From Sweden to Italy to Michigan, football is a universal language in Escanaba

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Escanaba, Michigan (WJMN) – The 2021-2022 varsity football team at Escanaba High School went international this year.

Two exchange students are part of the Esykmos team.

“They arrived here in week three of football, I believe, and they fit in perfectly,” Escanaba head coach Dave Wilson said. “None of them have ever played football before, but I really think they’re great kids and great assets for the team. They love to play.

Although the game is a bit foreign to them, that doesn’t stop them from living their dream of playing American football.

“I didn’t know anything at all,” said Tor Spets of Sweden. “I knew about the Super Bowl and stuff like that because of social media and heard about the teams and the NFL but didn’t know how to play or anything. I used to watch American movies and stuff like that when I was little and I kind of knew what it was, but I never played it before so it’s a new experience. .

One thing that doesn’t need translation is team spirit.

“Coach Wilson, he’s awesome,” Spets said. “He’s helping Federico and me a lot and he’s very positive and he supports the team and he does what’s best for the team and that’s great. The guys are great and it’s amazing. They are very friendly. , tolerant and welcoming.

Tor is not alone in the field when it comes to international competition.

“It’s pretty cool in our sport because there are too many rules and there are a lot of types of players but it’s a cool sport,” said Federico Lorenzi, an Italian exchange student.

Football is a way for these two to feel connected even when friends and family are so far away.

“We have a good season,” said Federico. “I like him. I like this team. I hope we win more games and that I can play longer.

These two have been in the Upper Peninsula for less than two months, but Wilson, the head coach, says they already bring so much to the team.

“They’ve never heard of Escanaba, Michigan before and they’ve come here with a great attitude every day and they’ve just been great teammates, all the guys over there love them,” said Wilson. “They are just really sweet kids and really love to play football.”

Regardless of wins and losses, this experience is something both will never forget.

“I just want to play football, have fun and make friends,” Spets said.

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