Finland: Helsinki Wolverines sign William James and Sebastian Gauthier

The Helsinki Wolverines continue to load up as the opening game of Finland’s Maple League approaches with the signing of Swedish national team players, defensive backs Sebastian Gauthier and William James.

James (28, 5’11”, 195 lb), was the sole selection from the CFL Global Combine held in Stockholm earlier this year after actually spending last year playing rugby in Australia. From 2016 to 2018, he was a mainstay in the defensive secondary for the Dresden Monarchs in the German Football League, amassing a total of 313 tackles over three seasons. He started his football career with the Arlanda Jets in Sweden before deciding in 2011 that he wanted to give college football a try in the United States. He sent out letters to schools and North Dakota allowed him to walk on. After two years he had earned a scholarship. James, who finished his career with the Fighting Hawks with a total of 103 tackles, started at safety off and on in the final two years of his career finally finding a more permanent spot on the team in his senior season.

According to James, even though, this wasn’t exactly the destination he had been expecting this season, he is pretty happy for the opportunity:

“With everything upside down due to the pandemic, I didn’t know where football would be played, so I’m excited to play for the Wolverines in Finland. And since I’ve never played here before, it is extra special.”

William James highlights with Dresden Monarchs

The 28 year old Gauthier (6′, 216 lbs) spent the last two seasons playing defensive back with the Frankfurt Universe in the German Football League. He recorded 77 tackles and nine tackles for loss along with three interceptions in helping the Universe reach the German Bowl in 2018 and the GFL semifinals in 2019. He played safety and cornerback for the 2017 Swedish finalists, the Örebrö Black Knights. With Gauthier as a key component in the secondary, the Black Knights held opposing offenses to 137 yards passing on only a 34% completion rate. He and his teammates gave up just nine passing touchdowns all season. The year before, 2016, Gauthier was an integral part of the number one ranked defense in Sweden.

Born in Sonoma, California, Gauthier moved with his family to Sweden at the age of seven. He started playing football with the Västerås Roedeers before joining the Black Knights in 2016. He played high school football in Sonoma, California.

He has been a mainstay on the Swedish national team both as a junior and senior and started in the secondary during the 2014 European Championships in Austria.

Gauthier shares the same sentiment as James. He is happy to be able to play a season this year:

“Thanks to Wolverines reaching out, I have the chance to still play and also earn extra money through these rough times. I’m very grateful for this opportunity.”

Sebastian Gauthier offensive/defensive highlights with Frankfurt Universe

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