CLINTON — Football season is just around the corner, but Sean Mullholland and his teammates already have a game under their belts. The Prince of Peace turned Augustana College offensive/defensive end is less than two weeks removed from a trip to Europe, where, said Mullholland, he played against international players as old as 30.
From July 23-30, Mullholland and the Vikings were stationed in Lille, France where they eventually faced the French national club team in exhibition. Augustana won 20-13 on July 27. Before and after, Mullholland got to bond with teammates and tour the country, including visits to Normandy and Paris.
“About every three years Augustana takes a trip globally,” he said. “It’s a really nice opportunity for people who play Division-III football.”
Mullholland is entering his senior year with the Vikings. The previous three years he played tight end, but under third year coach Rob Cushman he will switch to the defensive side.
Last month’s tune up was a good showing for the Vikings leading into the season, Mullholland said.
“It was a great opportunity for us to all bond together,” he said. Apparently, the global influence of football is growing. “It’s definitely expanding. We learned a lot about the European leagues. Each country has an all star team.”
While the Vikings were using the Europeans for practice, the same was true for the French team. Mullholland said France was training for a European club football bowl game.
There were a few differences between the game across the pond. Mullholland said the teams played shorter quarters and the French team ages ranged from 19-30.
All in all, it was a worthwhile memorable endeavor for the Clinton native.
“I’m definitely glad I stuck with the sport,” he said. “It’s an exciting time for me. My first real year to make an impact on defense and there’s plenty of room for improvement.
“This gave us 10 practices together. We already have a game up on the competition.”
The Vikings were 5-5 last season. Mullholland said the roster is loaded with experience and senior leadership. He hopes for good things when the season finally arrives.