France, Finland, Ireland, Italy, Sweden, Greece and Panama… fantastic destinations that were all visited by college and high school American football players, coaches and families traveling with Global Football between May and July of 2013.
Global Football is the world’s leading exporter of American football around the world, having organized more than 100 cultural and sporting visits to 20 countries and six continents since 1996 under the guidance of President Patrick Steenberge. The travel experience combines a perfect blend of sightseeing, discovering new cultures, making friends and memories that last a lifetime, and of course playing American football against overseas opposition. The visits also give the home teams an opportunity to test themselves against top U.S. NCAA Division III College and U.S. high school opposition to help develop the sport globally.
In 2013, between April and July, five U.S. colleges traveled with Global Football along with an all-star team of American high school seniors for the annual Team Stars & Stripes venture overseas. The players and coaches of Illinois Wesleyan, Wabash College, Ohio Northern University, Elmhurst College and Augustana College all enjoyed the trip of a lifetime.
“This was a rewarding season for me personally, as I got to travel with all but one team, Wabash, as their trip took place the same week as Ohio Northern in Ireland,” said Patrick Steenberge. “It is so fun to share these experiences with curious student athletes, dedicated coaches, and supportive parents.
“They are all folks who are eager to expand their horizons and learn through travel more about the world, and themselves. Thanks to all of them for having confidence in Global Football to handle their football travel tours.”
2013 Global Football Overseas Tours & Game Scores
April Team Stars & Stripes high school all-star team visit to Italy to Rome, Florence & Torino
Team Stars & Stripes 67- Italy Under 19 National Team 0
May Ohio Northern University visit to Italy
Ohio Northern University 43- Dublin Colleges Irish All-Star Team 0
May Wabash College visit to Panama
Wabash College 56- Panama National Team 0
June Illinois Wesleyan visit to Finland and Sweden
Illinois Wesleyan 33- Finland National Team 0
June Elmhurst College visit to Greece and Italy
Elmhurst College 74- Legio Roma XIII 0
July Augustana College visit to France
Augustana College 20- France National Team 13
Two schools visited Europe to face opposition preparing to participate in future continental championships and eager to take on American opposition to measure their development.
Illinois Wesleyan faced the Finland national team in a monumental game in Helsinki June 2 as they traveled to Scandinavia to face an emerging Finnish team under the leadership of head coach Toumas Heikkinen. IWU adopted the spring slogan “Suunnitelma alkaa tästä”, which translates in Finnish to ‘The Plan Starts Here.’ After playing the game and spending four days in Helsinki, the team took an overnight ferry to spend four days in Stockholm, Sweden, before returning home.
On game day, the Titans triumphed 33-0 as they amassed 392 yards of total offense (231 rushing and 161 passing) while limiting the Finnish squad to 38 yards total (75 passing and -37 on the ground) and racked up 21 first downs to four for the opposition in the game of four 12-minute quarters.
“I would like to personally thank Global Football for making this a great trip which became a reality for 75 members of our university’s team,” said Illinois Wesleyan head coach Norm Eash. “I can personally tell you that this was a historical, cultural and athletically enhanced adventure. The trip provided a once in a lifetime experience for all involved.”
Augustana College came up against a France team aiming to win the 2014 European Championship, a competition in which they finished as runners up in 2010.
The Vikings defeated the determined French national team comprised of the best adult players from across the country who play in the country’s strong and developing amateur league 20-13 in front of 7,000 eager American football fans at the Stadium Lille Métropole in Villeneuve d’Ascq. Freshman Sam Frasco rushed for three touchdowns.
“Our experiences have been tremendously informative and our entire traveling party has enjoyed itself,” said Augustana coach Rob Cushman. “This is a great part of the entire learning process for our student-athletes and we look forward to playing in France this summer. The game was a super experience, the stadium, the crowd, and the organization.”
While in France the traveling group visited the Normandy beaches, and the Palace of Versailles among many Paris landmarks such as the Eiffel Tower, Louvre Museum, Notre Dame Cathedral and the River Seine.
Also heading to Europe were Ohio Northern University, who traveled to Dublin, and Elmhurst College who took in Greece and Italy before both facing local club teams.
While in Ireland, Ohio Northern enjoyed a Dublin city tour, visited the historic 82,000-seat Croke Park Stadium, the GAA museum and the Guinness Storehouse. They also saw Trim Castle in nearby County Meath, with a special lunch at the Knightsbrook Hotel and the Blarney Castle, the Cliffs of Moher and the Aran Islands. On game day, the Polar Bears defeated an all-star team of Irish players at University College Dublin 43-0.
“Our team has traveled with Global Football to Germany, Ireland and Italy,” explained ONU head coach Dean Paul. “We were very pleased with the food, lodging, tours and overall organization that Patrick and his staff provide. Our players often reflect on the trip as a highlight of their college experience. We look forward to our next trip.”
The Elmhurst College Bluejays eased to a 74-0 exhibition game win over Italian club team Legio Roma XIII to win the Roma Bowl and conclude a successful and enjoyable overseas visit with Global Football to Italy and Greece.
The Bluejays took in the sights of Athens before boarding a cruise to the Ancient Roman city of Pompeii, to join the Legio team for a joint practice. Under new head coach Joe Adam the Bluejays entertained the crowd of 1,190 fans at the Stadio Comunale di Fonte Nuova right from the opening kickoff, which was returned for a touchdown.
“As the new Head Coach at Elmhurst, I found it very comforting to follow up what Tim Lester started and worked hand-in-hand with Global Football and their entire team for our Greece and Italy tour,” said Coach Adam. “They handled everything in advance and during the trip, making it simple for me and my staff to concentrate on the football and enjoying the adventure.”
Despite the lopsided score in the Roma Bowl, host club team Legio Roma XIII, under joint head coaches Fabio Annoscia and Marco Bozzarini, is a perfect example of a European club team that is eager to develop its players and talent level by welcoming American opposition to line up against on the gridiron.
Wabash College traveled to Panama to face the Panamanian national team and as part of their visit, took in the ruins of the first city of Panama and a trip to Colonial Panama. The team also embarked on a canoe ride through the Chagres River in Chagres National Park and a visit to the Panama Canal. After the game they relaxed in one of the country’s world-famous all-inclusive resorts on the sandy beach fronting the Pacific Ocean.
On game day, the Little Giants forced their opponents into a flood of turnovers and special teams errors to triumph 56-6 in front of 1,200 spectators.
The season of overseas travel had begun back in April when successful Arizona high school coach Jeff Scurran again took charge of a Team Stars and Stripes high school seniors all-star team and traveled to Italy to face the nation’s Under-19 Junior National Team in the Global Bowl Torino.
Team Stars & Stripes ran out comfortable 67-0 winners to cap a visit that included memorable sightseeing experiences in Florence, Rome, the Alps and Torino.
For more information regarding Global Football tours and events and to reserve an overseas visit in 2014 and beyond, contact Patrick Steenberge: Tel: 817-219-7274 / Email: Patrick@GlobalFootball.com.