Firenze Guelfi star RB Silas Nacita offers his views on Italian semifinal game against Bolzano Giants

Silas Nacita has been setting all kinds of records in the Italian Federation of American Football’s Div. 1 playing for the Firenze Guelfi and helped his team reach the Final Four for the first time in their history. On Sunday, the Guelfi face the Bolzano Giants, perennial semifinalists in Italy. In fact, this is the sixth straight year the Giants have reached the semifinals.

American Football International asked Silas his thoughts on reaching the playoffs in Italy and preparing to face the Giants, a team they lost a close game to in the regular season.

American Football International: This is your fourth season playing in Europe and first in Italy. But it’s only the second time you have made the playoffs. That must be a pretty special feeling.

Silas Nacita: This has been the most special season I’ve had in Europe because I’m getting to play for my college coach and be a part of his return to coaching. I’ve always had a strong desire to win, but this season means even more to me. I want to see him win and I actually have the ability to make that happen.

AFI: In the only other game between you and the Giants this year, you personally had a monster game with 319 yards o offense and four touchdowns and still lost. What can you as a team do different Sunday?

SN:  As a team: #1 eliminate turnovers, #2 don’t give up big plays, #3 our Italian players need to ball out.

AFI: In that loss to Bolzano, you had seven team fumbles and you lost two which accounted for almost half of your total fumbles all year. What do you think was the reason?

SN: It was an extremely hot game and I never came off the field, so I was dripping in sweat. I’m sure that played a factor in the fumbles, but ultimately, I fumbled because I didn’t have great ball security. That’s on me.

AFI: The Giants enter the game on a three game losing streak while you have won four in a row. Do you think that momentum has any bearing in the playoffs?

SN: It probably will help some effect, but I don’t count on it. We have to show up and play the best game we’ve ever played.

AFI: The “Baylor connection” with you, Lynx Hawthorne and coach Briles has been pretty successful for the Guelfi this season. How important has it been for you personally?

SN: We started off the season with history and a lot of camaraderie, which is extremely advantageous for teams in Europe. A lot of teams struggle to unite imports and coaches. We never had that issue. I’ve been on teams where there was no common goal because the imports/coaches didn’t agree and it’s very difficult to succeed in those situations.

AFI: Any final thoughts?

SN: Count Your Blessings. Every day is a gift. Playing in Europe has been an unbelievable opportunity. Win or lose. I am so thankful for it.



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