WRIGHTSVILLE BEACH, N.C. (WECT) - According to a recent rule change by the North Carolina High School Athletic Association, high school football athletes are now eligible for international play under USA Football.
The rule change comes after USA Football has been designated as the NGB of football and a member of the United States Olympic Committee after talks of adding football to the Olympics has grown over recent years.
Aliam Appler, a freshman quarterback for New Hanover High School, was chosen as the state’s first player since the rule change to be added to the USA Football 16u team.
“There’s a bunch of great quarterbacks there from all over the country," said Appler. "I could be good locally but there’s a bunch of great quarterbacks out there and it shows me where I am and what I need to work on.”
Appler has played for USA Football previously, but not played a game that has pit him against a foreign opponent.
Previously, NCHSAA viewed playing against foreign teams as an “all-star contest,” but since USA Football is now “conducted or sponsored” by a National Governing Body, players now have free range.
Both coaches and players believe this rule change will give North Carolina players more opportunities to be seen and expect to see many more North Carolinias donning the red, white, and blue colors.