USAFL Season Previews 2018

“Sweet spring, full of sweet days and roses, a box where sweets compacted lie.” – George Herbert

One cannot remember a USAFL offseason that has been so eventful.  A new president, a new women’s board, a new Freedom head coach, two clubs merging, another expanding into two, a second club forming in Phoenix, and a new team in New England.

Winter is refusing to let go in the East.  It is still cold and it’s still snowing in some parts of the country.  But that hasn’t stopped a good deal of the teams from getting out to train, indoors and out, and in some cases have already begun their co-ed and metro leagues.

Irrespective of Mother Nature decrees, the Earth is keeping her cosmic appointments, and she says she is now one-third of her way ‘round her six-billion-and-some-th trip circling the sun.   USAFL season number twenty-two is here, ready or not.

The first USAFL game of the season kicks off this coming Saturday in Wilmington, North Carolina, as the North Carolina Tigers face the brand new Baltimore Dockers.  It will also mark exactly six months until a handful of teams are crowned champions at the SCORe Complex in Racine, Wisconsin.

The Golden Gate AFL are on the top of the pack.  The Roos became premiers of the men’s Division 1 for the first time in their twenty seasons, and the Iron Maidens took out their second women’s D1 title in a row from legendary Denver.  Can they stay there? 

Quebec, Seattle, and Oklahoma will all move up a division this season, how will they compete against together competition on the men’s side?  Will the Portland Sockeyes finally make the move to D1 after winning three D2 titles in a row?

We’ll follow the progress of homegrown, American talent… names like DePina, English, Ames, Kahr, Restrepo, Bagley, Blecher, and others, will be in focus during the course of season 2018.

Over the course of the next week or so (depending on how fast I get these out), we’ll take a look at all fifty-three teams – yes, that’s right, 53 – who will take to the ground this year, fighting through a regular season schedule, Regionals, and then Nationals.

Below is the tentative schedule of the season preview series.  Note that, in order to keep the articles balanced, I have divided the teams by geography, and not necessarily by which USAFL region they are in.  Links to each of the articles will be posted here once they are done.

My appreciation to the teams for their assistance in gathering information for this series.

Tuesday, April 10:
Men’s EAST – Baltimore Dockers, Boston Demons, D.C. Eagles, Ft. Lauderdale Fighting Squids, Maine Cats, New York Magpies, North Carolina Tigers, Philadelphia Hawks, Quebec Saints

Wednesday, April 11:
Men’s NORTH –
Calgary Kangaroos, Chicago Swans, Cincinnati Dockers, Cleveland Cannons, Columbus Jackaroos, Des Moines Roosters, Indianapolis Giants, Minnesota Freeze, Wisconsin Wombats

Thursday, April 12:
Men’s SOUTH – Atlanta Kookaburras, Austin Crows, Baton Rouge Tigers, Dallas Magpies, Denver Bulldogs, Houston Lonestars, Little Rock Coyotes, Nashville Kanagroos, Oklahoma Footy Club

Friday, April 13:
Men’s WEST –
Arizona Hawks, Arizona Outlaws, Golden Gate Roos, Las Vegas Gamblers, Los Angeles Dragons, Orange County Bombers, Portland Steelheads, Sacramento Suns, San Diego Lions, Seattle Grizzlies

Monday, April 16:
Women’s EAST/CENTRAL –
Baltimore-Washington Lady Eagles, Boston Lady Demons, Columbus Jillaroos, Houston Lonestars, Minnesota Freeze, Montreal Angels, New York Magpies, North Star Blue Ox, Philadelphia Hawks

Tuesday, April 17:
Women’s WEST – Arizona Lady Hawks, Calgary Kookaburras, Denver Lady Bulldogs, Los Angeles Dragons, Portland Sockeyes, Sacramento Lady Suns, San Francisco Iron Maidens, Seattle Grizzlies

Author’s Note: This preview series is dedicated to the memory of Shaun Kelly, who passed away suddenly and way too soon on April 6.  Shaun was a fixture of the football community in country Victoria, and was in the process of planning to spearhead an ambitious live coverage project of the USAFL Nationals at the time of his passing.  We offer this as a tribute to his work in the footballing community and his desire to see the USAFL grow to its highest potential.

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