Saturday, July 6, 2019

Another HOT Day Working With Eight Year Olds and the Italian DIII Championship Nine Bowl

Friday, 5 July, 2019

What can I say?

It was a BEAUTIFUL day for American football!

So, Dario A'Delfio and I met at Skorpion Field for our latest Friday morning round of introducing our great game to yet another group of local youngsters with an eye towards making the game and the Skorpions Family grow in the far future.

I say "far future" because today's
Five-Star Recruits were only 8 years old

Dario trying to explain what we
are going to do to a bunch of
little wiggle worms

Natural born Inside Linebacker

Running an agility drill

Our group today was about evenly split between young girls and boys.

Little Marta running the drill

We have to go over ball security techniques SOON!

Dario explaining three basic pass
routes to our troops

Due to the oppressive heat, we took lots of water breaks and met in our shaded, cool locker room area.

These Italian kids are tough . . .

. . . they must be to drink water straight
from the tap without skipping a beat!

The recruiting process never ends for the Skorpions. If we can just get one more player to join us sometime down the road from each of these sessions, it would all be time well spent.

Truth be told, working with these bright-eyed youngsters on a regular basis is good for my soul.

In the evening, there would be even more American football as Italian Bowl National Championship weekend was about to kickoff.

Friday Night: DIII Nine Bowl
Saturday Afternoon: DII Silver Bowl
Saturday Night: DI Italian Bowl

All three National Championships were being played in Milano's Stadio Breda in the Sesto San Giovanni neighborhood.

The 20th DIII Nine Bowl

So called because they play the nine-man brand of American football at the Italian DIII level. Everything is the same as in 11-man American football except the field was about eight yards narrower.

A total of 43 teams compete at the DIII level and now we were down to just two undefeated combatants for the Championship Game.

9-0 on the season
North Conference Champions
Group H Champions

9-0 on the season
South Conference Champions
Group B Champions

The game kicked off at 9:00 p.m.
making the weather PERFETTO!

As Laurie opted to sit this one out, I was flying solo tonight in Milano.

Here come the Verona Redskins!

 Not sure why #64 Enrico Di Franco
came out with the Swedish flag

The Napoli Briganti came out
with an entire swag routine

The Briganti were in no
hurry to take the field

I think that they were entering the field to a traditional folk song of Napoli. Their fans would continue singing throughout the game.

Lining up for the National Anthem

The last few notes of the stirring
of the Italian National Anthem

 Napoli returning the opening Kickoff

Framing the Briganti formation

The Read Option Keep looked good

Napoli QB Andrea Ausiello about to
get smacked by Verona defender
Zeno Ballarini

The NFL needs more players with cool names like Zeno Ballarini!

The Briganti QB runs a little
too tall for his own safety
in my humble opinion

Fateful moment

At the end of the opening drive of the game, it was a Three and Out, Punt situation for Napoli.

The long snap sailed high over the Briganti Punter's head into the end zone. The Napoli Punter recovered the ball just before a Redskin could pounce on it.

This would prove to be a critical play in the game as the resulting Safety gave the Verona team a 2-0 lead in the opening minutes of the game.

Verona on Offense
in the Second Quarter

There was no entry fee for this DIII NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP GAME.

Wrap you head around that statement NFL and NCAA.

More of Verona on the attack

 Verona WR #23 Massimiliano Capon
had a good game for the Redskins

The NFL needs more players with cool names like Massimiliano Capon!

The Briganti did finally put together a good drive just before Halftime. They drove down the field with several well designed and properly executed Read Option plays eventually ending up with a First and Goal at the nine yard line.

The Briganti staff then made the puzzling decision to make a major personnel change bring in four new player for a special Goal Line offensive set.

One player was at the far end of the bench area and did not hear the call for the new group of players. He was late getting on the field resulting in a delay of game.

The next three plays with this fresh group of players went nowhere and the fourth down Napoli Field Goal attempt was wide right.

A missed opportunity that would come back to haunt the Briganti.

At the end of the First Half, it was still
Verona Redskins 2 - Napoli Briganti 0.

Briganti  RB #34 Roberto Rodriguez
Junquera being wrapped up by
Redskin DB #20 Luca Pressi

Cool AMERICAN football jersey
look by the Verona squad

That ball sure does draw a crowd

The Verona squad added a Field Goal in the Third Quarter to extend their tenuous lead to 5-0 over the Briganti.

Without the benefit of import
players at the DIII level,
every pass play is an adventure

If you want high drama on the
gridiron, just come to any EuroBall
game and watch a Punt

Take special note here on which player actually returns the Punt.

Hint: It is not the designated Punt Returner.

Another Briganti Pass

Verona Defense hanging on for
dear life and a chance to
order some rings

An early Fourth Quarter Field Goal by Verona now made it 8-0 with the Redskins in the lead.

 Redskins working towards
an eventual Field Goal

GREAT block by Verona's LG
#75 Michael Eshun

 Stepping out of bounds 
just before the posse arrives

 A brilliant night for American football
was about to end with some much
needed drama

The Briganti scored the game's only TD with less than two minutes left in the contest to make the score 8-6 in favor of the Redskins.

Go for TWO!

It looked like the Briganti opted for a Read Option play which was the basis of their Offense tonight. The only problem was that it looked like their QB was not in on the play call as he was swarmed under by seemingly the entire Verona team for a loss.

The resultant Napoli Onside Kick was easily recovered by one of the Verona players and all that was left was for Verona to run out the clock. 

The Final Score meant . . .

. . . the Verona Redskins were
the 10-0, 2019 DIII Champions!

The 20p19 DIII Playoff Bracket
was now complete

Due to the heat, Laurie and I agreed not to go to the DII title game on Saturday at 4:00 p.m. but would concentrate all of our energies on the DI National Championship game at 9:00 p.m.

The main reason for this decision was to root for Milano Seamen SS Nicolas Principi, a former Varese Skorpion and Europe Warrior.

Other Europe Warriors also on the Seamen include HC Mike Wood, DB Alberto Garlaschelli, WR Stefano Di Tunisi and DL Claudio Nicolo.

As an added bonus, University of Chihuahua standout WR and all-around good guy Gianluca Santagostino is back in his native country playing for the Seamen too. The Europe Warriors played against his University of Chihuahua Aquilas in Mexico last Summer.

The small world of EuroBall is a fun one always.

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