The Gustavus football team will be traveling to Cancun, Mexico for a five-day trip that will combine football, service, and some fun. The team will depart Wednesday, May 25 and return Monday, May 30. Head Coach Peter Haugen and assistant coach Ryan Galindo have worked with Gustie football alum Peter Nyhus and the Lagartos Football Club to put together the trip that will include several clinics for players and coaches of the Lagartos Football Club of Cancun, an exhibition game against the Lagartos senior division football squad, a visit to a local orphanage, and a snorkeling and sightseeing trip to Isla de Mujeres (an island near Cancun).
“We are thrilled to have the opportunity to provide our players with an international playing experience, while at the same time help the staff and players of the highly regarded Lagartos Football Club by putting on clinics involving individual skill and team techniques,” stated Haugen. “It has been a pleasure working with the staff of the Lagartos Football Club. They have been so gracious and welcoming and we are excited to spend several days sharing football and fellowship with their staff and players.”
The Gustavus football staff will be joined by nearly 50 players, and a significant number of parents and friends for the trip. The Gusties will depart Minneapolis on Wednesday, May 25 in the morning and arrive in Cancun that afternoon. On Thursday afternoon, the Gustavus staff and players will put on a clinic for coaches with player demonstrations and then later in the day, the team will host a free youth clinic for players of the Lagartos Football Club.
On Friday morning, Coach Haugen and the squad will travel to Bonfil, Mexico, which is just outside of Cancun to Casa Hogar Esperanza(House of Hope and Faith), an orphanage run by Asencio and Esther Mancilla who started this home nearly 20 years ago when someone left an infant on their doorstep. The players will share gifts and spend time with the children for several hours before returning to Cancun for a short practice in preparation for Saturday’s exhibition game with Lagartos, which has been dubbed the “Carribbean Bowl.”
On Saturday, the team will have time to rest and relax in the morning and then in the evening the team will play the Lagartos “Gators” on a artificial turf field at the Instituto Cesare, a university campus in Cancun. Game time is set for 5:00 pm. After the game, both teams will gather for a celebration dinner and fellowship.
On Sunday, the Gusties will enjoy a day of sightseeing as they will take a ferry to Isla de Mujeres, an island 20-minutes off the coast of Cancun, known for snorkeling, good food, and great beaches.
The team will return home on Monday evening.
Sports information assistant Ethan Armstrong will be traveling with the team and sharing a blog as well as pictures and video from the trip. You can access Armstrong’s information through the Gustavus football web page.