Charity Bowl XXI between Dacia Vienna Vikings and Swarco Raiders headlines Austrian Football League weekend

Charity Bowl XXI, the 21st edition of the annual charity game hosted by the Dacia Vienna Vikings at Hohe Warte stadium in Vienna, is this year’s most anticipated duel in the Austrian Football League as it features the Vikings and the current league leaders and reigning champions, the Swarco Raiders.

The guests from Innsbruck are enjoying one of their best seasons to date and are ranked first in the league standings in the strong Austrian league. Swarco has earned convincing wins in their previous international matches (the Tyrolean are playing the CEFL branch of the European Club Team Competition).  So the Raiders will come to Hohe Warte stadium in Vienna with a sense of confidence. In the the first meeting this year between the Vikings and the Raiders two months ago, Swarco came away with a decisive 48-28 win, clearly demonstrating the explosiveness and effectiveness of their offense.

The key players on offense for Swarco include quarterback Sean Shelton, running back Sandro Platzgummer and wide receiver Patrick Donahue. However, Donahue may be questionable for this game since the Raiders switch between Donahue and defensive back Darius Robinson, as their second import on the field. The Tyroleans are also renowned for their special teams and 4th down conversions, where they lead the entire league. They are particularly effective on kickoff and punt returns.

Dacia Vikings gegen Prague Black Panthers

Vikings Head Coach Chris Calaycay found a lot of encouraging words for his players after the wins in Prague and Mödling. Photo (c) Peter Kramberger

The Dacia Vikings currently have two open scores  to settle with the Raiders. First, the Vikings lost the Austrian Bowl XXXIV in St. Pölten in July 2018 in a dramatic manner, where a last-minute field goal decided the high scoring championship game in favor of the Raiders. Add to that the embarrassing defeat at the hands of Swarco two months ago.

Pregame Statement by Vikings HC Chris Calaycay

Two of the best teams in Europe will compete Saturday in the Charity Bowl XXI. It will be q terrific and exciting game and we truly look forward to loud support from the fans. Playing at home at Hohe Warte is a huge advantage. The mood and the atmosphere are unique and always give the team an extra push.This charity match has a long tradition for the team, which is proud to contribute to the Charity Bowl. We are “strong” and we help the weak. Strong should also be our performance on the field.”

Dacia Vikings DB #23 Benjamin Straight worked his way up quickly to become part of the defense starting lineup. Photo (c)

Dacia Vikings Featured Player Of The Week

DB #23 Benjamin Straight

“Being lined up against import receivers, challenges and motivates me!”

The 20-year-old Austrian defensive back is looking forward to playing the Raiders on Saturday. Born in Pittsburgh, Straight was raised in Austria where he also started to play football in 2014 – with the Vienna Knights.

“After having played with the Knights for four years, I realized that I love this sport and that I want to play on the highest level possible. So, I joined the Vikings two years ago and the transition was tough. I came to the Vikings having major respect for the accomplishments of the club and for the big Vikings’ names in Austrian football such as Seikovits or Horvath. You know them but they don’t know you. So, I wanted to prove myself, I wanted to earn their respect. Becoming a Viking was the best decision I could have made regarding my personal growth as a player and the quality of my game”,

When Calaycay who is also the Vikings’ defensive coordinator, lines Straight up against the best receivers in the league, the DB feels good about it.

“It challenges and motivates me to be lined up against Ex-NFL players like Patrick Donahue or import WRs such as Roman Namdar. I feel a kind of honored about the trust that is put in me and at the same time it pushes me to perform at my best level.”

Vikings DB #23 Straight is a huge fan of the off-season gym plan of Vikings’ Strength & Conditioning Coach Christoph Putz.  Photo (c) David Hofman

Straight is striving to become better: “I am not yet where I want to be!”

Ever since he joined the Vikings, the DB who plans on starting to study in September has made a tremendous step forward regarding his level of play. Straight considers himself a self-critical person:

“Even after a very good game I can be unsatisfied with myself when I have one bad play. But I think as long as I can channel anger into motivation, I should be fine. Working on myself and trying to become the best player I can be is what drives me forward. I am not yet not where I want to be!”

Asked about his football goals, Straight mentions a few:

“First of all, the Austrian Bowl comes to my mind. I certainly want us to be Austrian champions again. And personally, I often think about playing College football whether it is in the US or in Canada. It has been a dream of mine for a while now.”

The 6 ft 191 lbs. defensive back who also acts as the team’s kicker would love to be a professional football player even if it is only for a couple of years.

“Getting hired by another club, living the import life in another city and making an impact on a team sounds tempting, doesn’t it.”

If Benjamin Straight continues being a big factor in the Vikings’ defense, he will be taking a big step to becoming one of the bigger names in Austrian football, to have his name mentioned in the same breath of all the players he has admired.

Vikings DB #23 Benjamin Straight and his team will take the field on Saturday at 4 pm CET. Photo (c)

Key Facts:
Charity Bowl XXI presented by OSP 22 

Dacia Vienna Vikings vs. Swarco Raiders Tyrol
Date: Saturday, June 1, 2019
Kickoff: 4 pm CEDT (10 am EDT)
Venue: Stadium Hohe Warte, Klabundgasse, 1190 Vienna

The AFL Game Of The Week will be broadcast & streamed live by ORF Sport+

The Dacia Vikings Charity Bowl XXI


Each year, one game is played as a Charity Bowl. After the friendly meeting against the Helsinki Roosters last year at the Sonnensee Stadium Ritzing, the Charity Bowl has returned to the Hohe Warte for its 21st edition. This year’s game pits  two of Europe’s best clubs, the Dacia Vikings and the Swarco Raiders, against each other. 

Over the course of two decades, the Dacia Vikings Charity Bowl has established itself unreservedly as Austria’s preeminent benefit event of American Football.  Since 1999, the Vikings have collected over 172,000 euros and donated to abused or handicapped children with their charitable games under the motto “Strong help weak”. Once again, this year, the Viennese record champion hopes to hand over a more than respectable sum to the Vienna Children and Youth Procuratorate in the charity match against the Raiders Tirol.

Source: Dacia Vienna Vikings

American Football International is your source for news and updates about American Football outside the United States!