Hello Vikings fans!
I am back for the next and final “Aanna Asks.” This week’s article features Dacia Vikings Academy U15 defensive back Raffael Weninger. Raffael has been playing football since he was 10, and the upcoming season will be his 6th season with the Vikings.
The defensive back grew up very active and enjoyed watching football, “Some of my older sister’s friends were playing football, that’s how I got to know about football and the Vienna Vikings.” After tying out and having his first trainings, Raffael was excited to start playing. Raffael likes the concept that the Vikings Football Academy has to offer, school and competitive sport being combined. “The Vikings Football Academy makes it possible for me to improve my sports skills through the seven training sessions a week (four in the morning with the academy students and three in the afternoon with the whole team), then combining that with getting a good education.”
When practicing, Raffael always has a growth mindset. The defensive back values hard work and uses practices as a way to get better everyday. Before each season, he sets goals for himself. Some of which include always giving his best effort, improving in every sense, getting stronger, conditioning, and being a player that rookies look up to. When it comes to game time, Raffael doesn’t have a specific pregame routine but he enjoys listening to music to get pumped up. Before every game, the athlete will try to eat a lot of carbs in the morning in order to have energy for the upcoming game. Raffael enjoys game days more than anything, “My favorite part of game days is the feeling of being on the field, the atmosphere of the team and giving everything together to win.”
Growing up, Raffael didn’t look up to any football player specifically. However, he looks up to a lot of players from the A-Team. The Vikings have been a big part of Raffael’s life and he loves creating more memories each season. “I like the community of the Vikings and how everybody sticks together. I have made a lot of new friends and have a lot of good stories. My favorite memory was playing in the Next Generation Bowl and qualifying for the championships finals the last two years.” Raffael still has a lot of football ahead of him and the Vikings community is excited to watch him grow.
Today is the last day of my internship with the Dacia Vienna Vikings. After 4 months of interacting with the entire Vikings community, I have learned so much about what this organization does. Being able to start this segment and interview Vikings Academy athletes in various stages of high school, I got to know so much about what great young men and women they are. I am so grateful to have worked with such an amazing group of people. Once a Viking, always a Viking!