ELITE ’16 Players Use AFW Italy Football Experience to Prepare for College
Numerous players from the USA-AFW ELITE ’16 team that traveled to Italy to tour, bond together and defeat the national U19 team of Italy on March 26th will be moving on to start their collegiate football careers within the coming month. Members of this US high school senior select team brought together by American Football Worldwide explored Italy March 19th through April 27th, 2016 where they grew from a week of sight-seeing intermixed with football practices in Rome, Florence and Lake Como. These ambitious student-athletes utilized the opportunity to be challenged in a unique way and developed improved skills and knowledge that will help them move on to be better players – and successful students – at the collegiate level. The week culminated with a game of American football versus the best U19 American football players Italy had to offer. AFW ELITE defeated Italy in convincing fashion at Azzano San Paola Stadium in Bergamo, Italy.
American Football Worldwide was fortunate to have such a talented and classy group of young men who represented the USA with tremendous honor during the entire duration of the tour. Though the players had to learn all team systems in a week’s time, they adapted quickly and with great efficiency. The Italian national team consisted of players selected by FIDAF (Italian Federation of American Football), the national governing body, from the 100+ American football clubs across the country of Italy. All three phases – offense, defense and special teams – scored for the US representative team.
Signifying the strength of the team American Football Worldwide assembled, at least 19 players will continue to grow through the opportunities and challenges that college football has to offer. The list of USA-AFW ELITE players ‘graduating’ to college football includes:
- Chance Allen from Newport, PA to Bloomsburg University in Pennsylvania
- Gavin Compton from Billings, MT to Rocky Mountain College in Montana
- Ryan Coolidge from Chicago, IL to Case Western Reserve University in Ohio
- Carl Enright from West Allis, WI to the University of Dubuque in Iowa
- DJ Fabiani from Denver, PA to Millersville University in Pennsylvania
- Darton Garver from Fresno, CA to Wesleyan University in Connecticut
- Ahmad Gray from Centerville, MD to Coastal Carolina University in South Carolina
- Kendrick Jackson Jr from Humble, TX to Monterey Peninsula JC in California
- Daton James from Sulpher, OK to Saddleback College in Mission Viejo, California
- Sam Knapp from Carmel, IN to the Virginia Military Institute
- Scott Maki from Yakima, WA to Simon Fraser University in Vancouver, Canada
- Nathan Melchi from Carmel, IN to Wabash College, Indiana
- Mark Perkins from Carmel, IN will walk-on at Purdue University in Indiana
- Wyatt Pettijohn to Pacific University in Oregon
- BoDee Steber from Newton, IL is committed to Aurora University in Illinois
- Michael Villano from Ellicott City, MD is committed to Christopher Newport University in Virginia
- Kyle White from Knob Noster, MO will walk on at Auburn University
- Jakob Whitworth from Knickerbocker, TX will compete at quarterback at Hardin Simmons University in Texas
- Cody Wilkinson from Casper, WY will kick for Holy Cross in Massachusetts
Best wishes for continued success to our outstanding AFW ELITE 2016 team members.
AFW ELITE OPPORTUNITIES FOR 2017 – For the spring of 2017, at FIDAF’s invitation American Football Worldwide is returning to Italy organizing a HS Select tour to explore Italy and represent the USA and American football in international competition. The tour will take place April 15-23, 2017 with the team and tour group arriving in Rome on Easter. If you or a high school student-athlete you know is interested in being a part of the AFW ELITE ’17 team and tour, please contact Jim Barnes at firstname.lastname@example.org.