By Thomas Garcia
QCS Senior Writer
A chance to visit Australia would normally be all the incentive anyone would need, but for Logan senior Trey Daniels, attending the 26th annual Down Under Sports Tournament this summer in Australia is all about playing football one more time.
Until the New Mexico state semi-finals last fall, Daniels was having an impressive senior year on the Logan Longhorns 8-man football team. He had 88 sacks as a defensive end and was ranked third in the state in 8-man football and 4th nationally, according to MaxPreps.com a national high school sports website.
Daniels was a factor as the Longhorns beat many opponents in games that ended early due to the state’s “mercy rule” that ends games when one team scores a 50-point lead. The Longhorns won the district championship and an had an 11-0 record going into the 8-Man state semi-finals game against Gateway Christian Warriors.
Late in the second quarter of that game, everything would change for Daniels as he defended against a one-yard touchdown rush by Warriors fullback Domonic LaVolpa. He didn’t rise from the play and had to be taken off the field by ambulance.
The injury was torn ACL, a knee injury that ended his football season and disabled him for basketball, said Lori Daniel, Trey’s mother.
Lori Daniels said doctors just released Daniels on Monday to compete in the last of the track season.
The Down Under Tournament, she said, is a chance for her son to recapture some of the playing time he missed while injured.
“I want to redeem myself,” Daniels said. “At this tournament I’ll get a chance to play in a different climate against some of the best high school football players.”
“Going to Australia would be a once and lifetime opportunity, Daniels said, “It’d be amazing to take in their culture and see their country. Though what really excites me is the chance to play against top tier athletes.”
Athletes from the U.S., Australia and New Zealand come together each year to participate in the Down Under Sports Tournaments.
Daniels’ high school football background as a member of the Longhorns 8-man team that includes three district championships, one state-runner up and several selections to All-District and All-State teams is what made him a candidate for the tournament.
The annual Down Under Sports Tournaments provide a forum for athletes from other countries to compete head to head in the sport they love, according to its website.
The tournaments include competitions in football, cheerleading, basketball, volleyball, and free style wrestling.
During the 2014 tournaments three U.S. teams finished with gold medals and 2014 Down Under Bowl Championships, while two more U.S. Teams and one Australian Future Stars team finished with silver medals.
Lori Daniels said they are getting a late start in raising the sponsorship money needed for her son to attend the tournament. She said she and her son would appreciate any support the community could give to help make this possible.
“I feel Trey had his senior year of sports taken away from him,” Lori said. “This is a way for him to get some of that back.”
For information about sponsoring Daniels you can call Lori Daniels at 575-447-0369