Slovenian flag football league summary
🏈 𝙋𝙤𝙫𝙯𝙚𝙩𝙚𝙠 𝙨𝙚𝙯𝙤𝙣𝙚 𝙎𝙁𝙁𝙇 𝟮𝟬𝟮𝟮 🏈
Another successful SFFL season is behind us. This time also with a "normal" schedule, as we played the championship in two parts - the first part of the matches were played in May and June, and the second part of the matches were played in August and September. There were 7 teams in the league, six veteran teams and one newly formed team, Velenje Black Miners. For each team this meant 12 games, and you can read a summary of each team's season below.
🏈 𝐑𝐚𝐳𝐯𝐫𝐬𝐭𝐢𝐭𝐞𝐯 𝐩𝐨 𝐤𝐨𝐧𝐜𝐮 𝐬𝐞𝐳𝐨𝐧𝐞:
1. Kranj Badgers (9 - 2 - 1)
2. Ljubljana Frogs (8 - 4)
3. Novo mesto Knights (10 - 1 - 1)
4. Domžale Tigers (8 - 4)
5. Velenje Black Miners (1 - 10 - 1)
6. LAZAR Wild Hogs Kocevje (3 - 8 -1)
7. Ajdovščina Gladiators (1 - 11)
After two defeats (first against the Knights, second against the Frogs) they finished the regular part of the season in second place and thus secured a direct qualification to the semi-finals, where they faced Domžale Tigers. The Kranjers justified their role as favourites (37 - 21) and qualified for the final, where they met the Frogs, who the Badgers wanted to get back for their defeat in the regular season. In the last, the Badgers took an early lead which they did not relinquish until the end, and thus enjoyed their fourth consecutive SFFL title. The league's best offence is led by QB Nejc Lebar, who finished second in passing TDs (78), which he successfully shared among all his pass catchers - no less than six of them finished the season with more than 8. However, the league's best defence is still led by Matevž Šilar on the blitz, who collected 20 sacks this season, 12 more than the closest pursuer. Luka Kotnik, who moved from the Tigers to the Badgers before the season, won the award for most interceptions in a season with 10.
The second-placed team may come as a surprise to some, but after a significant second part of the season (without a loss), 𝐄𝐍𝐀𝐀 𝐅𝐫𝐨𝐠𝐬 deservedly qualified for the finals with a 34-0 wild card win against the Wild Hogs and a great game against the Knights (a 59-26 win). The defence played like a charm in the semi-finals, intercepting the opposing passer four times and even returning the ball into the end zone twice. QB Darko Micic finished the season as the third-best QB and the second-best in rushing TDs. RJ Williamson caught most of his passes (20) and was also the best in pick-sixes (he returned 7 of 12 interceptions for six points). No one matched the Frogs for blown flags this year; Aljoša Kous and Dejan Godec picked up a double for the most flag pull-ups in the league, and Ivan Cab, who only played in three tournaments, was close to the best but still finished in 6th place. The Ljubljana players also had a successful rookie blitzer Jan Green Lovše, who finished the season as a top 3 blitzer in the league.
For the second season in a row, the once synonymous with laurels and success 𝐍𝐨𝐯𝐨 𝐦𝐞𝐬𝐭𝐨 𝐊𝐧𝐢𝐠𝐡𝐭𝐬 finished without a final, a lowly third place for them. Although they finished the regular season in the first place, the result of the game against the Frogs (21 - 42 defeat) in the last round already indicated what could happen in the semi-finals. Gregor Hertl, a former member of the former Ljubljana Killerbees, joined the team before the season and immediately lived up to his name. He caught 28 TDs (tied for first in the league) and nine interceptions (top 3). The second-best offence in the company is led by multiple-time and this year's MVP Tadej Travnikar, who finished the season with 79 passing TDs. The league's second-ranked defence is led by Denis Pugelj, who secured his place on the podium in this category with two pick-sixes; Matija Klemenčič, who narrowly missed out on a third place among the league's top flag pullers with 47 flags picked up, and Jan Lajkovič, who narrowly missed out on the top 3 blitzers with six sacks.
𝐃𝐨𝐦ž𝐚𝐥𝐞 𝐓𝐢𝐠𝐞𝐫𝐬 finished the regular season in third place, and after the playoffs in fourth place. After a very successful season last year, when they finished in second place, Domžale made some personnel changes. One team has been formed from two groups, which now consists of more experienced players and younger ones. By winning the wild card game against the Velenje Miners (40 - 20), they earned themselves a chance to get back at the Badgers for last year's defeat in the final. The loss to the Badgers and three consecutive games without a break took a toll. However, the Domžale team lost to the Knights (25 - 44) in the third-place match. QB Zan Mrzlikar finished the season fourth in passing TDs. The most passes caught were by centre Nejc Marolt, who scored 18 TDs, which was enough for a top 3 catcher. Two more defensive players to mention blitzer Luka Šimat, who finished the season as the 2nd most successful blitzer (😎, and veteran Rok Babnik, who diligently picked up the opponent's flags (48) finished 3rd overall among flag pullers.
🏈 In the final fifth place, we find the newly created team, 𝐕𝐞𝐥𝐞𝐧𝐣𝐞 𝐁𝐥𝐚𝐜𝐤 𝐌𝐢𝐧𝐞𝐫𝐬. The Miners almost missed the final tournament but qualified for the playoffs with a last-round win against their direct rivals for 6th place, the Ajdovščina Gladiators (41 - 32). They trailed the Tigers well in the first half of the wild-card game, but experience prevailed in the end. The Black Miners continued their good play in the 5th place game and finished the season in 5th place with a win over the Wild Hogs (51 - 26). We can believe that if QB Karsten Opraus had been present in more games this year, the Velenje players would have finished the regular season higher; his TD: INT ratio of 30:14 is much better than the 9:17 that belongs to Lazar Stoyanov (the team's best WR), who jumped into the passer position. Ilija Savic was a great running back, scoring three rushing TDs (top 3 in the league). Aleksandar Nastic was the best player on defence with seven interceptions (top 5), and Lazar Stojanov with 42 tackles (7th in the league).
The last players to make it to the finals were 𝐋𝐚𝐳𝐚𝐫 𝗪𝐢𝐥𝐝 𝐇𝐨𝐠𝐬 𝐊𝐨č𝐞𝐯𝐣𝐞. As the fifth-placed team after the regular season, they met old friends Ljubljana Frogs in the wild-card game. The offence couldn't reach the opponent's end zone, so they finished the game with 0 points. They then made amends against the reborn Miners, scoring 4 TDs, but winning the game was still not enough—final ranking: 6th place. The QB position was rotated between the experienced Alen Potocnik (top 5 TD passes) and the newcomer Alja Zdešar, who showed a perfect game at times and gave the Kočevje team hope for the upcoming season. Tomi Kolarič missed the top 5 in catches (6th place, 16 TDs), but he was also the best flag puller for the Wild Hogs - he was 8th with 41 flags thrown. This season, the Hokies proved that even with a rejuvenated team, they can play well and with good training and coaching, they might surprise somebody next season.
𝐀𝐣𝐝𝐨𝐯šč𝐢𝐧𝐚 𝐆𝐥𝐚𝐝𝐢𝐚𝐭𝐨𝐫𝐬 may have been underachieving in the last two seasons, but the team is in a "rebuild". Many veteran players have been absent this season, but new players have successfully taken their places and, with good training, can show great promise for the coming seasons. During the summer break, a new but experienced tackle, QB Luca Kerstich, joined the team and will bring calmness to the position where Ajdovci has struggled the most in the past two seasons. Rookie Miha Erjavec caught the most TD passes this season (12). Another rookie, Marcel Žgajnar, proved his speed and elusiveness, running for the most touchdowns in the SFFL - he finished the season with four TD runs. Another rookie, Tai Velikajne, finished in the top 10 at his position, with five sacks, good enough for 7th place. If the Sons of the wind continue to train diligently with all these young players, they can look forward to a good result in the coming season.
𝐒𝐅𝐅𝐅𝐋 𝐈𝐍𝐃𝐈𝐕𝐈𝐃𝐔𝐀𝐋𝐍𝐄 𝐍𝐀𝐆𝐑𝐀𝐃𝐄 (𝐫𝐞𝐳𝐮𝐥𝐭𝐚𝐭𝐢 𝐩𝐨 𝐫𝐞𝐝𝐧𝐞𝐦 𝐝𝐞𝐥𝐮 𝐬𝐞𝐳𝐨𝐧𝐞):
✅ 𝐌𝐕𝐏 (selected based on statistics, team opinions and social media voting):
1. Tadej Travnikar (Knights)
2. Nejc Lebar (Badgers)
3. Darko Mićić (Frogs)
✅ 𝐏𝐚𝐬𝐬𝐢𝐧𝐠 𝐓𝐃𝐬:
1. Tadej Travnikar (Knights) - 68 TDs
2. Nejc Lebar (Badgers) - 65 TDs
3. Zan Mrzlikar (Tigers) - 57 TDs
✅ 𝐑𝐞𝐜𝐞𝐢𝐯𝐢𝐧𝐠 𝐓𝐃𝐬:
1. Gregor Hertl (Knights) - 24 TDs
2. Denis Pugelj (Knights) - 16 TDs
3. Nejc Marolt (Tigers) - 15 TDs
✅ 𝐑𝐮𝐬𝐡𝐢𝐧𝐠 𝐓𝐃𝐬:
1. Marcel Žgajnar (Gladiators) - 4 TDs
2. Ilja Savic (Black Miners) - 3 TDs
3. Darko Micic (Frogs) - 2 TDs
✅ 𝐃𝐞𝐟𝐞𝐧𝐬𝐢𝐯𝐞 𝐓𝐃𝐬:
1st Rj Williamson (Frogs) - 5 TDs
2. Klemen Černivec (Badgers) - 3 TDs
3. Denis Pugelj (Knights) - 2 TDs
1. Luka Kotnik (Badgers) - 10 Int.
2. Rj Williamson (Frogs) - 9 Int.
3. Gregor Hertl (Knights) - 9 int.
1. Matevž Šilar (Badgers) - 17 sacks
2. Luka Šimat (Tigers) - 7 sacks
3. Jan Green Lovse (Frogs) - 6 sacks
1. Aljosa Kous (Frogs) - 47 tackles
2. Dejan Godec (Frogs) - 46 tackles
3. Matija Klemenčič (Knights) - 41 tackles
That's goodbye for this year; we are already looking to the future. While you miss us, you are welcome to listen to YouTube and watch some of last season's games on our channel (https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCHBd-YaxT0JBFBmBTKk7FYQ).
You are also welcome to follow us on FB (Slovenian Flag Football League) and IG (𝐬𝐥𝐨𝐯𝐞𝐧𝐢𝐚𝐧_𝐟𝐥𝐚𝐠_𝐟𝐨𝐨𝐭𝐛𝐚𝐥𝐥_𝐥𝐞𝐚𝐠𝐮𝐞) profiles, where you can find all the information about the teams, players, past seasons and, of course, when the time comes, the upcoming season.
#sffl2022 #flagfootball #slovenia