EAFL Falcons U15 and U13 teams to test their mettle in Warner Super Bowl
The Emirates American Football League (EAFL) Falcons are in the United States to compete in the pop Warner Super Bowl for a second straight year, but expectations are higher this time around.
The U15 and U13 teams, made up of the best 50 young players in the EAFL, will put their skills to the test in Orlando, Florida at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex.
Though they won’t compete with the best US teams from across the country, the Falcons are in an international division with two teams from Mexico in U13 and four squads form Mexico and Canada in U15.
In the first day of the tournament yesterday, the U15 Falcons shut out Mexico City 24-0, before getting blanked 20-0 against Canada in their next contest.
The U13 team followed the same pattern, winning 19-0 over Mexico City and then suffering a 34-0 loss to Mexico Azul.
Both teams will play two more games on Thursday before the finals take place on Saturday, so there’s plenty of time for the Falcons to leave a lasting impression on their international foes.
“We came last year with two very small teams and got our feet wet and learned what we needed to learn. We’re back again for hopefully a far better, far different showing,” said Patrick Campos, coach of the U15s.
The Falcons are better equipped to be at the top of their game this year after choosing the very best players from the EAFL, rather than only being able to take those who could afford the trip.
“What we did last year is basically took whoever could pay and this year we wanted to take the best team, irrespective of financial ability. We don’t want to travel all this way and get our backside kicked,” Campos said.
“It’s not so much winning, but it’s a great football experience for the kids. We wanted to make sure we come out more competitive this year with a hand-picked team.”
Along with players who gained valuable experience from participating in last year’s event, the Falcons are carrying kids who’ve already gone toe-to-toe with worldwide competition.
“We’re much, much further along and have guys with more experience. What we did in the run up to this, which is the marquee tournament in our Falcons calendar, is take on a lot of really tough opponents,” Campos said.
“We played one of the top teams in Europe (Dusseldorf ), we played the Russian national team and the U19 Singapore team which was ranked number four in Asia at the time. So those were tough games against bigger, stronger opponents, but the kids hung in there.
“Now hopefully they come out here and go, ‘OK these teams are tough, but perhaps not as tough as the teams we’ve played already’.”