Competition is always fierce in the Amateur to Professional Developmental Football League, which kicked off its 2020 season last weekend. This coming weekend will be no exception either as the No. 4 Alabama Blackhawks take on the No. 1 Mississippi Dynasty.
“It’s going to be tough to pull off the upset, but we will definitely try,” Blackhawks owner James Fletcher told The Gridiron Grind. “They are a great team with veteran leaders that know what it takes to win. It’s going to take guys playing for the team and being unselfish. That is one of the main ingredients to win at this level.”
Speaking of winning ingredients, look no further than the Dynasty, which have won the last three APDFL Championships and are eyeing a fourth in 2020. That continuity is impressive because winning at this level can be tough to sustain in the long term, especially in a highly competitive, widespread league
“It’s all because of the players,” Dynasty owner Mike Lloyd told The Gridiron Grind. “Winning is only hard for a bunch of guys that have never won. I have guys that are winners and just hard-nose competitors. If a new guy comes in and he is neither, he will either become one or fold.”
With plenty of talent on both sides, the team that trusts each other more and plays for each other more is most likely to win Saturday’s APDFL Game of the Week
“We must start with ourselves,” Lloyd said. “We have to be smart and fearless. Everyone has a weakness and our job as coaches is to find it and then it’s the players job to execute and finish the task.”
Football games are won or lost in the trenches and the Dynasty will look to their big men to handle business and create plays for the rest of the units on both sides of the ball.
“Right now two key players would be No. 77 Rodrick Gladney, a great offensive lineman, and No. 46 Sam Washington, an interior defensive lineman,” Lloyd said. “I highlighted these two guys, but they will tell you that this is a team sport. We win by playing together every single play.
“A big game must come from our O-Line and D-Line. Skill guys are great to watch, but the key to winning a football game is constantly winning the line of scrimmage.”
The Blackhawks will need to put their best foot forward on Saturday, but most importantly they will need to play as one.
“The entire team needs to have a big game to win,” Fletcher said. “No one player will win this game by himself.
“This team is different this year because of the leadership and guys buying into the system. We are one team with one goal in mind. We’re trying to make something special happen.”
Although pre-season is over with and this game will count in the standings, both of these teams should find themselves in some games that count a whole lot more a few months down the line.
“This win would be great for the organization, but at the same time we have to realize this is not the championship,” Fletcher said. “It helps us control our destiny going forward into the playoffs.”