France’s Elite League Kicks Off 2016

[tps_title]Fédération Française de Football Américain[/tps_title]

Thonon-les-Bains Black Panthers

France - Thonon logo helmetThe biggest change is the addition of new head coach Skip Albano, whowho joins the Black Panthers after the departure of long-time head coach Larry Legault who has moved to coach in Switzerland.

Albano inherits a solid team, mostly intact from the 2015 season which saw the Black Panthers reach the French final again. The loss of running back Stephen Yepmo will hurt but Albano has signed quarterback Sam Poulos (Grinnell College) along with linebacker PJ Germaud (Idaho State) as well as the Badoux brothers (Switzerland), WR/DB Robin Aligenes (Canada), WR Vincent Begou (Canada), LB Theo Knight (Canada).

Although Thonon lost the French final to the Cougars and inexplicably lost twice to the Nice Dauphins during the season, they are expected to compete for the championship again. Albano is known as a tactician and with the club’s legacy of winning in the past decade, he aims to continue.

Changes in Black Panthers for 2016

Arrivals: Skip ALBANO (USA head coach), Robin ALIGENES (FR, WR/DB, Cégep de Thetford-Mines, Canada), Abdoulaye BATHILY (FR, Bisons Besançon D4), Benjamin BADOUX (TE / WR, Rhinos Monthey, Switzerland), Samuel BADOUX (DB, Rhinos Monthey, Switzerland), Vincent BEGOU (WR, University of Sherbrooke Canada), Arnaud BESSON (FR, back USA), Andreas BETZAS (FR, RB, Spartans of Amiens D2) Niels DUPLANY (FR, LB, Gones Lyon D3), PJ GERMAUD (VHS, LB, Idaho State, USA), Theo KNIGHT (FR, LB, Cegep de Chicoutimi), Sophina Ouanda (FR, TE / LB, ex -Warriors Avignon), Rémy Perron (FR, CB, Besançon Bisons D4), Hugo POINTILLART (assistant coach), Sam POULOS (VHS, QB, Grinnell College, USA), Ulrich Sylvestre (FR, OLM, Corsairs Evry D2), Marco VOLERY (SUI, RB, Basel Gladiators, Switzerland)

Departures: Mathieu BRUGIERE (QB / WR, Meteora Fontenay / Bois D2), Larry Legault (CAN, head coach Seahawks Geneva, Switzerland), Oktay Tulan (FR, WR, Leopards D2), Stephen YEPMO (FR, RB , Seahawks Geneva, Switzerland)

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