Give you ice, like Kobe right… We sorta like Goldie right… The way, we mode em right… we could make you a celebrity overnight
The holidays are here and everyone is spending time with family and friends, but it also means we are closer to the 10th anniversary season of the SFL, a record high 18 teams are competing. Preseason is about to kick off and we are going to see what is right and wrong with current players and what cuts may be happening. Then, next thing I know, Liam says  “Kanye is in being a SFL Beat writer?” What… Oh…OK. Now before there were any position rules ethics, Ethan King was drafted as CB in the 2nd round by Sioux Falls in his first season, then went to play FS with Tallahassee, which later he was converted to QB in his 2nd and 3rd season.
I started officially in Season 6, but you know about me. It’s always all about the TEAM when and where they started to help build this great and solid fortitude Chicago team. How was the transition starting to form and how has it brought us together? During season 6, a bunch of family, friends, and associates came into the league and some would later become friends. Carolina had quite a few on their team like TE Shann Varner and FS Maurice Spurgeon. Varner would have his league lowest in TD production. He would average 1.3 receptions and 15.9 yards per game for 1 TD all season. Maurice playing CB would make 42 solo tackles and average 4.8 tackles per game with a total of 3 INT’s. Meanwhile, King with the Sparrows had 53 tackles with 1 INT.  SS AJ Barnes, who was taken by Tallahassee in the draft, had 66 solo tackles and 36 tackle assists with 10 INT’s. These guys were new to the league and were trying to figure themselves out.
In Season 7, WR Alex Zellie joined the Skyhawks with 4 TDs, Varner became the OC, and WR Davius Reid became a Mauler. J.Calvin Kim would end up running into the playoffs for Santa Fe. Maurice would then be the return specialist for the Skyhawks. Varner would double his TD total for his career to two. JCK would have a breakout season of 15 TD’s and RB Dion Hawkins comes into the league with DC totaling 9 rushing TD’s and 2 rec TD’s. King becomes the quarterback of the defense playing FS with Tallahassee along with Barnes. King would have 67 solo tackles and 6 INT’s while AJ had 90 tackles with 5 INT’s. Davius Reid would be a KR and establish his WR debut in a 1000 yard season with 8 TD’s. Davius Reid would help the Maulers win the Season 7 title.
In Season 8, the guys would again make changes to better themselves. Tallahassee made King QB of the team and would win MVP of the the league with 39 TD’s. Yes, his quarterback debut was that good. RB J.Calvin Kim came on board and had a stellar season with 15 TD’s. RB Dion Hawkins went to Houston after DC folded and Reid went on to Dallas to get to the playoffs. LB Ajamu Afolabi comes on to the MC Aztecs and led them in tackles and went to the playoffs. WR Kendall Gilbert finished with the Crabs with 15 TD’s and an early knockout in the playoffs. The Skyhawks would bring in LB Clint Hendershot, who would debut with 58 total tackles and 1 sack while CB Blake Hamrac totaled 57 tackles with 7 INT’s. Carolina would change Spurgeon to FS who would rack up 90 tackles and 4 INT’s . Zellie would finish with 5 TD’s and Varner with 3 TD’s. LB Espnn Ry’Ale on QCC would go on to win a title. Tallahassee and Carolina did make it to the playoffs. The Skyhawks made a quick exit after the 1st round. You are reading this correctly! The Pride made it past 1st round, only to get eliminated from the 2nd.
In Season 9, The Chicago Wildcats squad was formed with star players: RB Dion Hawkins, LB Espnn Ry’Ale, LB Clint Hendershot, WR Alex Zellie, WR Davius Reid, CB Blake Hamrac, SS AJ Barnes, FS Maurice Spurgeon, and led by QB Ethan King and TE Shann Varner. The Wildcats would go on to make it to Championship Game only to fall short of a title.
In the Chicago locker room during practice, I reached out to the team and got them in a corner to see how they feel for this season.
The CW
Staff: Shann Varner Owner & Head Coach / Maurice Spurgeon-Offensive Coordinator / Ethan King-Defensive Coordinator
Kanye Rockafella-COO
SCOUT N/A
SEASON 9 RECORD AND FINISH 8-4 /10-5 Championship loss
ROSTER 
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PLAYERS
KR: What would you guys want the to tell SFL nation? Let me have it!
Ethan King: I wanna see us control the clock more this season.. limit turnovers and keep games close!!
Clint Hendershot: “I just wanna hit people!”
Shann Varner: “Lol you always wanna hit people!”
Ajamu Afolabi: “Total domination from our offense, defense, and special teams!”
Maurice Spurgeon: “Exactly.”
Davius Reid: “Total domination sounds good to me, Ajamu!”
OWNER & COACH SPEAK
KR: “Are you excited bout the future of Chi? What are you expecting from this team?  What you think record will be?”

Shann Varner: “I’m expecting for everyone to do their job!! If we all do are jobs then the season will take care of itself. I’m thinking our record will be 7-5. Just being optimistic I’m hoping it’s better just trying to keep it real tho you feel. One of the only teams I am worried about is Sioux Falls.”

 
The Chi
 

OFFENSIVE GLIMPSE

Shann and company are really disappointed that the team didn’t finish the Championship Game against the Aztecs as expected. The Wildcats thought with the cast of star players would get them over the top and win strong. They have been in the weight room and have trimmed down or put on more pounds of muscle. With the departure of Hawkins, they have bought in the talented JCKim to fill that void. They have added a new weapon with speed and catch ability with K. Gilbert from the folded Baltimore team. King likes his new toys and it would be a shame not to use them.
#loadinglegends- ET King has become the 13th quarterback to throw 90 all-time touchdowns. J.Calvin Kim has become the eighth running back in SFL history to reach 53 rushing touchdowns. Alex Zellie is the leader of all- time TD receptions of the Wildcats ranked 28th with 22, followed by ranked 32nd Kendall Gilbert with 23 along with a closely ranked 35th Davius Reid with 17
 Got a light-skinned friend that looks like Michael Jackson… Got a dark-skinned friend that looks like Michael Jackson
 
DEFENSIVE GLIMPSE
The defense, which is headlined by AJ Barnes, is bringing in a proven tackle machine with Ajamu Afolabi to help pain almighty Clint Hendershot. If you recall, Hendershot was the only tackler keeping the Wildcats in the Championship Game. I would like to see AA get on the board with sacks and Clint with more sacks to his name. Blake Hamrac is getting better and more competitive every season since coming into the league and Spurgeon will be that wrecking ball to clean up the clutter that the above mentions leave.
#loadinglegends- Kanye Rockafella with 24 and A.J. Barnes have 27 interceptions for their career. AJ is ranked 3rd on all-time for user players in kick returns for TD’s (6)
SCHEDULE OPPONENTS AND RECORD AGAINST
Central Conference  W-L
INDIANAPOLIS
OKLAHOMA CITY
SIOUX FALLS
ST. LOUIS                1-1
TULSA

Non-Conference

MEXICO CITY             0-1
TALLAHASSEE           0-1

FINISH UP ALREADY

The Chicago team has been very, and I mean very, disturbed since the Championship Game. Sources say that prior to the game that last minute changes were made that did not sit well with the team. My sources said that after the Championship Game in the Aztecs visitors locker room Shann and the organization had to pay for damages that occurred from disgruntled teammates. This off-season, players were still upset when hearing about celebrations of Mexico City taking place and statues being built. The players have taken value cuts in order to get some great personnel to help get Chicago back to the big dance and show teams they are not playing around.
Shann is a hard working and traditional type of guy. He likes things a certain way and door is always open to new ideas. ET King practices a safe and well reserved type of defense and when tested, is ready, willing, and able to pull the trigger when its time to get aggressive. The mystery piece to this puzzle is how will Maurice’s, the new OC, play calling will work with this formula? Will he be conservative with the X’s and O’s? Will he be a cowboy and shoot at every moving target till he is out of bullets? Will he go rogue and do whatever he sees fit to his eyes? Or will Spurgeon get mechanical and surgical with it and have it figured out against various team builds dealing with player progression that benefits Wildcats wins? Shann and Spurge have history and I think they know each other pretty well. The Wildcats, in my opinion, is not a “take what the offense and defense gives us” type, but rather a “we will impose our will onto you regardless of what you do” type. These are very talented players and leaders on this team that are used to winning. I have not called records during this 18 in 18 and will not start now. I stated I think it will be a interesting season with the new progression system and the only way to see how to advance is to play from start time to the end.
Now the schedule for the naked eye looks doable. In the SFL, nothing is ever what it appears to be. Chicago will come out strong against St. Louis and not start off sloppy like in the first game of last season. Not saying the Gladiators are a walk in the park or anything, but the Wildcats are at home and are familiar with that team. Last season, being home was where the heart was. Like the 12’s of Seattle. Speaking of familiarity, the next couple of teams come to The Thunderdome are New expansion Tulsa and Mexico City. Dion returns to see how the Wildcats are living, then the champs are in town to see if what worked in the Championship Game still works. Midway point of the season, Wildcats face OKC, SXF, and IND in conference play.
I really hope Chicago can get a little more aggressive and take more chances. The stars on this team are incredible and can they can take on your entire crew.  They apparently believe in the star offense, so they need to score high points as a kicker was not the endgame. I wish they would have gotten a DL, but hey, I am a player. I hope AJ can get more PR/KR TD’s. He has always been a game changer.
I wanna thank the Wildcats for being good, and continue to get better. Shout out Shann, ET, AA,MS,CH, AJB,DR and the rest of the gang.
Wildcats, Thunder Cats