My name is Ayden Davis, and I play Cornerback #30 for the Houston Hyenas. This is my Rookie Journey.

Joining the Simulation Football League
It was around the time after Super Bowl LIII, that I was scrolling through YouTube one night, looking around at football highlights when I saw this video that piqued my interest. It was the Season 9 Simulation Football League Championship Game, between the Mexico City Aztecs and the Chicago Wildcats. I was intrigued, to say the least. The concept of an online league was something unheard of for me. So I went around the YouTube Channel, and was instantly hooked after seeing a video reveal of the Houston Hyenas rebrand. It was an instant click, almost like a Pavlovian condition. I knew I had to join the league. So I went to the website, joined the Discord and immediately hit it up with the people in the chat.

The Draft
June 1st. It was a hot summer day as I was chilling in my house in Houston, Texas. I was eagerly awaiting the Season 13 SFL Draft, which would be coming on at around 6:00 in the afternoon. I was a part of a really tiny class, but man, I loved it. All the events of the offseason, from Rookie Check-Ins to the Rookie Showcase, where I got even an interception! – it all led up to the draft.

6:00 PM, June 1st, 2019
The awaited moment has finally arrived! After several weeks, and even a few months, the Season 13 Simulation Football League draft has opened. It was a nice experience, since I was hanging out with a few rookies, such as Maur “Cheeseburger” Rivers, Sully Richardson, Sudo Nakai, and a lot of others! When St. Louis selected Maur with the first overall pick, I was already excited. The entire league was, I think, shook by this pick, since they needed a quarterback, and Maur was a defensive end.

The Call
It was just moments before the 2nd Overall pick when I got a call from Houston Hyena’s GM B.J. Loveless. Funny story: I couldn’t hear him on the call, and I explained that to him as it was being finally announced. He told me congratulations, and welcomed me to the Houston Hyenas. I was actually happy to hear that. And then, I heard Cameron Irvine call out my name as the 2nd Overall Pick in the S13 SFL Rookie Draft.

The Houston Hyenas
Following the draft, I was allowed into to the Hyenas locker room, where I was greeted with a warm welcoming from Demond Simien, Eddie Gauge, Kentez Johnson, and more. My experience with the locker room has been really great, and I do feel that I have a bond with them. It feels like you actually can contribute in an instant. And you do! I immediately hit it off with Kentez, the team’s quarterback. A little fun fact: Me and Demond Simien live in the same area of Houston, or around that part. That even helped me even more to connect with the team.

Week 1
My first ever SFL game was against the Oklahoma City Renegades in OKC during Week 1.I was excited to play in my first game, and was hyped up to see myself on the field again. In that game, I debuted with 4 tackles and 2 assists. Late in the 4th, the Hyena’s lost the lead and eventually lost the game to the Renegades.
Final Score: 10-16.

Week 2
The second week wasn’t much better. We played the San Francisco Sharks, again away, where the situation was similar to Week One’s: Taking the lead, and then slowly losing it in the late game. I had 1 tackle, assist, and 2 passes deflected.
Final Score: 10-17

Week 3
Week 3 was my first ever home game in Houston, during SFL Sims ATL. We were facing the Las Vegas Fury, who had a likeable presence in the chats with Tom Ramen. The crowd was electric, as the offense picked up early in the game and continued that way. I had 1 tackle, assist, and a pass deflected.
Final Score: 6-34

The locker room was tight in all games. While sometimes we’ll put ourselves down and point a finger at each other for the games lost, Demond let us know that it wasn’t any of our faults. I completely agree with him on that statement. After all, its only 3 games in a 12 game schedule. We have plenty of games left in the season to play and try to make a playoff appearance!

To be continued…