Polish Football League underway with no clear favorite

With the Polish Football League having kicked off, let’s take a look at each of the six teams making a run for the championship this season.

Returning from the 2021 season are league semifinalists, the Bialystok Lowlanders along with the Tychy Falcons who reached the PFL final. Joining them are last year’s fourth place finishers the Warsaw Mets, as well as the Silesia Rebels who finished fifth in 2021, the Krakow Kings who wound up sixth and the Warsaw Eagles.

The team missing from last season is the Bydgoszcz Archers who captured the title in 2021, which leaves the field wide open and no team pegged as the favorite.

In an early start to the season, the Silesia Rebels surprised the Tychy Falcons last weekend, downing them 24-7.

Bialystok Lowlanders

The Lowlanders were the second-best team in the league last regular season, finishing at 5-1, but were bounced in the semifinals by the Tychy Falcons. This season, they will be looking for revenge. They re-signed coach Troy Baker over the offseason and added Americans linebacker Alvin Reels and quarterback Nick Rooney, both of whom are expected to have big seasons. Many key players from last year’s team have moved on from the team, especially on the defensive side of the ball, so the Lowlanders will need their imports to shine if they want to make it back to the championship game.

Krakow Kings

After the Archers dissolved, the Kings were able to scoop up many of their old players. The one that stands out the most is quarterback Jake Schimenz, who won league MVP last year with Bydgoszcz, leading his team to an undefeated season and a championship. The 27-year-old American is undersized, at 5’10” and 175 pounds, but is a truly dynamic player who can dramatically improve a team’s offense. After finishing just 2-4 last season, the Kings have the potential to bounce back in a big way and even compete for the championship.

Silesia Rebels

Coming off a 2-4 season that ended in a loss in the semifinals, Silesia will be looking to take a step forward this season. The team from Katowice will have a new face at quarterback this year, as they signed an American, David James, to be their signal caller back in December. The 29-year-old graduate of Western Connecticut State University will be making his debut in Europe, as his plans to play in Austria fell apart due to COVID-19 two years ago. Other standouts on the Rebels include American linebacker Shamori St. Kitts and their top two running backs, Ville Olonqvist of Finland and Jacob Smillie from the United Kingdom.

Tychy Falcons

The Falcons are another team that has added a new quarterback this season, as they have brought in the veteran, Chris Jeffrey. The 29-year-old American has played extensively in Europe before, most recently in Hungary with the Gyor Sharks, and even played for the Warsaw Eagles back in 2018. On defense, Tychy is led by veteran defensive back Darius Lewis. They even have a new head coach this season, as they have given the job to the 32 year old American Augie Stevens. After being defeated by the Archers in the finals last year, the Falcons will be eager to win it all this time around.

Warsaw Eagles

The Eagles were easily the worst team in the league last season, as they finished at 0-6 and were outscored by their opponents 211-37. The good news is that, hopefully, there is nowhere to go but up from here. Still, the Eagles are expected to have another rough season. Warsaw had plans to bring in Ukrainian quarterback Maxim Cherepivskiy, but unfortunately, that fell through as Cherepivskiy is unable to play in Poland this year due to his country’s ongoing war in Ukraine.

Warsaw Mets

Last year the Mets were led by a name that many American college football fans might recognize, former Texas Longhorn quarterback David Ash. Ash had a great season for Warsaw, yet the team only finished with a record of 2-4. With Ash now gone, the Mets look to new quarterback Jessie Robbins Jr. to pick up where he left off. The team is hoping Robbins’ dual-threat playing style will provide a big boost for their offense. If not, this could be a rough season for both teams in Warsaw

A current student at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Carter played football in high school and has been a lifelong avid football fan.