The Amateur to Professional Developmental Football League 2019 season is getting closer by the day and the Alabama Tigers are gearing up for year two after getting their feet wet one year ago, where they had enough success to reach the playoffs and finish the year 4-7.
Not an unknown anymore, the Tigers enter the 2019 season ranked No. 12 in the APDFL Pre-Season Polls, which came as a bit of a surprise to the Tigers.
“No, that’s not really accurate,” Tigers owner Marie Martin told Developmental Football USA. “We have been a team that really likes the play under the radar, but being No. 12, we are grateful for that rankings.”
Last year was full of ups and downs for the Tigers, who won games by margins of six, 10, 32 and 42 points, yet lost games by margins of nine, 24, 34, 40 (twice), 42, and 46 points. The nine-point loss was to the Alabama Blackhawks, which finished 10-3 and six points shy of making the league championship game.
“Our highlight of 2018 was just seeing the guys compete and have fun making plays and playing at a very high intensity,” Martin said.
It’s a new year now and with a clean slate, the Tigers are expecting brighter days on the horizon in 2019.
“Our expectations are to make the playoffs and compete for the division championships,” Martin said. “A successful season would be for us to get someone signed to play on a higher level.”
A handful of guys display that next-level ability for the Tigers, who have spent the off-season shuffling a few players around and replacing others.
“Offensively, I would have to say it would be Chris Griffin and Dacoda McConnell,” Martin said. “They both bring excitement and both being veterans, they bring wisdom.”
Newcomer Harry Burke has stood out defensively for the Tigers so far in camp as well as veteran defensive back Kendrick Davis.
Martin believes the two things she learned most as a first-year owner is the amount of preparation that goes in for each team and ways to improve attendance of players. With one year under their belt, the Tigers are approaching 2019 with more confidence.
“We don’t have any games circled, we’re just wanting to compete at a high level,” Martin said. “The main contenders, I would like to think we are a contender, but other teams, I’d say the Dynasty. I like their program over there.”