Returning victorious from the Installation Management Command-Europe flag football championship, Soldiers from the 10th Army Air and Defense Missile Command are setting their sights on an undefeated Air Force team.
The 10th AADMC team prevailed during U.S. Army Garrison Kaiserslautern’s tournament, beating local rivals Landstuhl Regional Medical Center, 32-12, during finals on Daenner Kaserne. During the IMCOM-E championship, held Nov. 5 in Hohenfels, Germany, Kaiserslautern beat Soldiers from the Heidelberg-based 529th Military Police Company, 21-20.
With just seven players on the field – football normally has 11 – teams modify plays to gain advantages, often using speed and deception to score, said Spc. Danny Jones, 43, a lineman from Toledo, Ohio.
“We came up with some pretty creative plays that allowed us to move up the field quickly and to have really big plays for touchdowns,” Jones said. “Lots of fakes and movement, screens, you name it.”
Beating Heidelberg was a challenge, as the MPs dominated most teams during championship play. In four hours, Kaiserslautern faced the MPs three times, contests of endurance that pushed players on both sides to their limits, Jones said.
“They were a very fast team, with a very good quarterback. They used plays that were just as effective as ours,” Jones said. “It really came down to who could minimize their mistakes and of course, we were fortunate two of those three times.”
In the end, the deciding play was a mishandled pass by Heidelberg, picked off by Kaiserslautern cornerback, 2nd Lt. J.R. Roberson.
“Everyone was a hero, but he made the key play to seal the deal,” Jones said.
Command Sgt. Maj. Darrin Jefferies, senior enlisted leader at the 10th AAMDC, said he is extremely proud of the Soldiers for their performance both on and off the field. “Victory is achieved through teamwork, whether on the gridiron or the battlefield,” Jefferies said. “It takes a team to accomplish the ultimate goal.”
Pfc. Deremy Wilson, 24, a supply clerk from Hopkinsville, Ky., said the competition offered an adrenaline rush only found through athletics.
“Sports keeps me out of trouble, keeps me focused and keeps me healthy. That’s why I play flag football,” Wilson said. “We had odds against us, height difference and speed of other teams, but we still prevailed in talent and the overall smartness.”
The team returned to Kaiserslautern champions. But they know a team of U.S. Air Force security police from Ramstein are undefeated. “It would be a nice friendly challenge to see who is the best team in Kaiserslautern – Army versus Air Force,” Jones said. “Hopefully, they will take us up on that.”