In a statement given to the league earlier this week, Tulsa Owner/Runningback Dion Hawkins announced he would no longer take the field after Season 10 in order to focus on his duties as owner of the Desperados.
“I feel like retiring now is best now that I have fulfilled what I always wanted to do from the first day I joined this league: to have my own team. Now that I have the team, I’m ready to step aside and help the next generation of SFL greats. I’m 100% focused on building the Desperados into a perennial power and a brand name.”
Hawkins entered the league in Season 7, joining the DC Dragons as their runningback under Jermaine Smith, currently the President of the SFL. Hawkins would debut in a 40-14 rout over the Carolina Skyhawks and out do an SFL legend in Johnny English. Rushing for 264 yards and 3 TD’s, Hawkins picked up where another SFL great, Richard Snowden, left off a season prior. Filling big shoes did not end there. In Season 8, Dion would make the move to Houston after the Dragons folded when Mr. Smith took his league level position. In Houston, Hawkins would replace Darnell Black, who still holds the record for most rushing yards in a game. Hawkins would have his best season to date with the Hyenas, racking up 1604 yards and 15 touchdowns. Next, he would make the move to Chicago for their first season and serve as their first offensive coordinator. In that time, Chicago’s offense would guide the team to the Championship Game. In the ensuing offseason, Dion Hawkins would apply for ownership and be elected to receive a team: The Tulsa Desperados.
In a continued statement regarding his leaving the field, Dion expressed thanks to his coaches and ownership:
“I’d like to thank the owners who brought me into their organizations and taught me the ins and outs of APF and the SFL: Destro, Demond & Shann. I learned a great deal from each one of them and I wouldn’t be in the position I am today without them. Also, I’d like to express my thanks to current and former teammates who became my bros from all over the world. Lastly, for my Tulsa Desperado family. This will always be a special season due to it being my first as being an owner and I thank each player for believing in my vision for the Desperados and sticking by their word to do what they can to make us better. #Weball”
Dion Hawkins currently sits 7th all-time in rushing yards and is within striking distance of long time Baltimore runningback, Elliot Snider.
Good luck to Dion and his Desperados in their inaugural season in the future!