CNMI nat’l players honored
The CNMI’s Gianna Griffin and Enrico Del Rosario ended the season with another feather on their cap after getting recognition from separate groups.
Griffin, who played for the CNMI Women’s National Team that competed in the EAFF E-1 Football Championships 2019 Round 1 in Mongolia last year, was named to the Girls Soccer Class 4A All-Section Teams of the Pennsylvania Big 5/6 Athletic Conferences.
The forward made in to the Section 3 First Team, joining 11 others on the select list. Griffin was the only Taylor Allderdice High School player to earn a spot on the elite group, which was dominated by Norwin School District. Allderdice, Norwin, Penn-Trafford, Connelsville, Hempfield, Penn Hills, and Altrobe play in Section 3 in the Western Pennsylvania Interscholastic Athletic League, which is under the Pennsylvania Interscholastic Athletic Association and has 47 member schools.
Before suiting up for Allderdice for the fall season, Griffin helped the CNMI scare Mongolia in the East Asian Football Federation tournament when she scored the Commonwealth’s first goal in the competition. Mongolia went on to avoid the CNMI’s upset axe after pulling off a 3-2 victory.
Meanwhile, Del Rosario was among the players featured on HITC Sevens’ video entitled “Best Footballer from Every Country on Earth.” HITC Sevens is a company based in United Kingdom with over 100,000 subscribers and posts short football lists on YouTube.
Also featured on the video is Real Madrid and Croatia’s Luka Modrić, who won the 2018 Ballon d’Or award to end Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo’s 10-year dominance.
“Being featured as one of the best footballers in every country on earth is a great honor and I am truly grateful for it,” said Del Rosario, who donned the Commonwealth’s colors on several occasions (both as youth and adult), including in the same competition in Mongolia last year.
“I always work hard and strive to be better than my last game, but I wouldn’t have done it without the amazing support of my family, hardworking coaches of the NMI men’s national team, officials and staff of the Northern Mariana Islands Football Association, and the rest of the my teammates. Seeing myself in both videos (he also appeared in an earlier video) is like seeing the Blue Ayuyu team as well because they bring the best out in me every time we play,” the CNMI vice captain added.