Tory Cooper in action for the SWARCO Raiders, 2 times Eurobowl Champions
Tory Cooper continues his European football odyssey after an outstanding college career at The Citadel.
The former South Florence standout, who played last season in France, signed a contract this week to play in Austria with the Swarco Raiders, the two-time defending Euro Bowl champions.
“I’m really excited,” Cooper said this week. “I had a great time playing in France and it should be a great experience in Austria.''
Cooper, who has been working in Charleston, hoped to go back to Europe since he returned in July after his stint with the Thonon les Baines.
Cooper came in contact with Yoan Schnee, who works for Pro Football International and helps place American players with European teams. Austria was one of three possible destinations for Cooper, who also considered playing in Germany or Denmark.
“By far it’s the best fit for me. They are pretty serious about football,” said Cooper, who will be one of four Americans on the squad. “They are the top team in Europe and they draw pretty good crowds like I played in front of at The Citadel.”
Getting a chance to play with Swarco is a step up for Cooper financially and in prestige.
Swarco is one of the premiere teams in Europe. In addition to the back-to-back Euro Bowl championships, the team has a partnership with the NFL’s Oakland Raiders, who help the organization with things such as welcoming Swarco front office as summer interns.
Oakland also had various coaches from European teams, including Swarco, attend training camp this August.
In 2007 at the Citadel Tory Cooper rushed for 1024 yards and scored 21 touchdowns
With Swarco, Cooper also won’t have to play both ways as he did with Thonon les Bains. Cooper played running back and defensive back plus special teams, but said he will likely just play offense and special teams in Austria.
As a running back, Cooper ushed for 759 yards and eight touchdowns while catching 15 passes. He also played defensive back and made 31 tackles and had two interceptions for the Black Panthers, who advanced to the EFAF Cup championship before losing to Prague.
Cooper will begin training and continue to work until he departs for Austria at the end of February. Swarco’s season will begin in March and might run until July if Swarco advances to the Euro Bowl championship.
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The Road to the Eurobowl final starts 9 months earlier with players scouting around the world
PARIS, FRANCE - AUGUST 24, 2009
FOLLOWING a 2009 season where PFI exceeded its expectations, scouts are currently working on recruiting players and coaches for season 2010. The past season, PFI has worked with 11 teams to provide them with the most competitive players on the market at the time. Amongst others, the highlight of the season was PFI connecting CJ BJORK - NFL Cowboys'06, Packers'07, Bengals'08 - with the Kiel Baltic Hurricanes in GFL, PFI standout DL Tim HUNT (6'5 285lbs) winning the Eurobowl'09 with the SWARCO Raiders and All-American Division-1 Tony LEZOTTE reaching the EFAF Cup final with Thonon-les-Bains.
In 2010, PFI will work again closely with the #1 team in Europe along with the European top 20 in the 5 most competitive Leagues around Europe.
Berlin Adler David McCants receives the GermanBowl 2009
MVP trophy after a thrilling win over the Kiel Baltic Hurricanes
FRANKFURT, GERMANY - OCTOBER 2, 2009 -- Following the steps of Braunschweig Lions running-back Michael Andrew a year ago, David McCants was the second PFI player to receive the prestigious GermanBowl MVP award in as many years.
Coming off of a standout season with the Berlin Adler, McCants won the first championship of his football career in front of crowd of 17,000 fans. Recruited by PFI scouts in May, McCants signed in June with the Adler to fill-in for injured former New York Jets running-back Tony Hollings. McCants ran for 931 yards and 9 touchdowns in only 8 games with an impressive 7.6 yards per carry, adding 21 catches for 248 yards and a score.
He finished the GermanBowl with 140 yards total and 2 touchdowns both in the 4th quarter of a thrilling comeback win. Berlin overcame an 8 point deficit with 11 minutes left in the game to win 28-21.
Tim Hunt's playoffs record setting performance against the Vienna Vikings (4 sacks)
Former SWARCO Raiders defensive-end Tim Hunt remains on the Calgary Stampeders roster in the Canadian Football League coming in the 3rd week into camp. After a strong season in the Austrian Football League helping the SWARCO Raiders win back-to-back European League titles, Hunt went on to CFL work-outs in November and agreed to a deal with the Calgary Stampede.
The 6'5 - 275 pounds defensive-end set a league playoffs record 4 sacks in the AFL semi-final game against the Vienna Vikings. The Viennese orchestrated a heart breaking 22-21 come-back after trailing 21-02 with 8 minutes remaining. Hunt played college football at the University of North Alabama and went straight to play in Europe to polish his skills and get great exposure to pursue his professional football career at the next level.
The SWARCO Raiders and PFI went on to collaborate to fill-in with a player at the high standards set by Tim Hunt in AFL.
Tim Hunt celebrates the SWARCO Raiders' Eurobowl win against the Paris Flash
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