AFW Announces ELITE 19U Roster that Will Tour and Compete vs. Italian National 19U Team – American Football Worldwide has announced their ELITE team consisting of high school and first year college players from across the United States who will travel to Italy between March 21 and March 29, 2020 to tour and ultimately compete with the Italian Federation of American Football National 19U Team. This rare and special international game will take place at famed Vigorelli Stadium in Milan, Italy on Saturday, March 28, 2020.
“Assembling this team that will have the opportunity and responsibility to represent the USA and American football in Italy is always a rewarding experience,” stated AFW President Jim Barnes. “It is inspiring getting to know some incredible young men and their supportive families who have broad and ambitious visions for their respective futures. This international education and athletic tour will be a tremendous growth experience that will expand the horizons for these aspiring student-athletes. This journey will be a springboard that propels our AFW ELITE players to more success in college, collegiate football and in life.”
American Football Worldwide’s ELITE team has representation from coast-to-coast of the United States. Twelve different states are represented on the 31-man roster with a large contingent from Montana joining in this year. Along with those from ‘Big Sky’ country, Illinois also has 8 players on the roster. The ‘Buckeye-State’ of Ohio has four representatives with one or two players coming in from nine other states.
Most team and family members will meet in AFW departure cities of New York and Chicago with some flying with family from from their own city. With departure from the US on Saturday, March 21st everyone meets in Rome Sunday morning, March 22nd. Starting on arrival and in the coming days players and family members will receive guided educational tours through many of the historical icons of Italy including the Roman Colosseum, Forum, Pantheon, Trevi Fountain along with a visit to Vatican City, St. Peter’s Basilica and the Vatican Museum. A couple days later the group will move north through Tuscany with stops in wonderfully preserved medieval Siena, Florence – the ‘Birthplace of the Renaissance’, as well as enjoying a day on the Ligurian Coast in picturesque Cinque Terra. The ambitious and fun tour concludes with a stay at the tip of famous Lake Como just north of Milan. An excursion to Lugano, Switzerland is likely.
Intermixed with the tremendous educational value of the trip the team will work to coordinate schemes and timing in an effort to put together a strong game plan in less than a week’s time for their Italian hosts. “Meeting one another and playing an international game six days later against another country’s national best will be a formidable challenge. However, we are definitely excited about the potential for this team. I believe their focus to excel will shine through and we will represent our great game and our respective communities with precise execution and class,” stated Coach Barnes.
The Italian national 19U team comes together a couple times annually to train and compete against other national teams as well as in occasional European and international tournaments. Over the years of visiting Italy, AFW competitors have seen the sure and steady improvement by players and programming in Italy. “I truly believe the incentive of playing our AFW ELITE teams annually the last several years, the competition and co-practices that have taken place have helped improve their level of play in Italy. From our point-of-view and experience, they certainly are closing the gap,” shared Coach Barnes.
Reflecting back on his own team Barnes commented, “the character and well-roundedness of these young men excite our football staff. You have to admire their willingness to take on the challenge of representing our great game on foreign soil against the proud national all-star team of Italy. What also makes this truly special is the unifying experience we will all have once these young men put on their helmets and shoulder pads preparing to go to work to represent the USA. We always find that when the guys put on their gear and practice or play football, even though we are in Italy, they instantly feel ‘at home’. Beyond the football, observing them grow throughout the week from the education that international travel uniquely offers is always very rewarding. Then to cap off the week I can guarantee emotions will peak when they run out wearing the Red, White and Blue fired up to compete on March 28th.”
US ELITE ROSTER vs. Italy 19U National Team – March 28, 2020
|24||Yahya||Basharat||LB||FB||Orange||Pepper Pike, OH|
|55||Jaden||Bienvenue||DL||OL||Billings West||Billings, MT|
|33||Michael||Eisman||S||RB||DuBois Senior||DuBois, PA|
|46||Caleb||Evans||DT||OG||IMG/Centre College||Adams, TN|
|2||Joshua||Evans||LB||TE||IMG/Centre College||Adams, TN|
|54||Peter||Fisher||DL||OL||Orange||Pepper Pike, OH|
|56||Michael||Goubine||DL||Buffalo Grove||Arlington Heights, IL|
|1||Deandre||Holliday||CB||WR||Willowbrook||Villa Park, IL|
|21||Omar||Jasso||LB||Carmel||Round Lake, IL|
|53||Bryce||Kamphues||DL||OL||Manchester||North Manchester, IN|
|21||Da’Quan||Keller||LB||TE||Glen Burnie||Glen Burnie, MD|
|52||Travis||Moore||LB||OG||Willowbrook||Villa Park, IL|
|15||Aidan||Muchnicki||FS||WR||Gilmour Academy||Mentor, OH|
|2||Marcus||Neal||S||WR||Annapolis Christian||Pasadena, MD|
|66||Hadden||Schnell||DL||OL||West Hall||Candler, NC|
|5||Nate||Sheets||S||RB||Alleman||Rock Island, IL|
|12||Dexter||Stigall||S||QB/WR||William Taft||Chicago, IL|