It normally takes a few seasons for a developmental football team to establish itself and become a contender, but some teams – like the Dalton Danger – find success from Day 1.
The Danger has been around for less than one calendar year, but on the field they play like a well-established, elite team. They’re already among the top teams in the National Developmental Football League with a perfect 10-0 regular season record, which was capped off with a road win over the three-time defending champion Georgia Wolves.
“We have had some growing pains with everyone learning and growing together as a unit,” Danger co-owner John Caudill told Developmental Football USA. “Every week, it feels more and more like this is where we belong, not just where we ‘should be.’ We started this thing to become one of the premier teams in the South and every day, the players, coaches, and administration work to make that happen, whether it’s on the field or off the field.”
While the Danger know they’ll have to get through other tough teams, such as the Augusta Ducks, Capital City Seahawks and South Carolina Bulls, to win a championship, Dalton believes it’s a feat they can accomplish.
“We definitely have the right pieces and the team is gelling at the right time,” Caudill said. “Defensively, we have B.J. Stewart, defensive tackle Darious McDonald, Jalen Fields, Anthony Green and James Moreland.”
Offensively, the Danger feature former Georgia Tech running back Robert Godhigh and wide receiver Kevin McFadden who previously played with the Amarillo Venom of Champions Indoor Football. A strong offensive line allows the offensive to unfold and let those two loose.
Add punter Aaron Mize and the kicking game and the Danger is strong on all three phases of the game.
“It means so much to us and the community,” Caudill said. “Ownership is really trying to put a quality program on the field for the players and fans. We talk every practice and every game about three big things – fun, domination and win. You’ve got to have fun, you’ve got to dominate every down and in turn hopefully that gives you a few wins.
“I’ve battled kidney cancer this past year and life is too short, the game is too short, so enjoy this and don’t take it for granted. We tell them a lot of teams want to be where you are sitting so keep doing what you’re doing.”
In Summer 2016, Dalton played in the World Developmental Football League and made it to the semifinals before being knocked off by the Metro Atlanta Horsemen, ending the Danger’s season with a 12-3 mark.
“As an owner, it was amazing,” Caudill said. “We actually did not lose money. The fan base was great. We have some of the lowest fees for players, we have trainers, custom uniforms, new turf, an indoor facility, travel bags provided and all games are filmed.”