The Duncan Banner


November 5, 2012

Scandinavian Sensation

Foreign exchange student, Larsen, gives Empire boost

EMPIRE — Freddy Larsen is certain the Empire Bulldogs could win the national championship. The Danish national championship of American football, that is.

And Larsen should know. He’s played for it.

Before traveling 4,031 miles to bring his football talents to Empire as a foreign exchange student, Larsen roamed the gridiron for the Herlev Rebels, a team of 16-year-old or younger boys in Denmark.

And no, the Rebels couldn’t win Oklahoma’s District A-4.

Nor could the three-time defending Danish champ Copenhagen Towers, a brute of a team whose dominance is comparable to that of Ringling, Okla., USA, Larsen said.

Larsen’s Rebels, unbeaten at the time, lost Copenhagen, 28-20, in the 16U Danish National Championship last season. Neither one of them could beat Empire, he said.

“If they played us,” Larsen said, referencing his current club, Empire High School, “they would get beat. We have some good teams in Denmark, but the size and pace of the game is different. You have to step it up a gear. People here have a look in their eye.

“They take it seriously.”

Great Dane

Larsen hails from Kastrup, Denmark, a town of about 50,000 where soccer is king. Larsen never liked soccer. Too slow. Not enough physical contact.

But a game being played across the street from his house intrigued a 12-year-old Larsen, who, until then, had been a motorcross athlete.

But this new game, the one he was seeing just yards away from his yard ... it was interesting. The players were wearing pads and helmets, and it looked like you could hit people without getting into trouble.

It was Amerikansk Fodbold — American Football — just like he’d seen on TV and the Internet.

“I thought it was cool, but then I became skinny and more of a receiver kind of player,” Larsen said.

Larsen plays receiver and defensive back in Denmark. He’s also a receiver for Empire and leads the Bulldogs in touchdown receptions with 4. In addition, he’s handled the punting chores.

“We don’t have quite the spirit in Denmark that you have here,” Larsen said. “Here, we have stands and bands and cheerleaders. It’s just like it is in the movies. It’s awesome. At our games in Denmark, there are usually about 20 people there, including parents.”

Football is a club sport in Denmark. It’s not associated with school. Danes join teams for 12-and-younger, 14-and-younger, 16-and-younger, 19-and-younger, or senior league. The Senior League is like the Danish version of the NFL.

Leagues feature seven-man, nine-man, and 11-man football.

Danes pay a fee every six months to join and must purchase their own equipment. Players must find their own transportation to away games. And, “you can travel all the way to the other side of Denmark,” Larsen said.

The 10-game season starts in April and ends in October. Teams can go as many three weeks without playing a game, and practices are normally held just three days a week. There are usually two playoff games and then the Danish Championship.

Games are played on Saturdays and Sundays.

“I like the Friday night lights thing,” Larsen said. “I’ll miss that when I go home.” And he likes playing every week. “It gives me something to look forward to,” he said.

Before he left for America on Aug. 8, Larsen had played in four games for the Amager Demons. They were 1-3. When he returns to Denmark in May, the new season will already be underway.

Text Only
  • Outlaws have chance to host regionals

    The Marlow baseball team has had to overcome some adversity in recent weeks, but coach Jeff Brewer is confident the team will get back on track.
    The past week started with a road game at Blanchard, ranked seventh in Class 4A, last Tuesday. Then came a tough outing at home against Class 4A Newcastle Thursday and a showdown Friday at Sterling, ranked fourth in Class A.

    April 20, 2014

  • 4-20 duncan girls tennis moore.jpg Tennis teams place second

    The Duncan tennis teams did well for themselves in a tough field at the BancFirst Tournament.
    The girls played Friday and took second as a team, with Marisa Moore taking second at No. 2 singles and Aubrey Mouser and Jordan Clauson the same placing at No. 2 doubles. Taking third were Alex Bowers at No. 1 singles and Sydney Hendricks and Carly Kirkland at No. 1 doubles.

    April 20, 2014 1 Photo

  • 4-20 Central High baseball.jpg Bronchos boast top-notch backstops

    Central High coach Jeff Jones has had to tinker with his lineup to get the best Bronchos on the field for most of the year, but one position he hasn’t had to worry about is catcher.
    That consistency came in the form of two very different players.
    First, there’s the unheralded freshman Keeton Sallee. Flirting with a .400 batting average, Sallee is one of the Bronchos’ best offensive weapons. On defense, his quick release and strong arm cause headaches for opponents on the basepath. Just months into his high-school career, he’s performing admirably.

    April 20, 2014 1 Photo

  • Girls soccer wins big at Eisenhower

    The Duncan girls soccer team dominated its match at Lawton Eisenhower Friday, winning 8-0.
    “We really moved the ball well,” said Lady Demon coach Delydia Gay. “We did a fantastic job. Everyone got a good amount of playing time.”

    April 20, 2014

  • 4-20 marlow pole vaulters photo.JPG ‘Dial’-ing up a vaulting tradition

    Marlow’s pole vaulters have a good chance to continue the legacy of Joe Dial.
    Dial held the world record in the men’s indoor pole vault at one point, clearing 19 feet, 3 3/4 inches in on Feb. 1, 1986. He was a four-time state champion at Marlow from 1978 to 1981, with his best state meet mark coming in 1980 when he cleared 17 feet, 1 inch. He now coaches track at Oral Roberts University in Tulsa.

    April 20, 2014 1 Photo

  • Demons post good times at tough meet

    A meet at the University of Oklahoma Friday proved tough for the Duncan track athletes, but the coaches saw plenty of good things.
    Duncan’s boys tallied nine top-six placings at a meet that mostly featured Class 6A schools. Kevin Roddy won the shot put (57’1.5”) and discus (178’11”), Mason Bivens won the 3200 (9:53.71) and Walker Clampitt won the 800 (2:00.03).

    April 20, 2014

  • Four named to DHS Athletic Hall of Fame

    A star on two state champion football teams, two females who will set precedent for their sports and a Velma native who is a mover and shaker in the tennis program comprise the 2014 Duncan Athletic Hall of Fame class to be inducted when DHS holds its annual All-Sports Assembly on Monday, May 19.

    April 20, 2014

  • Four stand out for Indians at Marietta

    Several Comanche track athletes had good showings at a meet in Marietta Friday.
    Braden Ledford placed second in the high jump, despite being limited with a hip flexor injury. Track coach Steve Justus said he has been taking it easy with Ledford so he will be healthy for regionals. Ledford has the potential to clear 6 feet, 2 inches, Justus said.

    April 20, 2014

  • Demon golfers compete at Lincoln Park

    The Duncan boys golfers competed at a tournament at Lincoln Park Golf Course in Oklahoma City Thursday.
    Individual scores were Blake Graham with 76 and 79, Logan Harris with 76 and 75, Tyler Albin with 77 and 78, Christian Dructor with 78 and 86, and Carson Hogstad with 80 and 83.

    April 18, 2014

  • 4-18 duncan track photo.jpg Track teams head to Norman

    The Duncan track athletes travel to Norman today for a meet at the University of Oklahoma.
    Duncan boys coach Todd Ledford said that the Demons will be one of just three Class 5A teams attending. The rest of the teams are 6A.

    April 18, 2014 1 Photo

Featured Ads
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
AP Video
Raw: More Than 100,000 Gather for Easter Sunday Raw: Greeks Celebrate Easter With "Rocket War" Police Question Captain, Crew on Ferry Disaster Raw: Orthodox Christians Observe Easter Rite Ceremony Marks 19th Anniversary of OKC Bombing Raw: Four French Journalists Freed From Syria Raw: Massive 7.2 Earthquake Rocks Mexico Captain of Sunken SKorean Ferry Arrested Raw: Fire Destroys 3 N.J. Beachfront Homes Raw: Pope Presides Over Good Friday Mass Raw: Space X Launches to Space Station Superheroes Descend on Capitol Mall Man Charged in Kansas City Highway Shootings Obama Awards Navy Football Trophy Anti-semitic Leaflets Posted in Eastern Ukraine Raw: Magnitude-7.2 Earthquake Shakes Mexico City Ceremony at MIT Remembers One of Boston's Finest Raw: Students Hurt in Colo. School Bus Crash Deadly Avalanche Sweeps Slopes of Mount Everest

Who do you favor for the U.S. Senate seat that Tom Coburn is giving up?

State Rep. T.W. Shannon, R-Lawton
U.S. Rep. James Lankford, R-Edmond
State Sen. Connie Johnson, D-Oklahoma City
Former State Sen. Randy Brogdon, R-Owasso
     View Results