When you think of football in Italy, you probably think of, well, soccer. But don’t tell local athlete Alec Dominick.
The Santa Monica resident, a senior at Harvard-Westlake School, will soon travel overseas as an ambassador of American football.
Dominick will represent the United States during his upcoming trip with American Football Worldwide, which offers cross-cultural sports experiences.
Dominick and his short-term teammates from across the country are scheduled to land in Rome on March 29, visit Tuscany starting April 1 and then face an Italian under-19 football team in an international friendly April 4 in Milan.
“I decided to play in this game because I wanted to represent my country and play a football game overseas,” Dominick said. “I don’t think I will ever have the opportunity to do something like this again.”
For Dominick, who has committed to play football next year at Washington University in St. Louis, the journey will build on an upbringing that has deep local roots. A former Carlthorp School student, he used to play baseball in Santa Monica Little League.
Dominick flourished on the gridiron as a defensive end, linebacker and tight end during his time at Harvard-Westlake in Studio City, earning all-Angelus League honors after leading the Wolverines to a 7-3 record this past season.
The talented athlete has complemented his on-field accolades with a dedication to community service. He is the junior board co-president of the Hualalai ‘Ohana Foundation, which raises money to cover education and medical expenses for Hawaiian families.
On the upcoming European adventure, Dominick and his teammates will have football practice in the morning and spend the rest of the day touring historic sites in Rome, Vatican City, Siena, Florence and Milan.
The U.S. team’s coach, Jim Barnes, believes Dominick and his teammates will form strong bonds in the days leading up to their anticipated football game.
“Meeting one another for the first time and installing a well-coordinated game plan in all phases of football in less than a week will be a formidable challenge,” Barnes said in a release. “However, from the research we have done, our staff is excited about the potential for this team.
“All week they will bond closer through our unique shared experiences. It is exciting to think about how unified and inspired our … team will be at the end of the week when running out to take the field to represent the USA and our great game against the Italian national team.”
Dominick, the son of Michele and Frank Dominick, will be part of the third-annual game between an American Football Worldwide all-star roster and a team from Europe. The U.S. squad defeated a French team 19-0 two years ago and earned a 50-0 victory in last year’s return to France.
Contact Jeff Goodman at 310-573-8351, firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter.