High School Football Teams to Play in Ireland

Top High School Football Teams From The United States & Mexico To Play In Ireland In 2016

Schools From Florida, Georgia, New Jersey And Mexico City Will Play In Dublin As A Curtain Raiser To Aer Lingus College Football Classic between Georgia Tech and Boston College

Top high school football teams from the United States and Mexico are to play regular season games in Ireland, meeting under Dublin Friday Night Lights on Friday, September 2, 2016.

The action packed tournament is an official event of the Aer Lingus College Football Classic, which will be played at the Aviva Stadium in Dublin the following day, September 3, between Boston College and Georgia Tech.

Six high school teams, from Florida, Georgia, New Jersey and Mexico City, have so far committed to play a 2016 regular season game on Irish soil. Additional teams will be confirmed in the coming weeks, when details of each match-up and host venues will also be announced.

High school teams heading to Ireland in 2016:

  • Belen Jesuit, Miami, Florida
  • St Peters Prep, Jersey City, New Jersey
  • Marist High School, Atlanta, Georgia
  • Blessed Trinity High School, Atlanta, Georgia
  • Buford High School, Buford, Georgia
  • Prepa Tec, Mexico City, Mexico


“We are excited to have some of America’s top high school teams go over to Ireland for one of the most memorable experiences of their lives,” said John Anthony, CEO of Anthony Travel and a Director of Irish American Events Ltd. “This is a game they will be telling their grandchildren about someday.  We look forward to thousands of American football fans traveling across the Atlantic to join local fans and share this amazing educational, cultural and sports experience.”

The traveling teams will participate in a traditional American Pep Rally and Parade in Ireland’s capital, while also undertaking educational tours during their stay to prepare for the Dublin Friday Night Lights games. In expanding established Irish-American relations, as many as 3,000 travelers associated with the high school matches are expected to visit Dublin.

The event follows the successful tournaments played in association with American college football games in 2012 and 2014 when more than 12,000 spectators cheered on 14 visiting high school teams and visitors from the United States generated an estimated €4.5 million economic impact.

Quotes from participating schools:

Rev. John Harhager, S.M., president of Marist School said: “We are so pleased that Marist School’s varsity football team and cheerleaders as well as our marching band will be able to participate in this event in Ireland next year. It is a wonderful opportunity for our students to have a once-in-a-lifetime experience abroad. This opportunity is especially meaningful for our school, as we have connections to both Boston College and Georgia Tech. We have alumni playing on both teams, a former Marist band director is marching band director at Georgia Tech, and a Marist alumnus is the Jesuit chaplain of Boston College’s football team. Additionally, we hope during our time in Ireland that we may visit with students from three Marist schools in and near Dublin.”

Blessed Trinity head coach Tim McFarlin said: “The trip to Ireland gives the boys a chance to play the game they love in front of a whole new audience. The opportunity to be immersed in a different culture makes it all that much more special. Our team, coaches and the Blessed Trinity community are excited and grateful for the experience.”

Buford head coach Jess Simpson said: “Buford High School, our community, and our football program are excited to be a part of the 2016 Ireland event.  This is an incredible opportunity for our players; a once-in-a-lifetime chance to play the sport they love on an international stage.  We pride ourselves on a tradition of excellence in our program and look forward to this as another key chapter in the storied history of Buford football.”

Belen Jesuit Head Coach Rich Stuart said: “The entire Belen Jesuit Community is really looking forward to our trip to Dublin. High school football is an extension of the classroom and there is no better way for our student athletes to learn and experience another culture. Playing, sightseeing, doing a community service project and mixing with the wonderful people of Ireland will create memories for our students that will last a lifetime.”

St Peter’s Prep Director of Athletics and Head Football Coach Rich Hansen said: “Our trip to play in Ireland offers our student athletes, coaching staff, school personnel, alumni and families a unique opportunity to share in a special event. We are grateful to be able to participate and to provide our school community with a tremendous educational experience beyond the norm. Playing this game abroad provides our players with a life experience beyond the realm of sport, and a platform to experience community service, develop team chemistry and perform in a once in a lifetime venue. It is a great tribute to our program and school community.”

Prepa Tec Athletic Director Alejandro Olivas said: “At Tec de Monterrey we base our teaching on five core values, and the purpose of this trip is that our students reach a global vision and achieve the integral formation. It is very important to continue to expand our borders to seek new challenges.”

Further information is available at High schools interested in playing in Ireland in 2016 should contact Patrick Steenberge: / 817-219-7274

Media Contacts:
USA – Michael Preston
Tel: 001 781-363-0305 |

Ireland – Kevin Moore
Tel: +353 1 6188499 |

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