Rising Covid-19 cases force Harlem graduate to switch teams and leagues


ROCKFORD, Ill. (WTVO/WQRF) — Rising COVID-19 cases in Germany have Harlem High School graduate Aj Wentland switching football teams. Wentland has signed a contract to play for the Kuopio Steelers in Finland to compete in the first Finnish Football League.

Wentland had been playing in his third season with the Dresden Monarchs in the German Football League (GFL), but last Friday that league shut down due to rising cases of the coronavirus.

The past two years Wentland led the GFL in tackles setting records from his linebacker position. His 206 tackles in the 2018 season set a league mark. He came up one tackle shy of that in 2019 when he had 205 tackles.

Before heading to Europe to play professionally Wentland excelled at McKendree University (NCAA Division II) where he set the school season record for tackles for three straight years, and he set the school record for career tackles.

At Harlem he was First Team All-NIC 10 as a junior in 2011 and a senior in 2012. Wentland plans to return to Dresden in mid-September.

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