NICARAGUA: LNFA 2018 League calendar still adrift amid civil unrest

Six weeks ago I penned an article recapping the ‘civil unrest’ that engulfed Nicaragua and led to the suspension of the Liga Nicaragüense de Football Americano (LNFA) Week 3 Games.

The Nicaraguan football family united together in solidarity on Saturday, April 28th to continue their LNFA National League calendar. Playing for the first time in the town of Masaya after a one-week suspension of Week 3 Games.

The first game back on the gridiron resulted with a win for Guerreros 20 Aguilas 10.

The second game between Lobos and Toros of Masaya extended into overtime but with daylight restriction interrupting the tied 16-16 score the game was carried over to the following game week.

Once again, I was left awe-struck by the resilience of the American football community in Central America. I had the privilege to visit with the Nicaraguan football family in the capital city of Managua to watch their Saturday, May 5th Week 4 Games. Fortunately, calm resumed in the streets except for a few sporadic small pockets of peaceful protests keeping the attention on civilian demands after intense rioting during the month of April.

The game day opened with the continuation of the previous week, Lobos vs Toros of Masaya overtime game. Lobos finished the game with a final 22-point score securing the win over Toros of Masaya who remained at 16 points.

The first game of Week 4 featured the two teams from the private league. Lobos outscored Iron Wolves by 14-6.

The second game of the day featured the newest member of the LNFA, Toros of Masaya brandishing their new uniforms and playing their third game of the season.

TOROS of Masaya

Praying Together In Solidarity For Peace

AGUILAS of Managua

TOROS of Masaya vs AGUILAS of Managua

1s Quarter:

Aguilas QB Deyvi Flores #17, 16-yard pass to WR Rodrigo Arana #80 resulting in a touchdown. Failed conversion.

2nd Quarter:

Toros of Masaya QB Meldrick Meléndez #16, 18-yard pass to WR José Cruz #88 resulting in a touchdown with a 2-point conversion by Meléndez.

3rd Quarter:

Aguilas QB Deyvi Flores #17, 14-yard pass to WR Rodrigo Arana #80 resulting in a touchdown with Arana also securing a 2-point conversion.

4th Quarter:

Toros of Masaya QB Meldrick Meléndez #16, run for a 50-yard touchdown! Meléndez then secured a 2-point conversion and kept the fire burning with a run for a 15-yard touchdown. Closing-out the game with a conversion pass to WR José Cruz #88 for the final extra 2 points.

Final Score: Toros 24 – Aguilas 14

Toros of Masaya – WR José Cruz #88 – Celebrating His First Touchdown!

It was an excellent game. Thank God we came out with our first victory! Our expectation was to win the previous two games. This was not achieved by our mistakes, but we learned from our mistakes. We concentrated for the third game, with the only motivation that was, to win, and thank God we got it.

We all make the effort to prepare enough before a game, with the purpose of winning and taking the name of Masaya forward. For my part I feel that I am prepared enough to prove that I have faith and courage to play against any team, just as each of my teammates have shown. For the following games we have the same expectation, that is to win! That is why we train hard, we put our hearts on the field, every drop of sweat, every pain has its reward, as our coach Diego Morales says, as one trains plays, and we trained enough to win our first game.

It was a wonderful day for me as I achieved my first touchdown! I felt very excited! Although that did not allow me to lose my concentration during the game. I thanked God for giving me the opportunity to score. I kept focused on the game, always thinking about the only thing I wanted, that was to win. I thank our coach Diego Morales and coach Jordi Melendez very much, for trusting in each one of us and always supporting us so that this team moves forward, and we take Masaya forward. The only thing I can say is that we will train harder, with more desire, with more sacrifice, no matter what pain, if we fall 9 times, we get up 10 and keep fighting until we achieve our goal. 1,2,3 TOROS … !!!

Coach Diego Morales – Guatemalan Coach Temporarily Living in Nicaragua

Moving from one country to another is not an easy decision, it involves searching for a new school for your children, new house, new environment, etc. but finding one thing you love makes it way easier. American Football has been my passion for 19 years. I have been involved in the Asociación Guatemalteca de Football Americano (AGFA), National Teams Football and Flag, developing referees and one of my greatest achievements, creating TouchDown Academy, an academy for boys and girls that want to learn the sport.

I knew relocating to Nicaragua with my family was going to be a good experience for all of us, but finding a brand-new team, Toros de Masaya, which I could help train for their participation in the National League made it even better. In the past two-months we have trained and learned a lot from each other. We have committed to do the best we can. To get at least in the final.

The first two games we lost, but gained the respect of all the experienced teams. At our third game the victory finally came, making all the talk, shouts and effort worth it. Toros de Masaya welcomed me as one of their own. Some of the Nicaraguan players have already been my friends since 2000, when we started the sport in the region. I am like in my second home and looking forward to start another TouchDown Academy to teach boys and girls from Nicaragua the great values of our beloved sport of American Football.

Standings After Week 4 Games

Guerreros of Nicaragua, President, Eduardo Cordoba

The Nicaraguan football league started on April 7th with 5 teams. The new team Toros of Masaya joined the league for the first time with a lot of young players, competing with no experience but with a lot of positive attitude and effort.

Since April, the league had to stop the calendar twice because of the problems with the national crisis in Nicaragua regarding the government and civilian situation.

Coaches and players alike were really looking forward to resume games on Sunday, June 3rd after a three week pause in the LNFA National Championship calendar. However, once again games were canceled the day before because the current situation in Nicaragua is still too unstable and even very volatile at times.

Read the previous Nicaragua article



Ms Elle has a career in corporate communication and branding, spanning four continents over 25 years, with recent years pursuing sports marketing and media. She is currently living in Costa Rica and assists with the promotion of American football in