PREVIEW: GFL South – Munich Cowboys v. Stuttgart Scorpions

[tps_title]German Football League South[/tps_title]

[tps_header]Stuttgart Scorpions[/tps_header]


Saturday, the Stuttgart Scorpions start their 2015 GFL season on the road in Munich. Time to look ahead and take a quick look back.

Germany - Stuttgart logoThe Scorpions return to their home on the Waldau after spending 2014 in Esslingen while their home, Gazi Stadium in Stuttgart was rebuilt. Second year head coach Jemil Hamiko returns to a “new” home with a the hope for a new era.

In 2014, it was uncertain how Stuttgart would perform against Germany’s top flight teams with an almost entirely new coaching staff.  However, the Scorpions put together their best season in years, packing the stands with the highest fan turnout in the club’s history. The team finished second in the GFL South behind the Schwäbisch Hall Unicorns and racked up 12 wins against only 2 losses. Exceeding all expectations, Stuttgart reached the GFL quarter-finals before falling to the Cologne Falcons.

With a solid 2014 campaign under their belts, the Scorpions 2015 line-up consists of a healthy mix of vweteran players such as receivers Fabian Weigel and Lasse Ahlgrimm, running back Patrick Geiger, defensive backs Klaus Stadelmaier and Gabriel Kalus and defensive linemen Corey Chapman and Jermaine Guynn – as well as aspiring young players from their own developmental pipeline and clubs from the Stuttgart region.

Last year’s quarterback Luke Barthelmess decided against a second year in Europe, and running back Brian Rushing, has moved on to the Heilbronn Salt Miners.

The Scorpions have bolstered their corps with defensive end Simon Gavanda and cornerback Brian Kipkurui both from the Dusseldorf Panthers. Also added are Czech national and former Prague Black Panthers player Daniel BalažovičFrench safety Quentin Coulpin, and defensive tackle Sergey Souleymanov. Finally, cornerback Drew Fisher, a American import, has moved over from Schwäbisch Hall.

Not to be forgotten is of course the new, and former, quarterback of the Scorpions, Tom Schneider. This will be his fourth season and he is an integral part of the Scorpions family. After signing in 2012, Schneider quickly became a crowd favorite. Unfortunately, he was severely injured in 2013, and took to the sidelines as offensive coordinator and was an essential part of the team’s success in 2014.

The coaching staff underwent some changes as well. Hamiko will serve as Head Coach and Special Teams Coach, Schneider will handle quarterbacks and act as offensive coordinator, and they have added Drew Fisher (defensive backs and defensive coordinator), Daniel Urban (running backs), Sascha Wurster (wide receivers), Vasilios Ntonas (defensve line) and Jermaine Guynn (linebackers).

Stuttgart has already played a pre-season game against Austria’s Swarco Raiders in the Battle4Tirol.

Pages: 1 2 3

John McKeon is a former professional and collegiate American Football player and coach now living and working in New York. His goal is to spread news, information, and opinion on the global growth of the sport he loves.