Spanish National League of American Football kicks off 2022 season with 10 teams

The Spanish National League of American Football (LNFA), kicks off the 2022 season with a total of 10 teams vying for the title.

The defending champion Badalona Dracs return looking for their sixth consecutive Spanish championship, but they will have plenty of opposition this season. The LNFA has expanded from eight teams to divided, as they were last year, into two conferences, the West and the East.

The West consists of the LG OLED Las Rozas Black Demons, Fuengirola Potros, Gijón Mariners, Murcia Cobras and Osos Rivas while the East comprises the aforesaid Lidertel Badalona Dracs along with the Mallorca Voltors, Barberà Rookies, L’Hospitalet Pioners and Zaragoza Hurricanes. The two newest members of the top league, the Barbera Rookies and L’Hospitalet Pioners, while new this year, are no strangers to the top division. The Rookies played in Spain’s elite league in both 2016 and 2017. The Pioners have a proud history of play in the Spanish top league having won five titles between 2008 and 2013. They dropped out from 2015 to 2017, returned briefly for one season in 2018 and then have returned again this year.

The 10-week regular season winds up on April 24 and the top two teams in each conference will qualify for the semifinals. The date of the Spanish championship game has not yet been finalized.

East Conference

Badalona Dracs: 2021 record 7-1. Finished 1st in East Conference. Spanish champions

Head coach: Oscar Calatayud.

Key additions: QB Glen Cuiellette (Texas Southern), RB/WR Hunter Belzo (University of Springfield), WR Rafael Hidalgo (University of New Mexico), LB Patrick Kenney (Bryant University).

Mallorca Voltors: 2021 record 5-3. Finished 2nd in East Conference. Reached semifinals, lost to Las Rozas Black Demons

Head coach: Jesus Sanchez.

Key returning players: QB Diego Lliteras (Spain), LB Jesus “Jambo” Aguilera (Spain), WR Jaylon Hibbs (Centre College), WR Matthew Craens (Canada), RB/DB Ronaldo Tomasello (Ball State), DE Yago Rivero (Spain, Barcelona Dragons).

Zaragoza Hurricanes: 2021 record 4-4. Finished 3rd in East Conference

Head coach: Kurtis Ovesen (Cal Poly/Marshall).

Key additions: QB Kevin Doyle (U of Arizona), WR Kyle Mucerino (Austin U), LB Daniel Monfared (Barcelona Dragons).

L’Hospitalet Pioners: 2021 record DNP (promoted from Div. 2)

Head coach: Albert Fernández.

Key additions: QB Murdock B. Rutledge (University of Puget Sound), WR Julien Berhaul (France), OL Gabriel Raeder Palmeira, Joao Víctor Correia Sánchez and Lucas Soares Da Silva (Brazil), LB Gonzalo Bonnin (Argentona Bocs) and Albert Fernández (Spain), WR Jaume Llinás, Jordi Torrededía and RB Elías Rodríguez (Barcelona Dragons).

Barbera Rookies: 2021 record – DNP (won Div. 2)

Head coach: Eduardo Torrecillas.

Key additions: QB Luis Enrique García Rosado (Mexico), DB Nolan Coperning (North Carolina Central) and Miles Coperning ( Tennessee Tech) , DL Luis Enrique Aranda Cárdenas (Mexico), TE Adrian Gierczak (Poland), WR Bryan Larese (France), DB Jordi Brugnani (Spain).

West Conference

Las Rozas Black Demons: 2021 record 7-1. Finished 1st in West Conference. Reached Spanish final, lost to Badalona Dracs

Head coach: Jake Hale

Offensive coordinator: Danny Farley.

Key players (all Spanish lineup): QB David de Diego, RB Daniel Romero, SS Hugo Mínguez, FS Pau de Diego

Osos Rivas: 2021 record 6-2. Finished 2nd in West Conference. Reached semifinals, lost to Badalona Dracs

Head coach: Ricardo Martin.

Key returning players: QB Sergio Barbero (Spain), WR Mario Flores, WR Samuel Anca (Barcelona Dragons), Alejandro Tizón,

Key additions: WR David Giron (Guatemala), DB/WR Andy Vera (Spain), WR Atsushi Uehiro (Japan), LB/RB Herbert Gamboa (University of Montana), DL Johnny Escobar (Spain), RB Adrián Jimenez (Barcelona Dragons), WR Ivan Iordanov (Barcelona Dragons), OL Celestin Ngimbi (Barcelona Dragons), OL/DL Juan Antonio Escobar (México, Aguilas Blancas), DB Jorge Juarez (México Pumas UNAM).

Fuengirola Potros: 2021 record 2-6. Finished 3rd in West Conference

Director of Football Operations: Jeremy Meyer.

Head coach: Nacho Pance.

Key returning players: QB Henri Väänänen (Finland), RB Carlos Chaves, WR David Chaves (Spain).

Key additions: RB Gonzalo Musso (Argentina), LB Niko Suppa (Frankfurt Galaxy).

Murcia Cobras: 2021 record 1-7. Finished 4th in East Conference

Head coach: Tim Bishop.

Assistant coaches: Casper Rasmussen, Jaydin Moses.

Key additions: QB Robert Cuda (Case Western Reserve University), OL Nick Ladd (Howard Payne University), Jose Ariza, DB Thomas Anthony (Belgium), DB/WR Jonathan Göransson (Sweden).

Key Spanish players: Alberto Del Cerro, Sebastian Castañer, Toni Montón, Adrián Gutiérrez, Luis Baeza, Ruben Moliner, Edu Perez.

Gijon Mariners: 2021 record 0-8, Finished last in West Conference

Head coach: Honorio Arias

Key additions: QB Daniel De Juambelz (Mexico), LB Marcel Spears (Iowa State), RB Javier Castañón (Barcelona Dragons), RB Alejandro Herrero (Barcelona Dragons) and DB Jonathan Corradini (Barcelona Dragons)

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