Former Culver City High star Lukas O'Connor making life work

In 2011, former Culver City High quarterback Lukas O'Connor lead the Centaurs to the CIF championship game. It was the first time in over 30 years that the Centaurs played in the championship game. Culver City lost the game, but O' Connor carried on with his football career.

But it's been a roller-coaster ride for the 6-foot-4 quarterback. After turning down several Division 1-AA schools, O'Connor packed his bags to attend a prep school on the East Coast. When that didn't work out, O'Connor turned his attention to James Madison, which offered him a partial scholarship.

O'Connor then bounced from James Madison back to the junior college route to play football at West Los Angeles College, which led to a pitstop at Chapman University. Finally, O'Connor settled at West Liberty.

"I just wanted to keep playing," O'Connor said. "College didn't go the way I wanted, and I wanted to continue. I felt like it could be beneficial for me as a player and as a coach for my future."

O'Connor heard about the European portal which allowed for Americans to put their highlights in there so they could pursue a professional career in football overseas, especially in Europe. He thought this would give him an opportunity to travel and see a different part of the world. The idea of getting paid for something that he enjoyed doing was extremely appealing to him plus he felt it would help in his coaching career.

He finally accepted an offer to play for a Slovakian team that hailed from the city of Bratislava, which has a large population of over 500,000 people. At this level, you can only have one foreigner on the field at any one time. Therefore, most of the foreigners are skill players, like quarterbacks. The teams provide for housing, some meals, and O'Connor made about $700 a month.

O'Connor faced some barriers he wasn't used to, but he made things happen. O'Connor was made made a coach on the field. He got the offensive skill players to practice in their off days, usually three times a week which dramatically helped their team.

The head coach of the team is the chief of police in Bratislava. He had a sort of authoritarian way about

him, but after O'Connor showed him his work ethic and they began to win, the coach gave O'Connor reign to do his thing-from a play-calling standpoint. To get to the AFL Division I championship, Bratislava beat the Telfs Patriots 54-20 at home. O'Connor threw six touchdown passes and was 22 of 29 for 384 yards. That performance got them into the Silver Bowl, which was the final game of the year!


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