English Raine becomes American footballer at Yale

When there could be no physical camaraderie during the worst of the pandemic, the Yale football team still found a virtual connection online three nights a week.

At least most of the Bulldogs were still on the same continent.

“We tried to do it at 8 or 9 pm, so the guys from the west coast, the guys from the east coast, that would make sense and we could get everyone involved,” the Yale coach said, Tony Reno, in this week’s media. availability before Saturday’s home game against Penn (noon, ESPN +).

“I said to (defensive co-coordinator Jordan) Stevens, ‘Damn, what, what time is it going to be for Adam and Teo?'”

For defensive linemen Adam Raine in England and Teo Falk in Sweden, it was going to be very late. Or maybe very early.

Reno said the team offered to deliver the information to those players in Europe at a reasonable wake-up time.

“But honestly the team did a great job, Coach Reno did a great job, Coach Stevens did a great job, making me feel really connected,” said Raine. “Yeah, we were still on team calls. If it was 2 or 3 in the morning for me, I really wanted to be there, so I would wake up for those. I felt connected.

It’s telling, Reno said, that Raine answered all of those calls, speaking to the player who started the game at 16 and now, as a junior, is a starting defensive tackle.

As with everyone, the last year turned things upside down for Rayne. He left home for spring break 2020 and did not return to the United States for 10 months.

“The force staff did a great job of making sure I could contact them whenever I wanted,” Raine said. “I was always making calls with the force personnel in England, making sure I was doing everything right, and so even though I was home, and even though it was a few thousand miles away, I think it was it was, it was easy to be connected in a certain way.

Upon returning to campus, Raine registered 15 tackles for the Bulldogs (2-3, 1-1 Ivy), including a sack and a half.

Raine grew up in England, playing cricket, playing soccer until he got too fat for his knees to tolerate 90 minutes of action (Yale now rates him at 6ft 4in, 306lb).

But her grandmother grew up in Texas on an Air Force base. His youngest son, Raine’s uncle, was not much older than Adam, and he played American football; they convinced Raine, then a teenager, to try the game.

Along with regular 11-man football, he said he played variations such as nine-a-side and five-a-side football in England. Reno said the first Raine movie he saw was a five-man clip.

“It looked like the game was in a hallway,” the coach said, “and that big old fullback or fullback or whatever it was Adam, running through, around these people.

“I remember talking to Jordan Stevens saying ‘I don’t know what he’s going to play, but we have to take a look at this guy.’ It was quite impressive. ”

Raine played a pre-season at Berkshire School in Massachusetts before coming to Yale. Reno compares his progress to that of former Bulldog Dieter Eiselen, the South African-born offensive lineman who is now with the Chicago Bears.

“It’s amazing the transformation of an understanding of football that Adam made,” said Reno. “He naturally does plays now that he should probably think about things before he does them.”

TWO DEPTHS: Yale cites Griffin O’Connor as a starting quarterback after Nolan Grooms took over in the second half of last week’s loss to UConn. … Oso Ifesinachukwu is on the defensive start list after missing the last three games. … Madison’s Shane Sweitzer, who caught his first assist for Penn (2-3, 0-2) last week at Columbia, is listed as the Quakers’ backup tight end.

[email protected]; @fornabaioctp

About Betty J. Snyder

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