German Football League 2022: GFL North Preview

The Dresden Monarchs made history last year bringing home their first German Bowl in club history. Now with a new season kicking off this weekend, the Monarchs face tough competition once again in the GFL North.  Traditional powerhouses like the New Yorker Lions are joined by hungry underdogs such as the Berlin Adler and Potsdam Royals in what could be one of the most competitive leagues in Europe this season.

Let’s take a look at all eight teams

Dresden Monarchs: 2021 Record – 12-1. GFL Champions

Head coach: Ulz Dauber

Key returning players:  LB Andrew McElroy (Ireland, Marist NCAA DI FCS) LB Dorian Boldog (Germany) WR Anthony Brooks (UK, Frankfurt Galaxy) WR Radim Kalous (Czech Republic) RB Yazan Nasser (Germany) LB ​​Florian Zur Neiden (Germany)

Key additions: QB Austyn Carta Samuels (USA, Vanderbilt NCAA DI) DL Leonel Misangumkini (Austria NFL IPP) DB Ken Hike Jr (USA, Tuskegee NCAA DII) LB Rayshard Ashby (USA, Virginia Tech NCAA D1) WR Isaiah Amaechi (USA, Occidental NCAA DIII) WR William Gladney (USA, Ithaca NCAA DIII) LB Chris Noak (Germany) DB Kenny Floret (France, Kuopio Steelers) 

Potsdam Royals: 2021 Record – 8-4. Semifinalists

Head coach: Michael Vogt

Key returning players: RB Jake Mayon (USA, Northern Michigan, 2021 GFL rushing leader) OL Yasir Raji (All Europe) DB/WR Erik Hannes (Germany), OL Max Evenhuis (Netherlands) LB Erik Meinhardt (Germany) DB/WR/K/P Heiko Bals (Germany).

Key additions: QB Chris Helbig (USA, Southern Utah NCAA D1 FCS) DB/WR Reuben de Ruyter (Belgium, Marburg Mercenaries), OL Stefan Numi Steffanson (Iceland, Swarco Raiders) WR Brandon Polk (USA, Penn State, JMU), WR Jared Wolfe (USA, Villanova), RB Karri Pajarinen (Finland, Helsinki Roosters) LB Filippo Fort (Italy, UCF) DL Stanley Aronkale (Austria) DL / TE Jerome Valbone (France) OL Brendan Oswin (Australia) DB Cody Cranston (Canada, Ottawa University)

New Yorker Lions: 2021 Record – 5-6. Quarterfinalists

Head coach: Troy Tomlin

Key returning players: WR Benjamin Krahl (Germany), OL Gerrit Brandt (Germany), DL Samuel Kargel (Germany), WR Justus Holtz (Germany), LB David Muller, K Luca Jeckstadt (Germany), RB FInn Opperman (Germany), DB Corvin Hennig (Germany), WR Christian Bollmann, WR Malcom Abimbola (Germany)

Key additions: QB Jakob Parks (USA, South Dakota NCAA DI FCS) DB Ahdekeem Brown (USA, Quincy NCAA DII) LB Nigel Alexander (USA, Dartmouth NCAA DI FCS) OL Daniel Kane (UK) OL David Beale (UK, Ohio Northern NCAA DIII) RB Emmanuel Abedi-Bawa (UK) OL Amos Laoye (Belgium, Cologne Crocodiles) WR Isaiah Woods (USA Portland State NCAA DI FCS), Jim Ward (DC) 

Cologne Crocodiles: 2021 Record – 6-5. Quarterfinalists

Head coach: David Odenthal

Key returning players: QB Christian Strong (Canada/UK, Seton Hill NCAA DII) RB Sergej Kendus (Germany) LB Lino Schröter (Germany) TE/FB Janek Mensching (Germany) WR ​​David Crawford (Germany) 

Key additions: DL Jonell Pelie (UK, Allgäu Comets) WR Montel Patterson (UK, Düsseldorf Panther) DB Fardan Allen (USA, Seton Hill NCAA DII) RB/WR Jarvis McClam (USA, Seton Hill NCAA DII) TE Justin Kleinart (Germany)

Kiel Baltic Hurricanes: 2021 Record – 2-8.

Head coach: Timo Zorn

Key returning players: WR Benedikt Englmann (2021 German All-Star) RB Lorenz Rotermund (Germany) DL Simon Wilken (Germany) OL Morten Anderssohn (Germany) DL Felix Meintz (Germany) DB CJ Davis (USA)

Key additions: QB Andrew Dion (Rose Hulman NCAA DIII), LB Quinlen Dean (Marshall NCAA D1), DB Yaw Aboagye (Hamburg Sea Devils)

Berlin Rebels: 2021 Record – 1-9

Head coach: Joshua Mandel

Key returning players: LB  Rory Johnson (Green Bay Packers, Ole Miss NCAA D1), QB Donovan Isom Southeastern Louisiana (NCAA D1 FCS) , WR/DB Paul Morant Old Dominion (NCAA Division I FBS ),  OL Christopher Wartenberg (Germany) 

Key additions: OT JJ Rudnicki (Poland, Badalona Dracs) RB/CB Dwight Caulker (UK) RB Meril Zéro (France, NYer Lions) DL/ LB Simeon Okonta-Wariso (UK, CFL Global Combine) WR Antoni Podgorski (Poland, NFL IPP) Daniel Docal (Spain, Leipzig Kings).

Berlin Adler: 2021 Record (DNP: Promoted from GFL2 – 8-0-1)

Head coach: Shuan Fatah 

Key returning players: QB Zach Cavanaugh (USA, Curry College) DB Antonio Smith (USA, Shepherd NCAA DII) Nemanja Graovac (Serbia) OL Botond Krizsai (Hungary) TE Yannick Rohnrschneider (Germany, EMU NCAA DI)

Key additions: WR Patrick Donahue (USA, Stuttgart Scorpions) DB Emmanuel Pelzer (USA, Rowan NCAA DIII) DL Nikola Vuksanovic (Serbia) LB Frank Haring (Germany, Hildesheim Invaders) DL/OL Remi Daniels (UK, London Olympians) 

Düsseldorf Panther: 2021 record (DNP: Promoted from GFL2 – 7-1-1)

Head coach: Winston Rond

Key returning players: DB Marius Rieks (Germany), DB Jason Dean Hollinger (Germany), RB Lior Volkov (Germany) OL Florian Hirn (Germany)

Key additions: QB Kevin Doyle (USA, Arizona NCAA DI) WR Joey Walden (USA, Ole Miss NCAA DI) DB Nigel Lawrence (USA, South Alabama NCAA DI) DB Avery Anderson- Baer (USA, Nebraska NCAA DI) DB Marcin Olech (UK, UWE) Emmanuel Lewis (OC), DL Nico Koch (Braunschweig NY Lions, Marburg Mercenaries, Germany)

Alex is a former professional American football player who is now studying in London. His goal writing for AFI is to stay involved with the game that has given him so much. Alex enjoys covering leagues and players and sharing different football