Student-athletes selected from high schools in Arizona, California, Indiana, Ohio and Pennsylvania will line up for Team Stars & Stripes against the Lazio Marines Under-19 team in Global Bowl Italy next month.
The eighth annual Global Bowl will return 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.
Head coach Bill Gallagher of Episcopal Academy in Philadelphia led the Americans to a 47-6 victory over a Cataluña representative team last spring in Global Bowl Spain. Marines General Manager Fabrizio Cupellini is a FIDAF board member heading up the ‘USA Experience’ for the Italian Federation.
High schools represented on the Team Stars & Stripes roster
|Mountain View||AZ||WR/RB Justin Gauna, C Paul O’Donnell, DL Ryan Potter, LB/OL J.P. Ramirez, WR/LB Enrique Sparkman|
|Canyon Del Oro||AZ||OL/DL Bernie Soto|
|Tesoro||CA||OL/DL Nick Fehrenbach, OL Zach Hickman, WR/DB Josh Nelson|
|Northridge||IN||RB/LB Christian Miller|
|Villa Angela-St Joseph||OH||OL Daniel Cervenik, K/P Jack Gallagher, OL/DL Kovas Kijauskas, OL/DL Tyler Watson, DE Erin Williams Jr.|
|Episcopal Academy||PA||OL/DL John Minicozzi, QB Ryan Whayland|
|Father Judge||PA||QB Zach Carroll|
|Germantown Academy||PA||RB/DB Kashta Davis,|
|Roxborough||PA||TE/LB Caleb Lassiter, DT Javahn Singleton|
Global Football President Patrick Steenberge said: “I am thrilled to return to Italy with our high school ambassadors, Team Stars & Stripes, as this country provides everything a Global Football tour seeks: history, culture, architecture, fine food, wonderful people and competitive football. Each time we come here I am pleased to watch our players from across America experience the land and people here, then return home fulfilled and eager for more.
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.
From Arizona, center Paul O’Donnell and linebacker J.P. Ramirez of Mountain View High School were named to the 2014 All-Southern Arizona second team, while teammate wide receiver Justin Guana received an honorable mention, as did lineman Bernie Soto of Canyon Del Oro.
Three members of the Tesoro (Calif.) High School roster include 2012 Varsity Rookie of the Year, 2013 Varsity Ironman of the Year, 2013 2nd Team All South Coast League selection Nick Fehrenbach on the defensive line. On the offensive side of the ball, teammate Zach Hickman was named All-CIF, First Team All-County and First-Team All League.
Villa Angela-St Joseph from Cleveland has provided players to the Team Stars & Stripes roster since the touring select side first traveled to Japan in 2008. Vikings coach John Storey has been a member of the staff since that debut visit and brings five players with him to Italy. Jack Gallagher and Daniel Cervenik will handle the kicking and punting duties.
Indiana’s sole representative on the roster will be RB/LB Christian Miller of Northridge High School, whose defensive leadership helped his team to the state semi finals last season.
The overseas visit is highlighted by a chance to line up against some of the best young players in Italy, a country developing a promising new generation of American football talent, and also includes opportunities to experience a new culture and visit some of the world’s most iconic tourist attractions. While in Italy from March 23-31, the group will explore ancient Rome, the Coliseum, Florence and the rolling green hills of Tuscany, Siena, the Basilica of St Francis of Assisi and Vatican City.
Coach Gallagher and his coaching staff will have a daily session on the practice field as they mould Team Stars & Stripes in preparation for a March 29 game day in Rome, which ends with a special awards dinner for both teams and cements new friendships through a shared love for football.
Gallagher played in the same backfield as Global Football President Patrick Steenberge at the University of Notre Dame and has traveled with Global Football to France, Germany, Italy, Ireland and Spain. He has spent the majority of his coaching career in Philadelphia’s Inter Academic Athletic Association, the oldest schoolboy league in the country.