Helsinki Wolverines sign veteran DB Curtis Slater

The Helsinki Wolverines have announced the signing of defensive back Curtis Slater for the 2021 season.

Slater spent three seasons (2016-18) playing for crosstown rivals, the Helsinki Roosters, helping the team win three straight Finnish titles while recording 161 tackles and 17 interceptions.

The 5’9″, 185 pound Slater, who was born in Japan but raised in Houston, Texas and who played for West Texas A&M (NCAA Div. II), first arrived in Europe in 2014 playing for the Marburg Mercenaries in the German Football League. In 13 games with Marburg, he recorded a league high 10 interceptions, five for touchdowns with the longest being 72 yards. He signed with the Hamburg Huskies in 2015 and helped them reach the playoffs in their first year in the GFL and while becoming the sixth leading tackler in the league that season with 87 stops to go along with five interceptions.

Slater says discussions with head coach Michael Mattingly led to his decision to play for the Wolverines.

“Focused, determine, and energized are all keys to building a successful program, and I believe that the direction he [Coach Mattingly] is taking the Wolverines is something I can help contribute to. It’s a good fit in all aspects and I’m excited, ready, and waiting to start this journey he has been crafting over the years along with the success he has brought to Helsinki.”

For personal and professional reasons, Slater was not able to play for two seasons, a situation that he describes as trying but helped him strengthen his resolve to be better:

“I have kept myself pretty busy with different work ventures and personal endeavors which have allowed me to continue my journey here in Europe. In addition to COVID taking over, I believe it has helped build a specific mental status which has kept myself at peace during these trying times. But as the saying goes, “ what doesn’t break you, makes you stronger.”

Wolverines head coach Michael Mattingly is excited to have Slater join his team.

“We’re more than pleased to add Curtis to the team and back in the Maple League. Everyone is aware of his talents and he will be used all over the field. I’m sure he has some unfinished business to take care. Good things come to those who wait.”

The Wolverines reached the Maple Bowl final in 2020 falling in the championship game 21-0 to the Kuopio Steelers.

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