Sottilare connects overseas

Sottilare connects overseas

DOVER, Del. – Football has led former Wesley College quarterback Justin Sottilare '13 many places, five countries and three continents in four years to be exact.

A professional quarterback, Sottilare currently plays for the Vaasa Royals in Finland. He has also seen time with the Franken Knights in Germany, Seinäjoki Crocodiles in Finland, Moscow Black Storm in Russia and the Curtain Saints in Australia.

Logging many frequent flyer miles, Sottilare has certainly enjoyed his football journey.

"Each country has something special about it," he said. "I've just enjoyed spending some time and living in each of those countries. If I had to pick a favorite place I would have to say Australia because the country had some amazing wild life and national parks that make it an amazing place."

Now in his third season in Finland, the cultural differences in travel abroad haven't bothered the right-handed signal-caller.

"In Finland, everyone is very shy and keeps to themselves," Sottilare said. "Talking to a stranger at the store is something that never happens. With me being a bit talkative it makes for some very awkward moments at times. They also have 24-hour sunlight, so I've had to tinfoil my windows to get some darkness at night. In Russia, only about five people spoke English, so I had to talk a lot with my hands in order to express myself. Australia was pretty much like back home. The only thing that was an adjustment there was the lack of Wi-Fi."

A captain his senior season with the Wolverines, Sottilare was the Eastern Collegiate Athletic Conference (ECAC) Player of the Year in 2010, a two-time All-Region player and an All-ECAC performer in 2010. He tallied 6,673 passing yards and 74 touchdowns in his Wesley career.

"Wesley is a great place to study and play," said Sottilare. "Obviously the Wesley Football program has shown to be successful on the field, and I think that success is attributed to the men in charge. They have done a great job in coaching their players on and off the field. And as for me personally, I got the opportunity to play overseas because of the coaching that Coach (Chip) Knapp gave me. I don't think I'd have this opportunity if it weren't for him."

"Justin was a 'gym rat' for the playbook and our offense," said Knapp, who is entering his 26th year as Wesley's Offensive Coordinator and Associate Head Coach. "(Justin) was always asking questions and interested in learning different ways to run our offense. He was one of the best game-managing quarterbacks that came through Wesley."

Sottilare is one of 15 former Wolverines to play professional football since 2002. Through nine games in 2017, Sottilare has led the Royals to a 7-2 record.