STUTTGART, Germany—U.S. Army Stuttgart Veterinary Branch animal care specialist played on the winning team of a host nation American Football team, he has been playing on since fall 2022.
Sgt. Kameron Coleman has been a veterinary care specialist at the Stuttgart Army Veterinary Branch since 2021. His day-to-day duties include providing care, management and treatment of military working dogs and privately owned animals of service members and beneficiaries stationed in the Stuttgart area.
To find a way to release stress after a busy workday, Coleman has always been drawn to football.
According to the Alabama-native, “Football has always been a big part of my life growing up.”
“I am a natural competitor and football is a very physical and demanding game, only the best competitor and most prepared come out on top,” said Coleman. “I am always pushing myself to be the best or trying to find ways to improve my game or my life skills. Playing football teaches you a lot about life in certain aspects.”
After moving to Germany, the linebacker was not part of a team, so he started coaching 11 to12-year-old tackle football in the Stuttgart military community.
“I started coaching tackle football, because to be successful as a football player on any level, either peewee ball, high school ball or even college ball, one must understand the game and learn the basics,” said Coleman. “I felt as if I could help some of the kids that were not as familiar with the sport, to gain the confidence and abilities to compete on the same or even higher level as more experienced children.”
Coleman enjoyed coaching and developing the players, but he missed playing professionally and challenging himself, mentally and physically, outside of work.
“To play football you must be in some type of shape mentally and physically,” said Coleman. “You cannot go out there and just expect to be the best, you need to train for it even when you don’t feel like working out, going for that run or taking the time to study. You get out and do it anyway.”
From a fellow Child & Youth Services coach he found out that the local semi-professional American Football team, the Bondorf Bulls, were hosting tryouts that are open for German and Americans.
Coleman tried out and made it onto the team in October 2022. Currently the team is training for their second season.
According to Coleman, not speaking German has been difficult, but “the coach makes sure that he breaks it down to those that only speak English so everyone will be on the same page.”
German football teams are limited to six American players with no more than two American players on the field at any given time. Fans can distinguish the American players during games because they have an "A" on their helmets and uniforms.
“The German players are happy to have us on the team and have welcomed us with open arms since day one,” said Coleman. “There is only one goal on our team and that is to win a championship.”
The Bondorf Bulls won 37-18 on May 6 against the Neckar Hammers in Bondorf. Their next game is against the Neckar Hammers in Bondorf May 27.