Jenkins: Italy football trip plans on schedule
Things are on schedule for a 2015 trip to Italy that will see local high school football players take on the Italian Junior National team.
Charleroi football coach Ed Jenkins, who announced in January that he was putting together the trip, said he has most of his coaching staff assembled and he has a number of players committed to the event.
“It's going pretty much how I expected it to go,” said Jenkins. “I have 10 players guaranteed and a number of others who have shown a great interest in being involved. We are hoping to have a roster of 30 all-star type players, but we will go with 25 if need be. One thing is for sure; this is going to happen. That I am very sure of.”
Jenkins said he has players from Monessen, Charleroi, Brentwood, South Fayette, Moon and Fox Chapel lined up.
“We have kids from a broad area,” he said. “There has been a lot of interest, for sure. This is an amazing opportunity for everyone involved.”
Jenkins said any player interested must be a member of the Class of 2015.
Jenkins has a good knowledge of Italy and the brand of football played there, as he coached in the Italian Federation of American Football League in 2000-01.
Jenkins' staff for the trip will include South Fayette head coach Joe Rossi, Southmoreland head coach Mark Adams and Brentwood assistant Casey Phillips.
Jenkins said an itinerary is already in place.
“Right now, we are planning to leave June 15, 2015, and return June 22,” he said. “That is subject to change maybe a day either way depending on the flight and the exact day of the game.”
Jenkins said the flight will land in Rome, and the first three days of the excursion will be spent there with sightseeing trips planned for the historic city.
“The game will be played on the Adriatic coast in a beach community along the Adriatic Sea,” Jenkins said. “That is a beautiful area.
“We will also visit other parts of the country as well.”
Jenkins said the team will practice for the game in April and May of 2015.
“We have some time to fill out the roster,” he said.
Jenkins said the Italian Junior National Team will provide stiff competition. Italian players will be in the same age range as his team and will have been playing together for some time.
“Oh, it will be very competitive,” he said.
As far as the cost of the trip, Jenkins said, “For a nine-day trip and all that is included, the cost is very affordable. There will be some fundraising available. Some families said they will also do their own fund-raising.
“The kids and their families are really excited.”
Jenkins has already held one informational session for players and families and said he will hold the next session in early April.
In the meantime, if any players or families have any questions about the trip, they are welcome to call Jenkins at 724-351-0069.
Jeff Oliver is a sports editor for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 724-684-2666 or email@example.com.