Spain: QB Theo Landers leads defending champion Las Rozas Black Demons into 2024

As the LNFA Serie A, the top American football league in Spain heads into its second weekend of play, the Las Rozas Black Demons will open their defense of the title as they launch a mission to repeat as undefeated champions. 

Leading the way for the team will be quarterback Theo Landers, a 26-year-old Canadian who is entering his second year with the team.  Last year, Landers threw for 1,864 yards and 17 touchdowns in nine games, while also adding 768 yards and 10 touchdowns on the ground in leading the team to their first ever Spanish championship.

A native of Vancouver, Landers played collegiately at the University of Guelph in Ontario, where he starred from 2017-2019.  He led the Gryphons to the league title game in 2018 and to the semifinals in the following year.  In 2022, he played for the Frankfurt Universe in the German Football League, perhaps the top league in Europe at the time.

AFI was able to catch up with Landers, and asked him some questions about his team and himself before the season kicked off. 

He was asked about his thoughts on the Black Demons ahead of the season:

“Judging from our practices, considering the focus and tempo we have showed, I’m feeling very confident in our abilities to win this upcoming season!”  

Landers also cited his teammates, the chemistry the team built from last season, and the sense of community around the Black Demons as reasons why he decided to return to the Madrid-based franchise for a second season.  In terms of his goals for 2024, his primary goal is to win the championship game, which they will look to accomplish by taking on the season one game at a time.

In terms of the Spanish football scene, Landers said he has been impressed by some of the local talent, and that while Spain may not have the best reputation for football talent in Europe, there are a ton of ballers there.  He also said that the community is passionate and cares quite a bit about the success of the Black Demons and other teams.

Photo: Lola Morales

As for life outside of football, he said,

“My favorite part about being an American football player in Spain is that I get to experience a new culture and language.  Being in Spain also allows me to travel to other countries and see parts of Europe I never thought I’d see.”

As reigning champions, the Black Demons will surely have a target on their backs in 2024, as competitors will look to dethrone them.  Their season will begin on Saturday, as they kick off with an away game against their Madrid-area rivals Camioneros de Coslada.

A current student at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Carter played football in high school and has been a lifelong avid football fan.