The Daily Item, Sunbury, PA

Sports

February 10, 2013

International football: Passing a Czech

By Todd Hummel

For The Daily Item

EASTON -- Andrew Shoop didn't want his football career to end after his final game as Lafayette's quarterback in November.

"I wanted my football career to continue in some facet," Shoop said.

That wish will come true this week when Shoop, a former Danville High School standout, flies to Prague, Czechoslovakia, to play for the Prague Black Panthers.

The Black Panthers play in the Austrian Football League, one of the top American football leagues in Europe. The champion from the AFL won the European Football Cup -- Europe's soccer-style tournament for all of its professional football leagues -- from 2004 through 2011.

Rob Curley, Lafayette's senior starting quarterback when Shoop was a freshman, recommended that Shoop consider playing football in Europe. Curley has played for teams in Sweden and Switzerland.

"He made a couple of contacts for me. Then I made a profile on a web site (eurofootball.com) with a highlight tape and a football resumé," Shoop said. "I had a lot of contacts from teams and it was just a matter of finding the most competitive brand of football."

Shoop would like to parlay this opportunity in Europe into a chance to play quarterback in the Arena League or the Canadian Football League.

"I hoping to use this as a stepping stone," Shoop said. "I made a couple of contacts (through the web site) with those leagues. I want to sharpen my skills in a high-caliber football league. You might think football would take a backseat to soccer (in Europe), but it's a high-level league."

Shoop started nine games for the Leopards last season, completing 61.2 percent of his passes for 1,657 yards and 14 touchdowns. For his career, Shoop played in 23 games, completing 58.6 percent of his passes for 3,705 yards, 30 touchdowns and 17 interceptions.

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