin, Texas in 2012, has been mentioned as the favorite.
“That puts a chip on my shoulder,” said Alston, who has a state championship ring from his time at Goose Creek.
At GCHS, Alston was a three-sport athlete. He also played basketball and ran track for the Gators.
As a senior running back, he rushed for 786 yards and nine touchdowns to help power GCHS to a 13-0 record.
As a junior, he had 256 yards and one touchdown during the Gators' state championship season.
On the basketball court, he was part of the Gators' Lower State championship team in 2013.
Last fall, he played in four games for the Wolves, who went 9-3 and made the NCAA Div. II playoffs. Alston expects to compete for a starting spot at halfback this upcoming season.
“It looks pretty good for me,” Alston said. “… Because of the bond we built last season, there's a lot in store for us this season.”
Alston is the lone player from South Carolina on the national squad, which is comprised of athletes from 20 states varying from current high school juniors to FBS programs such as North Carolina State, Ball State and Penn State.
The team will be coached by Aaron Brady of Malvern Prep (Pa.). Brady is a former standout linebacker at Rutgers and honorable mention all-American in 1998.
For more information on the USA U-19 national team, visit www.usafootball.com.
Click to see the USA Football U-19 national team http://bit.ly/1jJmcG2