By Pedro Pereira
Last week, 50 Brazilian American football athletes were selected to participate in the next edition of the “CFL Combine”. The event, promoted by the Canadian professional league of this sport, called the Canadian Football League (CFL), aims to analyze the hopes spread around the world from a series of activities so that, who knows, the one of them can be recruited by a team. . Among those chosen for testing is the wide receiver soldiers from Santa Maria, Nicolas Pippi.
The initiative is expected to take place on December 16 or 17, in a city in the São Paulo metropolitan region. The exact date and location have not yet been defined by the Brazilian Confederation of American Football (CBFA), which works alongside the organizing entity to spread the practice of this sport in the country. Players will receive an email when the information is confirmed.
Earlier this year, Pippi sent out videos of his best plays in a form made available by the CFL. However, the athlete says he did not expect to be among those invited to participate in the activities. “I was even surprised when I was selected. I will do my best to represent the Soldiers well,” said the wide receiver.
Representative of the “Army”
Born in Santa Maria, the 24-year-old began his relationship with oval ball sports before he even knew of the existence of the green-black team Coração do Rio Grande. In 2019, he moved to the United States, where he has a family, to work as a football coach at the XL Sports World sports complex and there he also taught flag football – a variety of American football – for a while .
Previously, he had watched a few editions of super bowl (American League Grand Final) with friends. In 2020, he returned to his hometown after passing the UFSM and, with all his experience in sport, met soldiers. “I went to train with the development team and fell in love with the sport,” Pippi revealed about the start of her career.
Initially, the player worked in the defensive sector of the team as a defensive backuntil it becomes to come back (corridor) and, finally, fulfill the function of wide receiver, as is still the case today. The young number 11’s first official season took place in 2022, when the “Army” reached second place in the Southern Conference of the Brazilian American Football League (BFA).
Pippi says joining the Soldiers team impacted his career and prepared him for the Combine “in every way,” since the team’s veterans, especially the strategist Douglas Rodrigues, always helped you. “I always had someone to go to when I had questions or a mentor to teach me something new. Of course with Douglas (strategist) throwing is easy,” the catcher said with a laugh.
Expectations for “Combine”
The player says he started watching a lot of NFL games to mirror himself with the best in the position, in addition to the traditional and necessary training with the team, to improve his skills in American football. On the other hand, when it comes to following the CFL, the idea is different. Although he knows the league, he reveals he is not a regular fan.
“I support the Calgary Stampeders (from the city of Calgary, in the province of Alberta, Canada) because when I worked in the United States, I was a colleague of the Calgary Stampeders. offensive lineman Mike Rosewho is part of the team,” said Pippi, who explains that the meeting between the two was possible since, while the tournament season was over, the professional was going to the neighboring country to work.
Although he is one of the few from Rio Grande do Sul to have the opportunity to participate in the next edition of the CFL Combine – being the only representative of the Santa Maria team in the activities –, the wide receiver ensures that you don’t feel any weight. “There is no pressure, but I feel happy to be able to take the name of the Soldiers with me during a big event like this,” concluded the athlete.
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