Sponsored by Coyote’s Steakhouse & Lounge | Photo by Angela Gzowski
Playoff Preview by Spencer Lyman
Yellowknife can be identified by its sport recreation community. There’s a variety of sport options in town, and it’s relatively easy to get involved. For such a small population, there’s plenty of variety of skill, intensity and character. About five years ago, a group of guys that played weekly pick-up football games grew tired of playing in the snow. With the construction of the Fieldhouse, things moved indoors and the Yellowknife Arena Football League (YKAFL) was formed. The league currently has nine teams.
The YKAFL will crown a champion this weekend. One round of playoffs has passed and four teams remain. The league has never been more balanced. Both semi-final matchups will be played on Friday at 9 p.m., at the Fieldhouse. Here’s a quick preview, complete with my predictions:
Tamarak Titans Vs. Just Fitness Giants – Friday March 6 at 9 p.m.
The Titans claimed the first seed and spent last weekend on the couch, resting any injuries they have and drawing up plays. They won the league two years ago and the mid-season ice bowl tournament this year. The Titans are a group of basketball players who use quickness, height and speed to march down the field. Once they get the lead, their defense makes sure they keep it.
Ironically, the “Giants” are a smaller group of guys. The Giants are also a much lower seed. They upset the Regulators last week and claim they will have no problem upsetting the Titans next. One Giant was quoted last weekend saying: “We can beat anyone in this league; and we’re going to.” Of course, that comment was delivered with a dose of liquid courage.
I predict a decent game. The Titans will end up on their heels at some point, but are just too strong a squad to lose this game. Expect a slam-dunk over-the-cross-bars TD celebration in this one.
Andy Wind | St. Pat’s Irish
Kasteelers Vs St. Pat’s Irish Sr. – Friday March 6 at 9 p.m.
The Kasteelers have been a dominant force in this league for years, winning all but one Ice Bowl tournament (2014) and league championship (2013). However, this year has been a shaky season. A revolving door at QB and untimely defensive breakdowns caused this team to lose a great deal of their games in the first half of the season. The ship seems to have turned around in 2015 though, as they’ve won six straight games (beating the Titans and the Irish).
The Irish have come a long way. They entered this league as a bunch of zit-faced ninth graders who couldn’t throw a ball farther than 10 yards. Now, they hold the #3 seed and have already beaten the Kasteelers. Their QB has a deceptively strong arm, he’s elusive and he has arguably the fastest guy in the league to hand the ball off to. They are coached well and play a safe zone defence.
The Kasteelers were already beaten by the Irish in a big game this year. I don’t see it happening again. The Irish have come a long way over the years, but the Kasteelers will be too much for them.
The finals will be on Saturday at 4 p.m., at the Fieldhouse; and as most would predict, should be between the Kasteelers and Titans.
Kasteelers Vs Tamarack Titans – Saturday March 7 at 4 p.m.
In years past, the game was always a blowout when these two teams met. Lately, the games have been close and this one could come down to the final play. These guys know each other well.
Count on an intense match-up, as both teams have arguably the two best players at every position: QB, receiver, rusher, defence and agitator. Get your popcorn ready!!!
If you like football, come check out what Yellowknife has to offer. There have already been whispers of a fun flag tournament in April. The QBs will hold a draft and give teams a chance to play with others, as well as a chance for new players to come out and try the game.
Andrew Sarty | NDS Regulators