Nordmen hold first camp of 2019 season

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Looking to maintain momentum, the 2018 SAJL 3rd Division Champions took to the field at Ounashalli in Rovaniemi for their first camp of the 2019 season

The crash of helmets, the grunts of strength and even a bit of trash talk filled the air on Saturday, March 30th inside of Rovaniemi’s Ounashalli. It was a welcome sound for all in attendance, as the 2018 Tinamalja (Tin Bowl) Champion Rovaniemi Nordmen strapped on their shoulder pads, buckled their helmets and got to work in preparation for the 2019 season.

After winning the SAJL’s 3rd Division Championship in 2018, the Nordmen are moving up to the second division; where they will fight against some familiar foes, as well as some new opponents, for the right to hoist the Rautamalja (Iron Bowl) — the grand prize for the winner of the SAJL’s 2nd Division. The merging of the 2nd and 3rd divisions, has resulted in a packed 2nd division that will be broken down into two divisions. We’ll touch on that in another post, but that’s just to give you a bit of background.

New players introduce themselves during a break.

The turnout for the camp was excellent, as 31 Nordmen participated in the whole-day event; including 6 players from the Luleå Eskimos, a few of which played with the Nordmen last year during their championship run. The camp consisted of two practices, as well as a lunch break where players got to know each other a bit better as they tried their hand at a different sport: bowling. The first practice of the day consisted of conditioning, strength and agility drills. The pace was fast and furious, but no one lost their lunch. Players broke off into their position groups and continued for the remainder of the first session, before taking a break to welcome and introduce new players and break for lunch.

After a tasty lunch at SantaSport, the Nordmen donned their jerseys and played a couple games of bowling to build camaraderie and team spirit. I think we all know why football is traditionally played outdoors after that hour of bowling, though, as our boys were pretty pumped and rowdy!

The second practice of the day focused on in-game situations, and also a scrimmage. Receivers and Defensive Backs began the second practice in one group, while the offensive line and defensive front seven took the other side of the field. It was exciting to see how well the team gelled together as the day went on, and the addition of new players and the reinforcements from Sweden left everyone feeling hyped for the season to come.

It’s still the pre-season and a lot can happen with about two months to go before our first home game against the Jyväskylä Jaguars, but after seeing these guys put it together and run at top-speed and with full-contact, I have only this to say: watch out, because the Nordmen are for real.

Thanks to Arctic Gym 24/7 for sponsoring the camp.
2019 Rovaniemi Nordmen get warmed up.
Thanks to all for a great camp and thank you to Rakennusliike Holmberg Oy for sponsoring our new tent for this season.
Coach Rafael Pineda breaks down the day’s schedule and talks about the upcoming season before breaking for lunch.

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