Contributed by: Troy Thompson
With the formation of the SCAFL this year the Californian football scene returns to be one of the strongest footy regions in the US. The six round metro format competition has seen the Inland Empire Fire, 951 Purple Raiders, the OC Bombers and the LA Swans battle it out and bring regular competition for veterans and rookies alike.
Given that there were three new clubs there were some issues with numbers as Deron Lien of the 951 Purple Raiders told us "…(we) had a typical season for a first year, all American team. Many times we struggled to field a full squad, due to the lack of new blood, work and family commitments... and house arrest. Luckily, the Raiders did have a small, hard core group of veterans, from teams past, that pretty much kept us in every game…" As is often the case in games around the country numbers that show up on the day determine the format and it is common for teams blessed with numbers to lend players to other teams.
The home and away rounds saw each team play the other three teams twice. The Inland Empire Fire has had a winless season so far and the 951 Purple Raiders won two games, both against the Fire. At the top of the table the OC Bombers and the LA Swans each won five of their home and away matches, both losing only to each other once. The big differences in those two clashes being that the Swans' win was in a two twenty minute half game, whereas the earlier OC win was at home and in a four twenty minute quarters game.
Originally the SCAFL were to play the scheduled semi finals and grand finals following the end of the home and away season but now these have been moved due to the closeness to the Western Regionals. This weekend’s Western Regionals will see the SCAFL compete as the SCAFL Bombers in a team selected from the four competing clubs. Also attending this round of the Regionals are Denver, San Diego and Arizona. Following this the SCAFL board have decided to go with a Consolation Final (IE Fire v 951 Raiders) and Grand Final (L.A Swans v Orange County Bombers), which will take place on July 2. The Grand final will be played at Heritage Park in Orange County and the Bombers will have to go in favourites for the match, but the Swans have improved as the season has gone on and will be just as keen to be the inaugural SCAFL premiers.
Following the end of the SCAFL season the league will continue their season with their build up towards this year’s National Championships in Las Vegas with home and away games against San Diego and the second instalment of the Western Regionals. It is great to see a strong footy calendar in California once again after some years of uncertainty and we hope things will continue forward here once again.
World Footy News