Gridiron ju­niors a first for State

Western Suburbs Weekly - - Drive Way -

PERTH is gear­ing up to host a na­tional tour­na­ment of Amer­i­can foot­ball for the first time.

The Gridiron Australia Ju­nior Na­tional Cham­pi­onships will be played at West Perth’s Dor­rien Gar­dens over a week in April, with games be­tween hosts WA Raiders and the vis­it­ing Queens­land and New South Wales sides.

Play­ers from the Clare­mont Jets are part of the lo­cal con­tin­gent.

Gridiron may not be a main­stream sport in Australia but the ju­nior na­tion­als are im­por­tant for high school aged play­ers hop­ing to se­cure an Amer­i­can col­lege schol­ar­ship.

Su­per­bowl win­ning Queens­lan­der Jesse “The Mon­sta” Wil­liams was first no­ticed at ju­nior na­tion­als, where his com­bi­na­tion of size, speed and power im­pressed Amer­i­can tal­ent scouts.

He won two na­tional col­lege cham­pi­onships with the Alabama Crim­son Tide be­fore be­ing drafted by the Seat­tle Sea­hawks in the NFL, where he was part of their 2014 Su­per­bowl tri­umph.

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