Support our mission
 
Mason Price, Ramstein offensive lineman
Mason Price, Ramstein offensive lineman (Courtesy photo)
Mason Price, Ramstein offensive lineman
Mason Price, Ramstein offensive lineman (Courtesy photo)
Ben McDaniels, Baumholder receiver
Ben McDaniels, Baumholder receiver (Courtesy photo)
Mezzan El Sayed, Heidelberg linebacker
Mezzan El Sayed, Heidelberg linebacker (Courtesy photo)
Darien Cornett,  Aviano running back
Darien Cornett, Aviano running back (Courtesy photo)
Corey Webb, Aviano quarterback
Corey Webb, Aviano quarterback (Courtesy photo)
Andrew Bert, Aviano kicker
Andrew Bert, Aviano kicker (Courtesy photo)
Daniel Harris, Wesbaden running back
Daniel Harris, Wesbaden running back (Courtesy photo)
Zach Nichols, Bitburg offensive lineman
Zach Nichols, Bitburg offensive lineman (Courtesy photo)
Vinny Culotta, ISB running back
Vinny Culotta, ISB running back (Courtesy photo)
Kyle Edgar, Bitburg running back
Kyle Edgar, Bitburg running back (Courtesy photo)
Bryce Randall, Bitburg  linebacker
Bryce Randall, Bitburg linebacker (Courtesy photo)
Corey Bashon, Bitburg quarterback
Corey Bashon, Bitburg quarterback (Courtesy photo)
Darian Billups, bitburg offensive lineman, defensive lineman
Darian Billups, bitburg offensive lineman, defensive lineman (Courtesy photo)
Austin Schmidt, Bitburg defensive lineman
Austin Schmidt, Bitburg defensive lineman (Courtesy photo)
Colton Engelmeier, Bitburg offensive lineman, defensive lineman
Colton Engelmeier, Bitburg offensive lineman, defensive lineman (Courtesy photo)
Sam LeVault, Naples linebacker
Sam LeVault, Naples linebacker (Courtesy photo)
Alleric Jones, Lakenheath defensive lineman
Alleric Jones, Lakenheath defensive lineman (Courtesy photo)
Gabriel Diaz, Wiesbaden offensive lineman
Gabriel Diaz, Wiesbaden offensive lineman (Courtesy photo)
William Heiges, Wiesbaden defensive lineman
William Heiges, Wiesbaden defensive lineman (Courtesy photo)
Dan Aslakson, Wiesbaden linebacker
Dan Aslakson, Wiesbaden linebacker (Courtesy photo)
Gary Miskovsky, Wiesbaden defensive back
Gary Miskovsky, Wiesbaden defensive back (Courtesy photo)
Ryan Frary, Patch linebacker
Ryan Frary, Patch linebacker (Courtesy photo)
Sean Rittenhouse, Patch receiver
Sean Rittenhouse, Patch receiver (Courtesy photo)
Justin Johnson-Rich, Patch running back
Justin Johnson-Rich, Patch running back (Courtesy photo)
T.J. Propp, Ansbach linebacker
T.J. Propp, Ansbach linebacker (Courtesy photo)
Rahim Beatty, Ansbach offensive lineman
Rahim Beatty, Ansbach offensive lineman (Courtesy photo)
Xavier Jones, Ansbach running back
Xavier Jones, Ansbach running back (Courtesy photo)
Derrick Flake, Ansbach receiver
Derrick Flake, Ansbach receiver (Courtesy photo)
Jon Grotelueschen, Ramstein running back
Jon Grotelueschen, Ramstein running back (Courtesy photo)
Justin Dickey, Ramstein defensive line
Justin Dickey, Ramstein defensive line (Courtesy photo)
Young Min Oh, Ramstein linebacker
Young Min Oh, Ramstein linebacker (Courtesy photo)
Matt Flood, Bitburg defensive athlete
Matt Flood, Bitburg defensive athlete (Courtesy photo)
Shaquille Williams, Bitburg defensive lineman
Shaquille Williams, Bitburg defensive lineman (Courtesy photo)
Jaap van Gaalen, Ramstein defensive back
Jaap van Gaalen, Ramstein defensive back (Courtesy photo)
Frankie Esquivel, Rota defensive lineman
Frankie Esquivel, Rota defensive lineman (Courtesy photo)
Nick Holland, Rota defensive back
Nick Holland, Rota defensive back (Courtesy photo)
Terrence Paris, Rota running back
Terrence Paris, Rota running back (Courtesy photo)
Daniel Arroya, Vilseck defensive back
Daniel Arroya, Vilseck defensive back (Courtesy photo)
Carlos Dillon, Heidelberg offensive lineman
Carlos Dillon, Heidelberg offensive lineman (Courtesy photo)
Shawn Peebles, Vilseck linebacker
Shawn Peebles, Vilseck linebacker (Courtesy photo)
Tony Legare, AFNORTH defensive lineman
Tony Legare, AFNORTH defensive lineman (Courtesy photo)
J.D. Pollock, AFNORTH defensive back
J.D. Pollock, AFNORTH defensive back (Courtesy photo)
Calvin Baisden, Heidelberg receiver
Calvin Baisden, Heidelberg receiver (Courtesy photo)
Kevin Gray, Heidelberg quarterback
Kevin Gray, Heidelberg quarterback (Courtesy photo)
Jesse Partee, Vilseck defensive lineman
Jesse Partee, Vilseck defensive lineman (Courtesy photo)
Noah Hartley, Vilseck offensive lineman
Noah Hartley, Vilseck offensive lineman (Courtesy photo)

Three-time selections Darian Billups of Bitburg and Daniel Harris Jr. of Wiesbaden headline the 2011 All-Europe football team.

Deservedly.

The two are the first three-time choices since Bitburg lineman Randall Pelletier wrapped up his high school football career in 2007. Billups, a 6-foot, 280-pound dominator of the inside, was a key cog in leading the Barons to their third straight European Division II crown and a current winning streak of 22 games.

Harris, a 6-0, 205-pound back of all trades, including wildcat quarterback, rushed for 1,480 yards and 20 touchdowns in doing his part to help the Warriors to the European Division I title. It was the third straight season Harris surpassed 1,000 yards rushing.

But the Billups and Harris three-peats are just part of the story of a remarkable group of 46 players chosen by a panel of coaches chaired by DODDS-Europe athletic coordinator Karen Seadore.

Try these facts on for size:

• Two All-Europeans, both from Bitburg, broke the mold.

Billups and his linemate, 6-1, 290-pound junior transfer Colton Engelmeier, were the first players selected for offense and defense since 2009. Last year, a season after no fewer than five players were selected as two-way performers, the panel made an effort to limit two-way picks. Billups and Engelmeier, however, played their way right through that idea.

“The only way a player can be a two-way player is that he is better than any other player at that position,” explained selector Jim Hall of Vilseck. “The committee felt there were a couple of players that were better than any other players at that position!”

The exclamation point is Hall’s, and to anyone who watched Bitburg play, or tried to run against the Barons this season, it’s more than justified.

Added selector Mike Laue of Bitburg, “Two-way players were never completely off the table. When a player is deserving on both sides of the ball, he can still be chosen.”

• The All-Europe runners gained ground faster than coalition forces in Desert Storm.

Harris finished his three seasons as an All-Europe running back with a total of 3,898 yards and 51 touchdowns, but his All-Europe backfield mate, 5-11, 207-pound Ansbach senior Xavier Jones rushed for over 1,900 yards and 25 TDs in his eight games this season. That’s over a staggering 237 yards per game.

Two-time All-European Kyle Edgar, a 6-0, 190-pound Bitburg junior, averaged 10.8 yards per carry in amassing 1,242 yards and 20 touchdowns. Also surpassing 1,000 yards was Ramstein’s 6-2, 210-pound senior Jon Grotelueschen, who accounted for 1,283 yards and 16 TDs.

• All-Europe 2011 includes a one-man toss-‘em-for-a-loss machine.

He’s Justin Dickey, a 6-5, 210-pound defensive end from Ramstein who’s statistically, at least, unblockable. According to Ramstein coach Carlos Amponin, Dickey posted an astonishing 15 sacks and 18 tackles-for-loss during a season which saw the Royals allow just under 12 points per game.

• An “athlete” who’s exactly that.

For the second straight year, the panel chose to select an “athlete” instead of a punter for the 24th slot on the defensive team. Bitburg senior Matt Flood, a 5-9, 160-pound playmaker of a defensive back, can indeed punt, but he did far more than that for the unbeaten Barons. According to Laue, Flood, whom he called a “super tackler,” posted three tackles-for-loss, broke up five passes and intercepted two, returning one of them for a TD.

According to selector Duke Eidt of Alconbury, “there were some fantastic athletes this year, and this was a way of recognizing them.”

• Experience is the watchword.

All-Europe 2011, which includes 10 players who also were selected in 2010, contains 37 seniors and just nine juniors. No sophomores or freshmen made the team for the first time since 2007. In all, 22 Division I performers, led by five each from Wiesbaden and Ramstein, and 21 from Division II, topped by the 10 slots awarded to eight individuals from Bitburg, filled out the roster. Just three players, all from unbeaten D-III champ Rota, were selected from the nine-man game the small schools play, but that’s about right, said Eidt, himself a D-III coach.

“We constitute about 10 percent of DODDS football players,” he wrote in an email, “and are the smallest by number of schools as well as population.”

For the first time since 1982, selectors had a chance to see candidates perform together thanks to the DODDS All-Star Game, and Eidt said the result was a team based on talent and not publicity.

“I got the impression that the All-Star game was a place where some players really separated themselves into that special category,” he wrote.

bryanr@estripes.osd.mil

Migrated

stars and stripes videos

around the web

Sign Up for Daily Headlines

Sign-up to receive a daily email of today’s top military news stories from Stars and Stripes and top news outlets from around the world.

Sign up