Jun 01, 2018
University of St. Thomas Football is closing out another rewarding international trip this weekend in Rome. This is UST's second trip to Italy, as it visited in 2015.
Coach Glenn Caruso and his players and staff started this year's trip with a stop and exhibition game in Ireland. Saturday in Rome they will face one of that nation's Division I teams.
"We are extremely proud to be able to take our young men to Ireland and Italy and utilize our great sport to open their eyes to new cultures and continue to add tremendous experiences is to their collegiate careers," Caruso said.
"These are global cities that are ancient in their lineage, teachings and service to the world. This tremendous experience will enhance the comprehensive growth of our young men. Many of our players will have a chance to return to their family's genealogical roots, and that's pretty special."
The 13-day trip has exposed the St. Thomas group to Dublin, Galway, Rome, Sorrento, Naples, Positano, the Isle of Capri and Florence. The Tommies have spent time at UST's Bernardi Campus in the heart of Rome, one mile from of the Vatican.
"As the region's largest Catholic institution and one of the oldest as well, this is an exceptional opportunity for us to visit an area of the world that many consider to be the hub of Catholicism and among the most culturally rich societies in the world."
On Friday, the Tommies held a practice, coaches' clinic and press conference with CONI, Italy's national Olympics committee, near the site of the 1960 Rome Olympic stadium.
"We practiced in Stadio de Marmi, a legendary stadium made out of marble and created for the Olympic," Caruso said. "It's rare for teams and group to get access there. We held a clinic for local coaches and teams. We also held a press conference with the national sports federation to discuss the importance of American football and its growth throughout Europe, specifically in Italy.
"On Saturday at another site we will play an all-star team from southern Italy."
Rome is seven hours ahead of the Twin Cities on the clock.