Nordmen Celebrate 2019 Season

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The Rovaniemi Nordmen put the cap on their undefeated, 2019 season with a party & awards dinner on Saturday, November 16th at Wanha Mestari in Rovaniemi.

Another season of growth and great accomplishments came to an end for the Rovaniemi Nordmen this past Saturday in Korkalovaara, as the Warriors of the Four Winds closed the book on the 2019 season; celebrating a second-straight, undefeated season and a 2nd Division Championship. With the Rautamalja in tow, the Nordmen toasted to their victory and built up anticipation for the 2020 season. A tasty dinner was provided by Nordmen sponsor, Da Zhong Hua, and a private karaoke session got the party rocking; after the distribution of trophies to all players and the awarding of five special awards: Offensive & Defensive Rookies of the Year, Offensive & Defensive Players of the Year and Team MVP; as voted on by players

The crowd of approximately 50 people were welcomed to Wanha Mestari by Nordmen Vice Chairman and MC for the evening, Robbie Patterson. The mood was one of excitement and great expectations, as the Nordmen will be moving up to 1st Division for the 2020 season. After dinner, Head Coach/QB/MLB, Rafael Piñeda and Patterson distributed trophies to every member of the team. “We know it’s just a small gesture, but we felt that given everything that this team has accomplished this year, that this was a way for everyone to remember the fond memories we shared both on and off the field,” Patterson said. “I’m incredibly proud of all the hard work and dedication that this team showed. It’s been an honor to both coach and play with this great group of guys,” Piñeda added.

Nordmen Name Players of the Year, Rookies of the Year and Team MVP

After a short intermission, ceremonies resumed and the special awards for the year were distributed. All five winners were determined by a popular vote, conducted by players. The winners for each award were as follows:

  • Offensive Rookie of the Year: Tero Halonen
  • Defensive Rookie of the Year: Miika Erkkilä
  • Offensive Player of the Year: Alfonso Ikäheimo
  • Defensive Player of the Year: Juhana Pelkonen
  • Team MVP: Rafael Piñeda

The team was also treated to a great piece of news when Pelkonen, who had been contemplating retirement, confirmed that he would be returning for the 2020 season. “I think I’m pretty good shape. I have the speed, strength and endurance to perform at a high enough level. I’ve just gotten used to playing at LB, so it would be stupid to stop now when I’m feeling that I still have my best games to play at that position. Football is still fun as hell, I just love to hit people. Also a big part of it is all the guys in the locker room. A higher division means a higher level of competition, and I want to test how I manage to deal with that,” Pelkonen stated, as his reasons for returning to the Nordmen.

All eyes on the 2020 season

Although the night was filled with plenty of celebrating and fun, Piñeda reminded players that the greatest challenge yet lays before the Nordmen; the 1st Division. “It’s serious up there. We’re going to have to work harder than ever before to compete with the clubs in the 1st Division. I know that we have the desire to play hard and show everyone that we mean business, and I’m excited to get things underway when we begin our crash course on Thursday,” Piñeda commented. “We’re excited about the commitments that we’ve already received from our friends in Luleå that will be coming back for the 2020 campaign and we’re very optimistic that we’ll have a great turn-out for the beginner’s course. The exposure we received from local media and from our active online communities has American Football buzzing again in Rovaniemi and we’re looking to make the best of the situation we have,” Patterson stated, adding “we encourage anyone that’s interested in playing with the Nordmen men’s and women’s teams to come out and join us. Every Thursday and Sunday from 8pm until 10pm at Ounashalli, running from November 21st until December 22nd. There’s a place for everyone in the Nordmen family!”

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