American Football Showcase comes to Donnybrook

St Peters Prep photo

Six top high school teams from the United States will arrive in Dublin this week to kick off the American Football Showcase Dublin.

Donnybrook Stadium will play host to a triple header of games this Friday, with all of the proceeds going to Special Olympics Ireland. The games will mark the opening of the Aer Lingus College Football Classic which will take place in the Aviva Stadium the following day, with all of the high school teams attending.

8.28.15 CSN Varsity Football vs St Edwards

The first of these games will kick off at 11am with the Westminster School Wildcats of Georgia going up against Community School of Naples Seahawks of Florida.

Paul Selvidio, Head Coach of the Community School Naples Seahawks declared that the team are excited to come to Ireland and face their opponents:

“Community School of Naples is honored to be a part of such a historical and enriching experience. To be playing in Dublin Ireland, versus a wonderful academic institution of like mind and cultural excellence, is the perfect match-up.”.

Blessed Trinity Photo

The second game begins at 2pm and will see Georgia’s Blessed Trinity Titans facing off with New Jersey’s St. Peter’s Prep Marauders. Both teams gave impressive performances last year, with the Titans being undefeated in their run to the Georgia AAA State Championship Game and the Marauders winning a Hudson County Championship.

Tim McFarlin, coach of the Blessed Trinity Titans has stated that the team are looking forward to coming to Ireland and playing in front of a new audience, as well as experiencing the culture:

“The trip to Ireland gives the boys a chance to play the game they love in front of a whole new audience. The opportunity to be immersed in a different culture makes it all that much more special. Our team, coaches and community are excited and grateful for the experience.”.

Belen Jesuit Photo

The third and final game kicks off at 5pm with the Marist War Eagles combating the Belen Jesuit Wolverines. The Eagles’ coach Alan Chadwick spoke of the challenge they would face in going up against the Wolverines:

“We know Belen Jesuit have an excellent program, with a rich tradition of excellence. We also recognize them as a well-coached, disciplined, and tenacious football team and we expect a tremendous challenge for our team. I think the game offers the fans and supporters of both teams an interesting matchup of two very similar programs.”

Likewise, the Wolverines’ coach Richard Stuart acknowledged the difficulty they would face in going head-to-head with the Eagles:

“Our opponent, Marist is a Georgia powerhouse and a well-coached disciplined team. Marist never beats themselves with mistakes. They are always ready to play with intensity, they rise above adversity and Marist never quits.”

Admission to the Donnybrook Stadium is free for children under 16, and adults can make donations of €10 upon entry with proceeds going to Special Olympics Ireland. Ireland and Leinster rugby star Jamie Heaslip and three-time All-Ireland winner Paul Flynn will serve as Honorary Chairmen at the event and perform the pre-match coin toss.

By Kevin Carney

Images provided by Michael Preston of College Football Ireland