Sunday, March 4, 2012

Juniors Football Camp Weekend

The Tiger Juniors face a long weekend road trip as we boarded a double-decked recliner bus for a 5 1/2 hour journey to the southern most, Italian speaking tip of Switzerland and the village of Castel San Pietro.

This village is only about a mile from the Swiss-Italian border.

Our bus mates were the Junior squads of the Bienna Jets as we were to work two-a-days on Friday and Saturday with the Jets before taking on the Lugano Lakers in a threeway scrimmage on Sunday morning.

It promise to be an interesting five workouts with Tigers from our U-19 and U-16 teams.

U-19 Head Coach Stephan Pulver

Stephan giving the troops some final guidelines as we boarded the bus for our 6:00 a.m. Friday departure.

View from the Autogrill

At about 9:30 a.m., we stopped at this Autogrill for a snack, restroom and leg stretching break.

Arrival at Castel San Pietro

That is a an elementary school in the background.


Civil Defense Bunker

Players are seen here exiting our Bunker base camp. Located under the elementary school, it is designed to house the local populatiuon for several days in case of a natural diaster or imminent invasion by the Italian Army.

Three days for us was enough.

Practice Field in the distance

It was about a five minute walk from the Bunker.

Tigers vs. Jets

This was a common scene on Friday and Saturday as coaches, including me, donned shorts in the warmer climate.

Dinner Line

Best Helmet Decal Ever?

Several Jets' linemen sported these.

Their WRs and DBs, not so much.

Brauts for lunch Saturday

To the left, Tigers DB/WR Coach Arne Denecke assists Jets Coach and Master Chef Mario Tedeschi.

Giorgio and Joslyn Volpi

Giorgio is the Head Coach of both the Lugano Lakers and Swiss National Junior team. They were our guests for dinner Saturday night in the Bunker.

Giorgio has football coaching roots at both Santa Barbara H.S. and Santa Barbara City College and is good friends with veteran EuroBall coaches Paul Petrich and Chris Pagliaro.

Giorgio was a critical figure in my getting my first EuroBall coaching job in Catania, Sicily.

The three of us had a great visit.

Thanks again Giorgio for all that you did for me and are doing for the great game of American football in Europe!

Coach Arne applying decals to Tiger helmets

With the help of excited Tigers, of course, as he prepared a few youngsters' helmets for the Sunday scrimmage.

After our first two days of beautiful weather to practice American football and four spirited practices, we established that our Juniors are coachable hard workers who are both very quick and are very, very tough.

We had two exciting days of growth, but now it was Sunday and a new opponent.

Tigers' Sunday morning pilgrimmage

At the end of the road, Giorgio Volpi's Lugano Lakers Juniors awaited to scrimmage both the Jets and the Tigers.

"Hi, I'm a LB for the Tigers"

Warming up casually at first before a much more organized routine.

"Rock-n-Rolla" Tiger Style

Time for the Lugano Lakers scrimmage.

A Thun DT breaking a double team


Interception Tigers

Lugano TE #30 - Stud

LB Blitz = Forced Fumble

QB Pressure


Bombs Away

Lugano Defensive Holding?

Or hugging.

Or dancing.

Pass Blocking

Tiger FB on the loose

Big Play Potential

Tiger Junior Coaches
during a break in the action

From the left: Arne Denecke, Stephan Pulver, Toni Capozzolo and Donato Schwaller

I was so very impressed by their coaching and how much they care about our kids.

QB turning the corner

Double Team

Eyes Downfield

Trench Warfare


Elbow a bit high

EuroBall players are versatile!

The yellow vest means that he is under 16 years old, here he is playing Defensive Tackle, then he switched to . . .


Edge Blitzer

We overran the RB this time.

Nice Catch

Throw it again . . .

Catch it again

Edge Pass Rusher

QB Pressure up the middle

A nice interception to end the day!

If we gave out a Tiger "Hit-of-the-Scrimmage" award, this same CB would have earned it.


With Giorgio Volpi

Grazie a lei Giorgio!

Giorgio is doing an absolutely great job building the Lakers program the right way in my opinion. He and his coaches were both professional and very positive in working with their players.

We will see Giorgio again next Sunday as the Tiger and Laker Senior teams meet in Lugano for a 12:00 noon scrimmage.

Should be fun.

Except for the bus ride.

Jets and Tigers Team Camp Photo

At about 12:30 p.m. Sunday we loaded up the bus for the long trip home. We stopped for lunch where I saw this cow . . .

Not Real

Bienna Jets Coaches

From the left: Mario Tedeschi, Harry Stadler and Michel Spitznagel

GREAT GUYS! Good for kids because they are doing things the right way as well.

They and their players made this a great experience for everyone involved.

J - E - T - S . . . JETS, JETS, JETS!!!

What a GREAT weekend
to practice American football!!!

1 comment:

Jets Linebacker said...

i miss some pictures from the jets ;-)