Jesuit Rangers will remember Ireland trip for more than close win




Posted on September 6, 2012 at 8:28 PM

DALLAS - Among all the high school football teams who began their season in zero week, no one had a better weekend than Dallas Jesuit.

"It was everything and more, it really was," said linebacker Jordan Mastro Giovanni. "I know that sounds kind of corny and cliche, but experiencing everything they did for us, it was a once-in-a-lifetime experience."

The Rangers spent five days in Ireland, and played their opener against another Jesuit school from Chicago.

They won on a field goal in the final minute, as Cody Wicker split the uprights -- which are six-feet closer together than they are here.

"I always try to hit down the middle," Wicker said. "But... it was different."

Playing football in Ireland was different, with August temperatures in the 60's and a grass field, something that Dallas-area football players rarely see anymore.

"We played on the nice grass," said Jake Oliver, who had 14 catches in the game. "It was cold, a grass field. I haven't played on grass since Pizza Hut Park my freshman year."

It was a big weekend of American football in Ireland.

On Friday, six high school teams played -- two from Canada and four from the United States -- and a couple of Division III schools played. On saturday, it was Notre Dame and Navy.

Jesuit got a win, and the experience of a lifetime.

"I really do think this has kept our team strong and bonded together," said head coach Brandon Hickman. "Hopefully it will carry us into the playoffs this season."

Before the trip, each player got a shamrock decal put on his helmet.

"The shamrock - they gave one to every player going into it," Mastro Giovanni said. "It was fun. We look back on these, and I think we're going to keep these on for the rest of the season."

It's a nice reminder of their trip to Ireland, not that they'll need it.