Copenhagen Towers in 2018

Towers at the Carlstad Crusaders of Sweden in 2014 [Photo: Jeppe Toustrup]

2017 was a successful season for the Copenhagen Towers. The team won the Mermaid bowl and snatched the gold from the Søllerød Gold Diggers.

By Søren Bendixen.

With a convincing season, the Copenhagen Towers could once again lift the trophy and claim the national title. – A season completed with the fulfillment of relinquishing a team objective: reclaim the Mermaid Bowl.

But not all of Towers endeavors were successful. The Towers were yet again defeated in their European hunt for a title in the Champions League. With a loss to both Karlstad Crusaders and London Warriors, the dream of international achievements ended before it even started.

That was 2017 – and with a new season comes new aspirations. But is the European conquest even in reach for the young team? – What does it take to raise the bar?

We talked to head coach Peter Herbild about the ambitions for the coming season of 2018; a conversation that involved raised expectations and investment towards Champions League; recruitment of imports; and the continued improvement of the Towers organization: An Ambition for Europe

The Towers have an enormous hunger for European success” states Peter Herbild. A lot of these players have won the mermaid bowl (The national championship) 2-3 times; now there is an immense desire to achieve international success”. Something which still awaits the Copenhagen team. The last four years the Towers have only won a single international game. But the tides might change. The club has developed an impressive economy which allows the Towers to invest in 2-3 imports for European success,” says the young but experienced Head Coach and adds: I consider the Towers to have a window of 1-3 years for reaching an international triumph – but it begins this year”.

When asked about the difference maker compared to the last couple of seasons, Herbild responds: We got to score points!”. Since 2014 the Towers have only scored 3.5 points per. international game – “and that’s why we have offered league MVP, Dayton Winn, to rejoin us for the next season,”. Dayton Winn made a huge difference for the Towers in 2017. With Winn in the backfield, the Towers possess a compelling threat against every European opponent. But is it enough? Defensively the Towers maintains confidence in their roster. The defense has played solid facing the international opponents. The focus internationally lies in strengthening the vigor of the offense. The Towers are therefore looking for a proficient American quarterback who can lead the potent young offense. To compete at an international level will require at least two top talents, – and one should be a quarterback” Peter Herbild reveals.

Together with a talented roster, the Copenhagen Towers have through the years gathered a capable and skilled coaching staff. Our coaches are young but tremendously talented and experienced,” Herbild says. The last couple of seasons the coaching staff have grown with a lot of qualified newcomers from outside the club. Every aspect of the organization – from junior to senior – has prospered from the influx. It has allowed the Towers organization to realize the most fertile and productive setting for generating talented and ambitious football players. A development the Towers now can pick the juicy fruits from. We have a talented group of young rookies from our own junior department coming up. We are very proud and look forward to integrating them into our senior team” Herbild states. The European ambitions are evidently a product of this organizational evolution and progress. It feels comparable to our team journey for the first mermaid bowl in recent time (in 2013). It requires physique, technique, and mental advancement to accomplish – but we have the dedication and ambition”.

Even with all the talk about Europe, the enthusiasm towards the national league remains the same. We want to win the mermaid bowl every year” The Towers HC claims with confidence. The national league is always a challenge. The focus has not been distorted; it has been adjusted. The Towers will dispose their focus in the spring on realizing their ambitions for Europe – which might cost a game in the first part of the season. But after the summer break, the Towers are once again dedicated at contesting their national title.

The expectations are high. So is the potential. With a strong addition of new players to the club and an additional 2-3 import player, the ambitions should be so. The joy of Mermaid bowls are sweet, but a European fairytale might be in line for the Copenhagen Towers.

Towers will welcome American playmaker

[Photo: Cody Usher]

The Towers will add another layer to our offense, when we welcome running back Dayton Winn to the team. A standout at Hendrix College in Arkansas, Dayton will contribute at running back and kick returner.

Dayton has played his entire collegiate career at Hendrix College, starting all 40 games he played over the course of four seasons. His stats for those years border on mind numbing; 6231 total yards and 74 touchdowns on offense and 2066 kick and punt return yards with another 3 touchdowns.

His averages are equally, if not even more, impressive: For his career his averaged 6,0 yards pr. carry and an incredible 30,5 yards pr. catch. Dayton’s best year was 2015 with a whopping 1794 rushing yards in 11 games, but in terms of yards pr. carry, Dayton went out on a high note, notching 7,9 yards pr. carry in 2016. He was named a first team All-American twice.

Head coach Peter Herbild describes Dayton: “Dayton is a fast and talented player, who can contribute as a RB and WR. He will even play a key role on special teams as a returner. He has had outstanding production in college, so we are excited to see what he will bring to the team.”

Having never traveled outside the United States before, Dayton is looking forward to learning more about overseas culture and the game of football abroad. On his decision to join the Towers, Dayton said: “Head Coach, Peter Herbild, and Athletic Director, Anders Skovgren, have been a big part in my decision. They have helped me see all that I can experience by joining and playing for the Towers and that this will be an exciting journey. I am excited to work with these great men in the near future.”

As an assistant coach the 22-year old will also impart his football knowledge on the Towers’ youth players, primarily the U16 squad, but even the U19, U14 and U12 teams as well.

As is the case whenever a European team signs an import player, off-field persona is very critical to a player’s success. And in Dayton we feel that we have a guy who is about as good off the field as on it. Dayton describes himself: “As a person, I am a hard-working individual who pushes to be the best that I can be every day. I am a personable person when I meet someone new.”

Dayton will arrive in Copenhagen in the thick of spring in late May and will see his first action against the Copenhagen Tomahawks in Valby on June 4th. He will wear jersey #13.

We’re certainly looking forward to having Dayton with us. Make sure to come out and welcome Dayton in the true TowerNation way.

Towers lose WR to professional contract

WR Frederik Myrup [Photo: Michael Quist]

For the past few years Towers fans have gotten used to seeing jersey #13 in a blur. In the future WR Frederik Myrup will take his playmaking skills and blazing speed to Germany.

The Towers believe that we have the most talented national roster in Denmark. Among these very skilled players, receiver and kick returner Frederik Myrup has made quite a name for himself over the past 2½ seasons.

Thus it should not have been a surprise, when Myrup recently announced to his coaches and teammates that he had made a decision that was as easy as it was tough. He had received a contract offer to play professionally for the Potsdam Royals of the German GFL2 league.

The contract gives Myrup the opportunity to play football in Germany, where football has the longest history of any country in Europe and the highest level. The top teams in the GFL2, the German second division, play at a level that is perhaps even higher than the top teams in Denmark, while the level of play in the eight-team league is more even than in Denmark. This makes every game a must-win game.

As opposed to the Danish 10-game season, the GFL2 plays a 14 game season. Therefore Myrup will join the team in April and stay in Potsdam until the end of the season in September.

What the long term future brings for the 25-year old Myrup still remains to be seen. Despite having played football since he was 15 years old, including being a starter on the Danish National team since 2014 and having played both in high school and college in the USA, Myrup never had his sights set on a professional career. Until now.

“In Europe, a professional football career isn’t something to base your retirement plan on”, Myrup explains and adds “but this opportunity and experience were simply too good to say no to under these circumstances.” Living in Potsdam, Myrup will be a short train ride away from the German capitol city of Berlin, one of the most bustling cities in Europe.

In Potsdam, Myrup will have a QB, who knows where Myrup comes from. Zach Shaw, entering his second season with the Royals, was the starting QB for the Søllerød Gold Diggers a few years back.

Football in Germany is a major sport and the Royals average 1.500 fans in attendance at home games. This has enabled the club to build a strong foundation, which again makes it possible bring in about 10 import players and coaches from both the US and Europe.

Ordinarily, news of players leaving the Towers is not good news. But when the player leaves us for a professional contract the sting is eased somewhat by a sense of pride.

We hope that Myrup will have the time of his life in Potsdam and look forward to welcoming him home to the Towers again one day.

Introducing two new coaches

While the Christmas calm and the notorious Danish absence of snow descended upon Copenhagen our board and head coach have were busy signing two new coaches to our staff.

Jeremey Rud and Jesper Nørgaard Pedersen have joined the Towers in preparation for the 2017 season. Coach Rud, a seasoned player and coach, will coach the running backs and coordinate special teams. Coach Nørgaard, newly retired as a player, will coach the linebackers.

Jeremy Rud is American, 41 years old, married with two children, a 20-year US Army veteran with five years of combat operations and a former University of Minnesota football player.

No stranger to European football, coach Rud spent the past two years coaching with the Bydgoszcz Archers of the Polish 1st division. Furthermore Rud has coached U16-teams and high school teams in the US.

Coach Jeremey Rud. [Photo: Agencja Gazeta]

Jeremy Rud now lives in Greve and looks very much forward to continuing his coaching career. “Football is a game of discipline, intensity and intelligence. I require all three out of my players at all times.” coach Rud explains and adds: “The way we practice is the way we will play, so there are no shortcuts in practice.”

Coach Rud began playing football at age six in Texas, was a four-year starter at RG and DE/OLB in high school and continued to play for two years at university until at knee injury ended his playing career.

Jesper Nørgaard is Danish, 24 years old and studies to become a math, physics and chemistry teacher. Despite his young age, coach Nørgaard has played football for 12 years already. He began his career with the Kolding Guardians before playing the past two seasons with the Aarhus Tigers.

Jesper has played a number of positions, but predominantly LB, a position he even played for the Danish National team. Alongside playing, Jesper Nørgaard has coached for the past six seasons at the all age groups from U16 and upwards. He is currently the LB coach for the Danish U17 National team and assistant LB coach for the Danish U19 National team.

Coach Nørgaard also has had his playing career cut short by injuries and therefore has thrown all his football energy

LB coach Jesper Nørgaard during his playing days [Photo: Piotr Piekut]

into coaching. Coach Herbild knew Nørgaard from the National team and knew he would be a good fit with the Towers.

“I respect both Peter (Herbild) and Victor (Andersen) as some of the strongest coaches in Denmark and thought it would be incredibly exciting to get a chance to work with them”, Nørgaard said, while also emphasizing that he looks forward to working with some of the strongest linebackers in the country and help that unit carry our defense.

As 2016 draws to a close we have also had to say goodbye to two longtime Towers coaches, as Simon Iversen has left the club. Iversen began as a player and continued for years as a great part of our coaching staff. Also, Anders Munch Skovgren has stepped down as a coach to focus fully on his duties as the Towers’ athletic director and being a DAFF board member.

This means that as of this writing the Towers 2017 coaching staff comprises:

Head coach and offensive coordinator Peter Herbild
Assistant head coach and defensive coordinator Victor Andersen
Special teams coordinator Jeremey Rud
Quarterbacks and wide receivers Peter Herbild
Running backs Jeremey Rud
Offensive line Simon Sonnesen
Linebackers Jesper Nørgaard
Defensive line Victor Andersen
Defensive backs Peter Nordentoft

Furthermore the word on the streets is that we might be able to entice two legendary Towers to assist; Rob Scotland and Peter Nicolaisen. Keep your fingers crossed.

Welcome to all new and returning coaches.

 

Flashback from 25 years ago

The new year is just a few days away, which gives us a chance to reflect on the passing of time. From the depths of the archives, via a former player, we have come up with a Towers playbook from a quarter of a century ago.

The Towers were founded in August of 1990 and in 1991 we got our first offensive playbook. A lot of things have happened over the course of the years and our playbooks have certainly changed.

We hope you will enjoy this blast from the past: TowersOffense1991.

From all of us to all of you; A very happy New Year…..!

Top offensive lineman joins Towers

Joachim Christensen starting at center for Wagner College [Photo: Family photo]

Joachim Christensen, one of the absolutely best young offensive linemen in Denmark, has decided to join the Towers.

Despite being just 23 years old, Joachim Christensen, boasts an impressive and varied CV. He has played nine games for Denmark as a member of the national team, he has won the EFAF Cup, played for Team World against the USA in the IFAF International Bowl and played 2½ seasons at D1 Wagner College in New York.

In 2017, Christensen will start at center, a spot recently vacated by Quinn Bullard. Towers head coach Peter Herbild is understandably excited to have Joachim on the team “Joachim is Denmark’s biggest offensive line talent under 25 years of age. He has a great attitude and the physical style of play he brings matches our offense perfectly.”

An accomplished player with vast international experience at very high levels, Joachim was looking for a team with

Joachim Christensen at Wagner College Stadium [Photo: Family photo]

similar ambitions. He contacted coach Herbild and was pleased with what he heard. The Towers aim to win a seventh Danish championship and participate in European tournaments. “I want to be part of an ambitious organization, play in Europe, win some games,” Joachim says and adds “I have been fascinated by the Towers since I was a youth player and know a few of the guys there.”

With Christensen, the Towers will bolster an already stellar offensive line. The 23-year old, who stands 195 cm tall and weighs in at 130 kg, will join two other Danish national team OL starters; Jens Møller and Rasmus Thejl.

Apart from playing, Christensen will coach offensive line players for the Towers’ youth department.

Christensen is currently enrolled at Roskilde University, where he pursues a bachelor in Global Humanities.

Joachim began his football career as a youth player with the Avedøre Monarchs in 2008 and has since played in high school in the USA, for the Copenhagen Tomahawks and lately for the Søllerød Gold Diggers.

We are looking very much forward to welcoming Joachim to the Towers.

Joachim Christensen #75, playing for Denmark [Photo: Family photo]

Towers’ 2017 head coaches

Towers head coach Peter Herbild with his squad {Photo: Michael Quist]

Towers head coach Peter Herbild with his squad {Photo: Michael Quist]

All Towers head coaches will be back in 2017. Yet four of five Towers teams will have new head coaches. The coaching carrousel has turned and Peter Herbild is the only head coach to be back with the same squad in 2017.

The senior team staff will work hard In the off season in order to set the framework for the 2017 season and much more will be revealed in due time. One thing we do know already is that defensive coordinator Victor Andersen will be back. And not only will he again run our defense; Victor has also been named assistant head coach.

All youth head coaches have taken over new teams in 2017. The reason is simple – the bond each coach and his assistants have with their players is one we don’t want to break. Therefore, since a significant number of players from each youth team graduates to an older team, their coaches advance with them.

Simon Sonnesen, the former U19 head coach, reached the end of the line as far as youth teams go and thus he will coach the youngest Towers in 2017 as the U12 and U14 head coach.

This means that Tobias Trige will coach the U16 team and Kasper Skyum will be the front man for the U19 team.

Each coach will be surrounded by the same assistants as in 2016. Tobias Trige will bring Thomas ‘Post’ Jakobsen and Lars Cedervall with him as well as a whopping 20 players advancing to the U16 squad. Trige said, “We look forward to continuing to follow the football development of these boys and also the great camaraderie they have built.” Trige is looking for additional coaches for the U16 team in order to reach the team’s goal of having a coach pr. seven players.

Coach Skyum will also field a staff that is made up of a mix of familiar and new faces. “It will be a crew that knows what it takes to improve and not just the coaches, but medics and team managers as well”, Skyum explains and adds “Our players can expect innovative and unusual practices.”

The Towers wish our fans a happy off-season, but assure you that there is nothing off about our preparations for the 2017 season.

Coaches Sonnesen and Herbild [Photo: Michael Quist]

Coaches Sonnesen and Herbild [Photo: Michael Quist]

Towers 38 seconds from Mermaid Bowl win

Towers DB Nicolai Zacho Mermaid Bowl XVIII MVP

Towers DB Nicolai Zacho was named Mermaid Bowl XVIII MVP [Photo: Michael Quist]

The Towers and Razorbacks were both looking for an unprecedented seventh championship in Mermaid Bowl XXVIII, but when the final whistle blew the Razorbacks edged the Towers for the 22-18 win. 

It was a game for the ages as a very enthusiastic crowd witnessed the Towers take the lead after just a few minutes. That lead would not be relinquished until 38 seconds before the end of the game.

Towers defensive back Nicolai Zacho came off the bench after starter Simon Maak was injured. Making the most of the opportunity, Zacho intercepted Razorbacks QB Luke DeLancelotti three times and was named MVP for his efforts.

The game was played in Horsens on Oct. 8th 2016. Watch game highlights made by Towers Media’s Rasmus Bergholt and read the game recap on Nationalligaen’s site.

And finally we’d like to share this photo, which to this reporter made the loss hurt a bit less. As the team was receiving the silver medals, American offensive lineman Quinn Bullard was surrounded by a group of the U12 and U14 players he’d coached all year. They could care less about the loss – they just knew that this was their last night with their coach Quinn, whom they loved and will miss when he’s back in the US.

American lineman Quinn Bullard with some of his U12 and U14 players [Photo: Michael Quist]

American lineman Quinn Bullard with some of his U12 and U14 players [Photo: Michael Quist]

Towers going to Mermaid Bowl XXVIII

mermaidbowl_logo16_hvid-700x357The Towers have qualified for the Mermaid Bowl for the third time in the past four seasons. We will face a familiar opponent; the Triangle Razorbacks in the championship game.

We earned a berth in the 28th installment of the Mermaid Bowl by winning 49-14 over the Amager Demons in the semifinal at Gentofte Sportspark.

The game will be played in Casa Arena in Horsens on Saturday, October 8th 2016. Kick-off is at 16:00. Prior to the big game several hundred youth players will play a youth tournament.

Tickets for the Mermaid Bowl are available from the organizers’ website.

The Copenhagen Towers FanClub has a Facebook group that will keep you updated on fan aspects of the game. They are organizing a fan bus to the game, so please check out the group, join it and register for the bus ride.

The Towers finished the National League regular season in first place with a 9-1 record. Our sole loss came at the hands of the Razorbacks on a Friday Night in Vejle before the summer break. On the other hand we beat the Razorbacks at home when we inaugurated our new stadium, so the Mermaid Bowl is bound to be exciting.

 

Date Time Home Away Score Record Comment
17/04 14:00 Copenhagen Towers Herlev Rebels 56-0 1-0 Watch
23/04 14:00 Horsens Stallions Copenhagen Towers 0-46 2-0
16/05 14:00 Herlev Rebels Copenhagen Towers 7-50 3-0
28/05 14:00 Søllerød Gold Diggers Copenhagen Towers 13-14 4-0 Watch
04/06 18:00 Triangle Razorbacks Copenhagen Towers 31-30 4-1 Watch
12/06 14:00 Copenhagen Towers Amager Demons 50-12 5-1
19/06 14:00 Copenhagen Towers Triangle Razorbacks 20-13 6-1 First game at newly renovated stadium field
20/08 14:00 Copenhagen Towers AaB 89ers 42-14 7-1 Watch
26/08 19:00 Copenhagen Towers Søllørød Gold Diggers 11-6 8-1
10/09 14:00 Aarhus Tigers Copenhagen Towers 23-44 9-1
24/09 16:00 Copenhagen Towers Amager Demons 49-14 PLAYOFFS – Semifinal.
8/10 16:00 Copenhagen Towers Triangle Razorbacks MERMAID BOWL XXVIII

Ten Towers help Denmark beat Poland

Foto: DAFF

Foto: DAFF

The international friendly between Denmark and Poland in Gdansk turned out to be an exciting affair. In the end Denmark won by a score of 37-35.

After setting the tempo early, Denmark fell behind in the second half, but managed a come from behind win in the fourth quarter.

Towers WR Frederik Myrup was named MVP of the game after scoring Denmark’s two first touchdowns; a 50-yard swing pass followed by a 101-yard kick-off return.

In the third quarter WR Aske Troen caught a touchdown pass from QB Kasper Skyum. Being his usual busy self, S Magnus Bitsch blocked a 36-yard field goal attempt in the first quarter and recorded an interception in the third quarter.

We have received a post-game photo of our eight players and two coaches on the national team, courtesy of DAFF.

Pictured from left to right:

Back row: Coach Simon Sonnesen, OL Jens Møller, OL Rasmus Thejl, DB Sverri Finsson, WR Aske Troen, coach Peter Herbild

Front row: QB Kasper Skyum, WR Frederik Myrup, DB Oliver Zacho, S Magnus Bitsch (Captain)