Duo of standout seniors headed to Mexico

| Sports Editor
Senior offensive lineman Jared Daiber prepares for the snap during a 23-0 victory against Rhodes College. (Josh Goldman | Student Life)

Senior offensive lineman Jared Daiber prepares for the snap during a 23-0 victory against Rhodes College. (Josh Goldman | Student Life)

For seniors Tim Machan, a defensive back, and Jared Daiber, an offensive lineman, the football season is far from over. Despite a 28-8 loss in the last game of Washington University’s 2009 season, the two will be playing one more game.

Machan and Daiber have been selected to play in the 2009 Tazón de Estrellas, on Saturday, Dec. 19, on the Tec de Monterrey Campus Estado de México near Mexico City.

“It is almost like having two last games,” Daiber said. “It was nice to have my last game with [Washington University], the team that I’m closest to and the team that I really know the teammates the best, but it was also good to know that it wasn’t really my last game and that I get to play one more time.”

The two have known about their nominations since early November.

“It means a lot. I was nominated by [Coach Kindbom], so it means that he had the confidence in me and the belief in me that I was a good enough player to represent our team and our country for the Division III level,” Machan said.

 Senior Tim Machan returns a punt in a 23-0 victory vs. Rhodes College on Oct. 3. Machan ended the season with three interceptions and 43 solo tackles. Two Bears football players, Daiber and Machan, have been selected to play in the 2009 Tazón de Estrellas in Mexico this month. (Josh Goldman | Student Life)

Senior Tim Machan returns a punt in a 23-0 victory vs. Rhodes College on Oct. 3. Machan ended the season with three interceptions and 43 solo tackles. Two Bears football players, Daiber and Machan, have been selected to play in the 2009 Tazón de Estrellas in Mexico this month. (Josh Goldman | Student Life)

The game pits an NCAA Division III all-star team, Team Stars and Stripes, against Mexico’s best college players. Tec Monterrey is the premier private university system in Mexico. Its teams have captured eight of the past 10 Liga Major football national championships.

“They don’t have divisions for their college teams, so we’ll be playing pretty much the best [players] that they have,” Daiber said. “It’s a little intimidating, but I’m pretty excited.”

Team Stars and Stripes is composed of players representing a total of 35 universities from 20 states. The roster was announced on Dec. 2.

“I’ve always played with some really good players…but I’m pretty excited,” Daiber said. “It’ll be really interesting to play on a team where everybody really knows what they’re doing. If we get to know each other the week that we’re [in Mexico], it’ll be fun to see what we can do.”

The team will practice at the Tec Monterrey (CEM) facility in Atizapán de Zaragoza near Mexico City, from Dec. 14-18. During the week, they also will visit the Aztec Pyramids and the nation’s capital.

“I’ve never been to Mexico,” Machan said.

Machan was second in tackles (67) and interceptions (three) for the Bears this season. A first-team all-University Athletic Association (UAA) selection in 2007 and 2009 at defensive back, he has registered 183 career tackles and ranks seventh in school history with 12 interceptions.

“It’s a reward for a good career,” Machan said. “I’ve started for three years, played a lot of football here at Wash. U. and I think it’s a recognition of my efforts. Like I said, I am very honored and by no means have felt entitled to something like this.”

Daiber started all 10 games for the Bears this season, earning a second-team all-UAA selection. He is a three-time UAA All-Academic Team selection.

“Linemen don’t really have any stats, so it’s kind of hard to be honored,” Daiber said. “You don’t really get shout-outs, or you’re not really often player of the week…so it’s really nice to be recognized for my individual accomplishments.”

A crowd of around 10,000 is expected to attend the game.

“That’s a lot more people than I’ve ever played in front of,” Machan said. “It’s going to be a big crowd, a big atmosphere for a game, and I get to represent America and Wash. U.”