What's On Tap: July 17, 2021

After almost two months of drips and drops of footy, we have our first deluge of the season.

Five events, including our first women’s match, all take place during the day on Saturday.  North Texas hosts its first ever home game, Dallas takes on familiar Sun Belt foes, Baltimore welcomes in two local rivals, and the return of footy in the Show Me State round out the action.

Oklahoma Okies (1-0) and Austin Crows Reserves (0-0) @ North Texas Devils (0-2)
Old Shepard Park -- Plano, Texas
First Game: 8:45am CDT

The newest USAFL club can tick off another box when they host their first ever home game as the Devils’ Den in Plano.  North Texas is seeking some revenge over Caleb West and the Okies, who pipped Jaxon Jackson and the Devils on their own home ground in Tulsa before the holiday.  They’ve had plenty of bright spots in their first two games, and the experience that they bring with their Aussie veterans will filter down to their American rookies as time goes on.  The Austin Crows reserves will make their season debut, coming off a runner up finish in men’s D3 group play at the 2019 Nationals.

Men’s: Philadelphia Hawks (0-0) and DC Eagles (0-0) @ Baltimore Dockers (0-0)
Women’s: Philadelphia Lady Hawks (0-0) v DC Lady Eagles (0-0)
Patterson Park -- Baltimore, Maryland

First Game: 10am EDT

After the long layoff, the Dockers men’s side will finally be able to use some of the momentum from their surprise D2 Grand Final run from 2019 as they open their season at home against both of their I-95 rivals.  Baltimore’s balanced attack with a strong American core led by Nick Sisca and Jake Moyer, will be put to the test from two skillful teams.  The Philly Hawks, keystoned by John Hinchen’s gloriously overpowered boot, are coming off a group runner up run in D2 in 2019, while the DC Eagles are paced by quick man Matthew Woodruff and bring depth to their contest.

Sandwiched in the middle of the men’s round robin is a rematch of the women’s D2 Grand Final from the 2019 Nationals, where Philadelphia snatched the premiership away from DC in the final 90 seconds of the match.  The Lady Hawks won’t have Dani Marshall and the Arizona Hawks by their side, but captain Erica Sacci and her team have been chomping at the bit to get out there.  Kristin Lough anchors an Eagle defense that will try and put the clamps on and force chances up front.  

Both the Hawks men’s and women’s teams will be reinforced by players from the RVA Lions.

Dallas Dingoes (1-1) and Baton Rouge Tigers (0-0) @ Houston Lonestars (0-0)
Bendwood Park -- Houston, Texas
First Game: 11am CDT

Perennial D2 stalwart Houston welcomes in two old rivals, one from instate and one from out of state.  Bearded wonder Nick Plaisance and the Lonestars split their seasons series against the Dingoes in 2019, going 1-1-1 in three matches.  Dallas comes in after dropping their first game to Austin, but evened up their record against the expansion Devils.  Revolution fullback Jeff Kraemer has been a welcome addition to the Dingoes, solidifying a seasoned back six.  Baton Rouge, an always plucky D4 side, rounds out the field and are looking to snatch at least one win on the road.

St Louis AFC (0-0) and Des Moines Roosters (0-0) @ Kansas City Power (0-0)
Blue River Field -- Kansas City, Missouri
First Game: Noon CDT

Two clubs that were once booming hotbeds are footy in the midwest will come back to the oval after absences.  The Host Kansas City Power’s last match as a full side was the D4 Grand Final in 2015, and they’ll be led by veterans Matthew Amick and Josh Henges.  Players from St Louis have been a part of the multi-premiership winning Ohio Valley outfit for more than a decade, but the “Blues” return with exciting rookies like Jake Bowling wrapped around experienced players like Dave Zitko.  The veteran side from Iowa, which fell in the 2019 D4 Nationals Grand Final, with good skill players like Jacob Vander Ploeg leading an all-American roster.

Chicago Swans (0-0) v Wisconsin Wombats (0-0)
Waveland Park -- Chicago, IL

The Wombats are set to head down I-90 for their opening match of the season against the Swans, a team that is seeking a run for their first National Title since they won D3 back in 2012.  Eric Monroe leads the Wombats into battle against a Chicago saide that as won both of the meetings between the sides since the Wombats came into the league in 2018.

Photo: Andrew Tyson

Posted in 
Watch AFL