German Football League 2022: GFL South Preview

The Schwäbisch Hall Unicorns have had a strong grip on the GFL South for the past decade as the Unicorns have been the southern conference’s top team for 10 consecutive seasons. This year, as the 2022 season approaches, the Unicorns will have to defend their GFL South title against a field of teams hungry to break into the GFL contender’s category.

The Saarland Hurricanes will look to build on its historic 2021 semifinal run, even with a re-tooled roster. While the Comets, Razorbacks, Cowboys and newcomers in Straubing will battle for the self-proclaimed Bavarian title and of course a post-season spot.

Let’s take a look at all eight teams in the GFL South

Schwäbisch Hall Unicorns: 2021 Record 12-1. German Bowl finalists

Head Coach: Jordan Neuman

Key Returning Players: QB Reilly Hennessy (USA/Italy ) WR Tyler Rutenbeck (USA,) DB Cody Pastorino (USA/Italy) LB Nick Alfieri (USA/Italy) WR Mortiz Bohringer (Germany) RB John Santiagio (USA) LB Tobias Loffler (Germany) DL Adrian Fielder (Switzerland) WR Aurius Minton (UK) OL Allesandro Vergani (Italy) Lucas Maier (Germany) DL Simon Butch (Germany) DT Rachael Zistler (Germany)

Key Additions: DB Mitch Fettig (USA, EWU NCAA DI) RB Micky Alfieri (USA/Italy, Oregon State NCAA DI), RB Larz Kozlowski (Germany, Graz Giants) LB Timothy Shurmann (Switzerland, NFL Academy) DB Giuseppe Della Vecchia (Italy, Parma Panthers) LB Leon Weber (Germany, Fursty Razorbacks)

Saarland Hurricanes: 2021 Record 9-3. Semifinalists

Head Coach: Christos Lambropoulos (2021 Coach of the Year)

Key Returning Players: DB Luca Muller (Germany) RB Jakub Klein (Germany) DL Steven Dolak (Germany) WR Marvin Fuchs (Germany) DB Lamar Hall (USA) LB Benjamin Thompson (USA) WR/DB Jan Pietsch (Germany)

Key Additions:  QB Jack Lindsley (USA, Arkansas NCAA DI) OL Chandler Anthony (USA, North Texas NCAA DI) DB Jonathan Roebuck (USA, Concord NCAA DII) WR Devon Bibbens (USA, Lehigh NCAA DI FCS) DB Deshaun Gorman (Belgium, Limburg Shotguns) OL Ole Kreps (Germany) OL Jan Leiner (Germany) LB Teo Knight (France Thonon Black Panthers) 

Munich Cowboys: 2021 Record 6-5. Quarterfinalists

Head Coach: Nadine Nurasyid

Key Returning Players: RB Brandon Watkins (USA) DB AJ Smith (USA) WR Kai Silbermann (Germany) LB Leon Nieper (Germany) DB Vinczent Englmann (Germany)

Key Additions: QB Wyatt Smith (USA, Linfield NCAA DIII) LB Patrick Kenney (USA, Bryant NCAA DI FCS) DB Tyler Sitton (USA, Linfield NCAA DIII) LB Kevin Titz (Germany, Allgäu Comets) 

Allgäu Comets: 2021 Record 6-4. Quarterfinalists

Head Coach: Elias Gniffke

Key Returning Players: LB Niall Padden (USA/Ireland) DL Johannes Wagner (Germany) OL Nenad Stojic (Croatia/Serbia) OL Timo Schussell (Germany) WR Marcel Schade (Germany) RB Brandon Kohn (USA, San Diego State NCAA DI) DB Nico Leiderer (Germany)

Key Additions: QB Kenyantte Allen Jr (USA, Robert Morris NAIA) DE Mario Wokocha (USA, Straubing Spiders) LB Fabio Rothmund (Switzerland, Ravensburg Razorbacks) WR Pascal Ruegg (Switzerland, Ravensburg Razorbacks)

Ravensburg Razorbacks: 2021 Record 5-5.

Head Coach: Sebastian Fandert

Key Returning Players: QB Alexander KronbergBjerre (Denmark) RB Lennies MCferren (USA) Jeremy Conley (USA, 2021 All-Star) WR Michael Mayer (Germany) DL Lucas Walk (Germany) OL Rudolf Schulz (Germany)

Key Additions: WR Jalen Zachary (USA, Munich Cowboys) DB Dejvion Stewart (USA, Cologne Crocodiles) DB Brian Casey (USA, Albershausen Crusaders) WR/DB Finn Kearns (Ireland, UNC Crusaders) WR Ondrej Chmela (Czech Republic, Rovaniemi Nordmen)

Marburg Mercenaries: 2021 Record 2-8.

Head Coach: Joe Tricario

Key Returning Players: QB Sonny Weishaupt (Germany), RB Marcux Cox (USA, App State NCAA DI FCS) WR Aaron Seward (USA) DB Sebastian Brand (Germany) RB Odin Detroy (Germany) RB Melvin Detroy (Germany) OL Robin Siebert (Germany)

Key Additions: WR Devon Smith (USA, London Beef Eaters) LB Amin Black (USA, Villanova NCAA DI FCS) DB Logan Mobelini (USA, Cambridge Ohio) OL Frank Turrill (UK, Leeds Beckett) OL Dominic Allison (Australia) DB Desmond Bassett (USA, Minnesota State NCAA DII) WR/LB Saury Heiniger (Switzerland) DB Eddie Gourgel (Portugal, Zaragoza Hurricanes) 

Frankfurt Universe: 2021 Record 1-8.

Head Coach: Marc-Philipp Gräff

Key Returning Players: WR/DB Brandon Butler (USA) OL Filip Eberle (Germany) FB Benjamin Hahn (Germany) DB Rico Geyer (Germany) TE Lucas Lauel (Germany) 

Key Additions: QB Theodore Michael Landers (Canada, Guelph University) WR Paul Schalnus (Germany) DL Julien-Paul Vuete (Germany) RB Randy Jones (USA, Kennesaw State NCAA DII)

Straubing Spiders: 2021 Record DNP (Promoted from GFL2 – 8-0)

Head Coach: Maximilian Macek

Key Returning Players: QB Raleigh Yeldell (USA, Newberry NCAA DII) DL Johannes Zirngibl (Germany) OL Dominik Ondra (Germany) OL Marius Knorr (Germany) OL Jan Eberl (Germany) DE Johannes Zirngibel (Germany) DB Luca Fegebank (Germany)

Key Additions: RB Lamar Carswell (USA, Trine NCAA DIII) LB Donavon Hayden (USA, Bethany NCAA DIII) DB Demario Donnell (USA, Tennesse Tech NCAA DI FCS) WR Kristian Natunen (Finland, Porvoon Butchers) WR Jan Hochschild (Germany, Wasa Royals) DB Jonah Schneider (Germany) DL Robin Rogoss (Germany, Munich Cowboys)

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