Holland to play in International Bowl

Former Pelham High School football standout Wes Holland, shown here playing in the Italian Football League championship game, has been selected to play in the International Scout Bowl on Sept. 1 in Warsaw, Poland. (Contributed)

GRAHAM CARR / Staff Writer

Former Pelham High School football star Wes Holland has been selected to play in the inaugural Euro-American International Scout Bowl Sept. 1, in Warsaw, Poland.

The purpose of the game is to give scouts the chance to see both American and European players, who want to play professional football either in Europe, Canada or the United States.

Holland said his individual goals are to “ball out” and hope he is able to impress scouts from either the Canadian Football League, the United Football League, or the National Football League team, enough that they offer to sign a contract with him.

He said it is an honor to play in a game with so many talented players.

“There will be players from all over the country such as Oregon, some guys that played in the CFL and NFL,” Holland said. “So I am just excited, to see where I stand talent-wise with these guys.”

Holland was one of 31 players selected onto the initial American roster. The final four spots on the roster will be selected at a later date.

The process of being selected by the American team started when they found his profile on Europlayers.com, Holland said. Europlayers.com is a website formed for American football players interested in playing in Europe.

The American team features several high-profile names, such as ex-New England Patriot and Denver Broncos player Laurence Maroney, former University of Oregon cornerback Chad Peppars and former Mississippi State University and Florida International University quarterback Wesley Carroll.

Holland said playing with guys, like Maroney, is a great measuring stick to his own abilities.

“The guy was a first round draft pick,” Holland said. “So if I go out there and do just as good as he is, then I can say to myself ‘hey I’m a pretty good player.’”

The former Naval Academy and University of North Alabama product said he has played only once in a stadium as big as the new 57,000-seat Warsaw National Stadium

“When I was at Navy, we played at Notre Dame and there were 80,000 people there,” Holland said. “So this will be the first time in a long time that I will have seen a crowd like this.”

The team will report to practice in Hillburn, New York on Aug. 27. Holland said the team will stay there for a few days, before traveling to Poland.