Poland: Liga Futbolu Amerykańskiego heads into Season 2

Poland’s Liga Futbolu Amerykańskiego has kicked off its second straight season with 12 teams divided into two divisions, North and South.

The North Division includes the defending champion Bialystok Lowlanders as well as the Gdynia Seahawks, Warsaw Mets, Olsztyn Lakers, Wyszkow Rhinos and Lodz Wilki. The South consists of the 2018 finalists, the Wroclaw Panthers, as well as the Tychy Falcons, Krakow Kings, Poznan Armia,  Zielona Gora Wataha and Opole Towers.

North Division

Bialystok Lowlanders

The defending champion Lowlanders have made wholesale changes including at head coach with 26-year-old Alex Burdette as the new head coach. Burdette was the offensive coordinator for the Hildesheim Invaders in the German Football League in 2017. He had been an assistant at Clemson University before arriving in Europe.

Bialystok has signed Rex Dausin (Colorado State University-Pueblo) as their new starting quarterback and re-signed Zach Blair at linebacker.

Gdynia Seahawks

The Seahawks have also changed head coaches with Mele J. Mosqueda taking over and signing Sweden’s top quarterback Philip Juhlin and Austria’s leading tackler Barron Miller.

Wyszkow Rhinos

The Rhinos finished second in LFA Group B in 2018 so this is a big step up for them. They have signed Jon Brown as their new quarterback. Brown played for the Bolzano Giants in Italy in 2018, leading them to the Italian final.

Olsztyn Lakers

The Lakers competed in LFA Group B as well in 2018 finishing with a 3-5 record and may be hard pressed. With veteran coach Gray Levy (Ravensburg Razorbacks, GFL2) running the offense and new quarterback Andrew Mathews (Friends University). they could surprise though. The Lakers also added Demetrius Allen at linebacker.

Warsaw Mets

This new team to the LFA has brought in head coach Matheus Dias are the latest member of the LFA but they are not without top caliber players. They have signed quarterback Terrance Owens, who led the Gdynia Seahawks to the Polish final in 2016. He is joined by Terrance Owens and Mateusz Szczęk who helped the Bialystok Lowlanders win the 2018 title.

Lodz Wilki

Veteran head coach Lonnie Hursey and offensive coordinator Jason Abney, have joined the Wilki and with that the club seems to have righted the ship after a rough 2018. One of Poland’s top defenders, linebacker /safety Patryk Kurkowski has returned after spending the last couple of seasons playing in Holland. The Wilki have also signed running back Malcolm Gasque who helped the Lisboa Devils in the Portuguese championship in 2016

South Division

Tychy Falcons

The Falcons reached the LFA semifinal round in 2018 only to fall to the Wroclaw Panthers 28-7.

Tychy head coach Michal Kołek has brought in quarterback Keith “Keke” Ray at quarterback, LaParish Lewis as defensive back and running back Jacek Wróblewski. Ray is no stranger to the Falcons having played for Tychy in 2016. Since then he has won a Dutch championship with theAmsterdam Crusaders and played for the Minsk Zubrs from Belarus. Lewis also was a teammate of Ray’s on both the Falcons and Zubrs.

Krakow Kings

The Kings finished first in the LFA Group C division in 2018 and advanced to the wild card round where they were edged by the Tychy Falcons who reached the semifinals.

Poznan Armia

Shanon O’Brien is the new head coach of Poznan. The club has opted to play without imports for 2019 and will be in for a tough season.

Wroclaw Panthers

The Wroclaw Panthers, winners of the Polish title in 2016 and 2017, have undergone some changes with new head coach Val Gunn and defensive coordinator, Skip Albano. Look for the Panthers to challenge for the championship again in 2019 with new quarterback Chris Forcier.

Opole Towers

New Towers  head coach Tim Bishop has signed Markus Hodges as his quarterback Hodges most recently played quarterback for the Sremska Legionaries in Serbia in 2018.

Zielona Gora Wataha

The Wataha are new to the LFA and have signed veteran Mike Sholars who has coached in five different countries, as their new head coach. Sholars has signed Kenyatte Allen (Robert Morris University) as his quarterback along with linebacker Cameron Grad.

 

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