Monday, June 3, 2019

Italian U17 National Championship Flag Football Sunday, The Final Four

Sunday, 2 June, 2019

Two more wins . . .

That is all that separated our Varese Skorpions U17 Flag Football team from achieving their goal of being the 2019 Italian National Champions.

As one would expect Under the Tuscan Sun . . .

. . . it was a BEAUTIFUL day for
American football!

How would our U17 team respond
to the challenge after last night's
devastating 38-37 OT loss to the Warriors

We would find out quickly as we were slated to play in the 9:15 a.m. Semi-Final game against the overall #1 seed coming into the tournament and yesterday's Group A undefeated Milano Seamen (3-0, 9-0).

Our Skorpions (2-1, 8-1) had been the Tournament's #2 seed before play started on Saturday but entered today's Semi-Final as Group B's #2 team.

The winner of our game would play the winner of the other Semi-Final game between Group B's #1 team, the Bologna Warriors (3-0, 8-1) and Group A's 32 team, the Ferrara Aquile (2-1, 6-3) in the afternoon.

We proved to be focused and ready for battle against the highly regarded Seamen.

Flavio just keeps going and Going
and GOING! 

 Intense looking Seaman

 Flavio on the dump-off route . . .

. . . Niño helping the refs see that
Flavio picked up the First Down!

Chico just kept picking away at the
Seamen with good underneath routes

Chico near the Goal Line

Volo on the Goal Line

Filippo for SIX!

D.J. applying pressure to
the Seamen's QB

Tosco is our normal
designated harasser of QBs

 He was RELENTLESS all
Tournament long!

Here Tosco forces an
off balance throw

 Volo about to catch a BOMB!

Filippo on a PAT grab

 Tosco tackling a RB

Filippo Zanon breaking to
the receiver

Pursuing Skorpions

 Flavio is open again!

Our Skorpions played easily their best, most focused game of the Tournament thus far.

The Skorpions (3-1, 9-1) were not to be denied in beating the #1 seeded Seamen (3-1, 9-1) 26-14!

In the other Semi-Final contest, the Bologna Warriors (4-0, 9-1) defeated the Ferrara Aquile (2-2, 6-4) by a score of 46-40.

The 2:45 p.m. U17 Championship Game would be a rematch of yesterday's final Group B game, the Warriors 38-37 OT win over the Skorpions.

A chance for both redemption and GOLD!

One more win . . .

 Big mushrooms grow in Tuscany

In the U17 Third Place game played before the title contest, the Ferrara Aquile (3-2, 7-4) upset the distraught Milano Seamen (3-2, 9-2) by a 21-18 score in a gutsy performance.

The long wait time between games was over, it was time to play a Championship game that would long be remembered in Italian U17 Flag football lore.

The Bologna Warriors (4-0, 9-1) vs. the Varese Skorpions (3-1, 9-1) for all the marbles!

 Captains Out!
Flavio and Dario representing
the Skorpions

Niño to Chico again pestering
the Warriors

Filippo our always reliable WR

 Dario, Tosco and D.J. closing
in on a Warrior

Tosco pressuring the QB with
Volo in coverage

The Warriors good QB also plays
defense but was flagged for excessive
roughness on this play against Filippo


Flavio scoring yet another TD!

Great sideline catch by D.J.
that apparently saved the Refs life
given her reaction

 Another TD catch by Volo who was
having an incredible Tournament
on both sides of the ball

The absolute BEST play in American
football, tackle or flag,

The Skorpions DID IT!

The Final Score was:
Varese Skorpions (4-1, 10-1) 26
Bologna Warriors (4-1, 9-2) 25

Talk about two evenly matched teams over the last two days,


Head Coach Marco Santagostino
getting the traditional
post-championship bath!

What price GLORY, Marco?

Our Skorpions were deservedly

There was one last issue to be dealt with before the Awards Ceremony.

Volo had told the team that if a National Championship was won, the Skorpions could cut off his long, curly black locks.

Well, we did . . .

. . . and they

It was a group effort

 I kind of like Volo's
new look

Enzo Petrillo
was a proud man today

 The Petrillo Family
Nency, Emma, Enzo, Filippo and Sofia

Everyone was decidedly upbeat
for some unknown reason

 Volo and the Warriors QB were
named MVPs of the U17 Tournament

They were both good choices in my opinion although several Skorpions played well enough to win one of these awards.

Volo for Defense,
the Warriors QB for Offense
Actually, I think Volo's
new hairdo looks quite dashing!

Your 2019 U17 Italian National
Flag Team Champions!

Our two U17 Coaches
Marco Santagostino and Omar Passera
holding the Prize!


 One last photo with 2018 Europe Warriors
Francesco Borromeo and Martino Piazzi
after the Awards Ceremony

There were two other National Championship Tournaments going on at the same time on four other fields at this impressive complex in Grosetto. 

The Parma Panthers
were the U15 Champions

The Milano Rhinos
were the U13 Champions

 Besides getting to participate
in two great games today, I also
got in another solid day of exercise

Having this Championship Medal
secured safely in my backpack
made the six and one-half hour bus ride
back to Varese much more pleasant

We arrived back home in the Villa Skorpion II at about 1:15 a.m. Monday morning.

We were tired to be sure but Grosetto, the games and the people we shared it all with proved once again that . . .

It's GREAT to be a SKORPION!

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