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De La Salle football team already preparing for October trip to London

De La Salle High School football team to play in London
De La Salle High School football team to play in London 02:51

Going to National Championships is nothing new for the De La Salle Spartans football team, but this fall they are headed across the pond for a once in a lifetime experience. 

It was announced last week that the football team would travel to London to play a NFL Academy team.

The Spartans are already getting ready for their historic trip. The team is going through their spring ball program thatl continues through the hot months of summer. It's a team that is used to playing under pressure and knows the key to success is in the preparation.

Coach Justin Alumbaugh is in his 11th year as a head coach for the De La Salle football team. This program has gone to countless state and national championships, but London? It all came about thanks to a former player who now works for Nike.

"I look at him and I go, 'Zach?' And he goes, 'Would go to London, coach?' I'm like, 'We will go to London,'" said head coach Justin Alumbaugh.

It took months to clear the idea through proper channels, but when the announcement was finally made, some players didn't know how to react.

"I was just shocked," said junior D.J. Asiasi. "I was in disbelief. It was hard for me to have any reaction. I was just shocked."

"I just think it's exciting more than anything," said sophomore Brayden Knight. "Being able to play a team across the country is different and all the guys from last year are jealous that we're getting to do it this year."

The team will be playing all-stars mainly from Europe. They will do charitable work together and play football, but some of the players had to learn an important lesson before they even get ready for London.

"When I told them we're going, I quizzed about half of them, 'Point London on the map,'" said Alumbaugh. "They can point to England, but couldn't quite pinpoint London."

"I had to search it up, so he asked me the next day and I told him," admitted Knight.

The football team already had a lot of fans on campus but that fan base has grown since the announcement.

"I'm a teacher here on campus and I'm walking through the hallway and all the teachers are like you want an extra chaperone? So there's a lot of excitement on campus," said Coach Alumbaugh.

"A lot of kids are telling me oh yeah, I'm going to come and join the team for a week so I can go to London but I'm like no," Knight added. "You got to put in the work and effort to come on this trip."

The team is trying to treat this game like any other by preparing to play on the international stage. They do know there will be some hurdles to conquer.

"I'm sure London will throw things off," said coach Alumbaugh. "We're going to have to deal with multiple time changes. Get on long flight over and long flight back. We're going to adjust to getting back."

The Spartans will not be distracted by fundraising. Nike is picking up the tab for the trip for the students. The team is scheduled to play Oct. 8 at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium in London.

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