Part I - How is the 2018 South Division Shaping up?

The 2018 season is charging at us. We have only 4 weeks until the first AUDL games.

With the Hustle roster ready to break any day now let’s take a look around the division to see how teams are shaping up. Bring on your bold predictions and hot takes to our comments!

 

2017 Standings

·         Raleigh 13-2

·         Dallas 13-4

·         Cannons 10-5

·         Atlanta 5-9

·         Austin 4-10

·         Nashville 0-14

 

Is the ride over in Dallas? Are the Flyers the team to beat?

In 2016 the Dallas roughnecks went undefeated on their way to the AUDL Championship. In 2017 The Raleigh Flyers took the South division regular season crown from them. The Dallas Roughnecks answered by winning the games that count most. In the playoffs they defeated the Cannons at home and then Raleigh on the road to win the AUDL South championship again and earn a bid to AUDL championship weekend.  Their championship defense faltered when they fell to the Toronto Rush in the semifinals.

In 2018 there are some notable departures from Dallas while Raleigh made some splashy off season moves. Has Raleigh done enough to become the team to beat in the South?

 

Dallas

Who’s back?

·         Dillion Larberg

·         Jay Froude

·         Abe Coffin

·         Kai Marshall

·         Kevin Richardson

·         Brandon Malecek

Who’s not?

·         Kurt Gibson – Chicago Wildfire

·         Dylan Freechild

·         Matt Bennet – Austin Sol

·         Ben Lohre

 

Expected back

·         Matt Jackson

·         Thomas Slack

·         Dalton Smith

·         Reid Bacon

·         Dan Emmons

·         Jimmy Mickle

 

Questions

What about Stanley Peterson and Chris Mazur? This is not the same star studded roster that swept through the AUDL in 2016. They have lost major star power in each of the following years. How much will prove to be too much for the Roughnecks? Do the Roughnecks have an ace up their sleeve? Will they recruit any new stars, perhaps from a division foe?

 

Raleigh

Raleigh sent waves through the division this offseason when they signed Cannons players Mischa Freystaetter (recently moved to NC), Jakeem Polk, and Andrew Mckelvey.

Who’s back?

·         Goose Helton

·         Brett Matzuka

·         Dave Snoke

Expected back

·         Jonathan Nethercutt (2017 AUDL MVP)

·         Justin Allen

·         Hunter Taylor

·         Terrence Mitchell

·         Shane Sisco

·         Jacob Fairfax

·         Jack Williams

·         Matt Bode

What about them?

·         Micah Hood

·         JD Hastings

·         Evan Howey

Who’s Left?

·         Nate Goff (CHI)

 

Can you tell that Ring has a bid to world's this year? Can coach Denardis mix all of these talents into a championship contender? Will they struggle early as they learn how to best use all of these weapons? Can they perform under the expectations that comes with a roster this stacked? Will they add a slew of college talent mid season again? Will they duck the Hustle’s challenge to a full court basketball game this summer??

 

Austin

In 2016 & 17 the Sol have been better than their record would indicate. In 2018 they make a few changes that they hope will put them over the top. The Sol have already released their entire roster.

Who’s New?

·         Matt Bennett (Dallas)

·         Kiran Thomas (former Chain player)

·         Michael "Tank" Natenberg

Who’s Back?

·         Jeff Loskorn

·         Ryan Purcell

·         Jarrod Wolfe

·         Rory Orloff

·         Andrew Walch

·         Michael Matthis

·         Ethan Pollack

·         Chase Cunningham

·         Elliott Moore

·         Paul Starkel

·         Sol’d Out

Who’s Not

·         Caleb Dennacour

 

In the next edition we’ll look at the Tampa Bay Cannons and Nashville NightWatch.