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S&S logo copy 2The spectacular landscape of Tuscany and a unique opportunity to play the sport they love on foreign soil awaits a group of American student-athletes due to arrive in Italy on Tuesday morning.

High school football standouts from Arizona, California, Indiana, Ohio and Pennsylvania will visit Florence, Siena and the historic capital city of Rome this week, before uniting as Team Stars & Stripes to take on the Lazio Marines Under-19 team in Global Bowl Italy this Sunday, March 29.

Head coach Bill Gallagher of Episcopal Academy in Philadelphia will lead the Americans, as the eighth annual Global Bowl returns to Italy having been contested previously in Japan (2008 and 2009), France / Belgium (2010), Germany (2011), Italy (2012 and 2013) and Spain (2014), with Team Stars & Stripes boasting a 5-2 record against local opposition. Serving as assistant coaches are long-time Villa Angela-St. Joseph (Cleveland, OH) head coach John Storey, former Notre Dame quarterback Evan Sharpley and Arizona-based coach Dean Greenberg.

“This is a highly anticipated day for these young ambassadors and our staff,” said Global Football President Patrick Steenberge. “Soon we will all meet in Rome and indulge ourselves in the Italian culture while preparing for Sundays game against the Marines. After two decades of producing these types of tours it remains a thrill for me to be a part of this event.”

A pair of quarterbacks from Philadelphia area schools will lead the Team Stars & Stripes offense. Ryan Whayland, who threw for 1,608 yards in 2014 for Episcopal Academy, and Zach Carroll of Father Judge are expected to see time under center for the American select team. The offensive line protecting them will be anchored by 2014 All-Inter-Ac First Team selection John Minicozzi of Episcopal Academy.

The roster of players selected for their academic and off-field achievements as graduating seniors, as well as for their leadership on the gridiron, will shake off any jet lag as they hit the practice field in Florence on Tuesday, before exploring the Italian countryside.

Team Stars & Stripes Itinerary

Tuesday, March 24
Football practice in Florence
Welcome Dinner

Wednesday, March 25
Morning Football Practice in Florence
Florence Sightseeing: A walking tour of Florence, a red brick splendor set in the rolling green hills of Tuscany. Visit Brunelleschi’s magnificent Duomo (Cathedral), see Giotto’s Bell Tower, and the Ponte Vecchio and Piazza Della Signoria, to view a copy of Michelangelo’s statue of David.

Thursday, March 26
Morning Football Practice in Florence
Siena Sightseeing: A guided tour of this enchanting city, visiting the Duomo and the Piccolomini Library and then walk along medieval streets to St. Dominique’s Church and the Piazza del Campo.

Friday, March 27
Morning Football Practice in Florence
Transfer from Florence to Assisi: Explore Assisi, a small town of narrow streets and medieval walls, and the birthplace of St. Francis, the founder of the Franciscan order. Visit the Basilica, built in the 13th century.
Transfer to Rome

Saturday, March 28
Football Walk Through
Rome Fountains & Piazzas Walking Tour of some of Rome’s most famous fountains & Piazzas.
Ancient Rome Sightseeing: A guided tour of ancient Roman landmarks, including the Coliseum and the Roman Forum.

Sunday, March 29
Global Bowl Italy
Team Stars & Stripes vs. Lazio Marines under-19 team in Rome

Monday, March 30
Holy Rome Sightseeing: Accompany a local guide to Vatican City to visit the Vatican Museum, the Sistine Chapel and St. Peter’s Basilica.
Farewell Awards Dinner

Tuesday, March 31
Return to the United States