Monday, November 17, 2008

2009 Catania Elephants Sign Three New Import Players

The 2008 Elephants Catania
Italian Football League Semi-Finalists

Playing Football in Sicily for the Love of the Game

"What a BEAUTIFUL day to be playing American Football!"
"Che buona giornata per giocar football Americano!"

The Start of the 2009 Season

For the followers of this blog, you know what a GREAT time we all had in Catania last season both winning football games and making new friends.  A new season is just on the horizon with practices scheduled to start in February.

As is the custom with football everywhere, we will not be seeing some of our old comrades on the field this year and we will also be welcoming several new players into the Elephants family.

Our three imports from last year will not be returning this season. 

OL/DL par excellence, Brandon Bennett, has started his career as an outstanding line coach at his alma mater, Willamette University.  Willamette finished the regular season 10-0 and opens the NCAA Division III playoffs next Saturday at home against 9-0 Occidental College.

At last report, WR/DB Matt Epperson will be playing in Austria this coming season for the defending Euro Bowl champions.

QB/Offensive Coordinator Jason Johnson is still not sure of where the road will take him in the near future.

Our owner/General Manager, Davide Giuliano, really worked hard at trying to find quality players that could continue Catania's winning ways.  We viewed several DVDs of many GREAT players who wanted to fill our three import slots.

Finally after months of recruiting, evaluating and discussions, three players were offered contracts and all three are now officially Elephants!

The three new Elephants are Larry Atkinson, Taber LeMarr and Steve Panella.  They all played together in 2008 for the Porvoo Butchers of Finland's Division I, i.e., highest quality league.  Besides the fact that they are all three VERY GOOD players, they were also highly recommended as people of character.  The fact that they played together and wanted to stay together spoke volumes about their chemistry as teammates.

Larry Atkinson will be used primarily as a DB but will help at WR or RB as needed.  Besides playing for Porvoo last season, Larry also played at Morrisville State J.C. and the University of Nebraska at Omaha.  Click on the website below to see some of his highlights.

Taber LeMarr's main role will be as a WR but he are also looking for him to help us in the defensive secondary.  In Finland last season, he caught 82 passes good for 1,110 yards and scored 22 TDs.  He also returned punts and kickoffs for the 2008 11-3 Finland Football League's Division I champions.  Below are links to his highlights from Porvoo, the University of San Diego and the University of Wyoming.

Steve Panella will be our QB.  After playing college football in Canada at St. Mary's College, he spent five years playing in the Arena Football II League for the Amarillo Dusters and the Bossier City Battle Wings.  Steve has also played two seasons in Europe.  In 2007 he quarterbacked the London Silverbacks and last season he was with Porvoo.  In Finland he completed 64% (241/375) of his passes, gaining 3,158 yards and scoring 40 TDs while only throwing 8 interceptions!  Click on the following link to see his Porvoo highlights.

I am REALLY looking forward to another interesting season of Italian Football League action!!!


DPLassen said...

The Porvoo Butchers? Hard to top that for a team name.

George said...

We need more high schools in America to adopt this GREAT nickname!!!