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      Lawmen Player James Martin Joins Team USA

July 2005
Lawmen wide receiver James Martin recently joined Team USA and played in a game against the Graz Giants in Austria, Europe. Team USA is an American team made up of SemiPro and Minor League players from all over the country. James first got involved when information that team USA was looking for players was sent out from the GSAFL league commissioner and Lawmen team owner Boots James forwarded the information to all or our players.
There was no official tryout for James as Team USA head coach Rudy Wyland needed players and took it on word from the Lawmen that James could perform. James was asked to travel Austria and Join the team for a one week trial. It's tough to find players as Team USA pays for room and board, but the players have to pay for their own flight. James was able to scrape up the money to make this once in a lifetime trip, but is seeking sponsorship to try to make the next trip which will be a tournament in England this August.
The team arrived in Vienna Austria and traveled down to the Giants stadium in Graz where they stayed for the remainder of the time. The team practiced twice a day for a week and played the game against the Giants on Saturday. The stadium was crowded and fans lined out the gate and partly around the stadium. The game was also covered FOX TV in Austria. When the game started the crowd was unbelievably loud and James said that the players could barely hear each other in the huddle. The very large crowd and TV coverage are something that most American SemiPro players are NOT used to.
After performing well all week at practice, James started at Wide Receiver for Team USA against the Giants and caught 5 passes for 82 yards and had a couple of key blocks, both of which helped produce TDs on the ground. Because of his performance, James was asked to come back for the next Team USA event. Unfortunately, the Giants scored in the last few seconds of the game to beat team USA by 4 points, but as the Team USA players walked back to the tunnel, a massive crowd began changing USA over and over. "The experience is one that could never be replaced" said James. "The Europeans love American football and the players."
The next Team USA event is this month, August, at the Tri-Nations Tournament to be played between Team Canada from Northern Ontario, the Great Britain Bulldogs and Team USA in England. Gold medals will be awarded to each member of the winning team. Good luck Team USA and James, get that gold medal and bring it back to the Lawmen!
For more information on Team USA, visit the GSAFL Website or the Team USA Website.

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