With over 130 players attending the Southern Conference Teams Training Camps over the past week, the potential of a Minor League (Reserve Grade) Competition is now being considered.
Over 130 athletes from more than 10 states participated in the open training camps/tryouts for the Axemen, Mayhem, Warriors and Rhinos during the past week, and the vision of continuing the Minor League Competition that had been developed by the Axemen for the past 3 seasons is now under serious consideration.
“With the formation of the new teams that will compete in the South, we expected to have good numbers in each to set up very solid top tier teams”, said Spinner Howland. “But we thought the minor league competition may need to take a season off due to so many former Axemen players now having an opportunity to play closer to their home towns. This has not proven to be the case, and the amount of players who have shown up at each of the new teams, and the extra numbers in Jacksonville, has allowed us to evaluate the budget and logistics to see if we can get all 130+ athletes into regular games.”
The Minor League competition had previously comprised of the Jacksonville Hatchets, Orlando Adrenalin, Daytona Gearheads and Tampa Inferno, and was designed to allow the large number of players who had tried to make the Jacksonville Axemen team from across Florida, to get regular games while they tried to secure a roster spot in the Top Tier team. “We had the fantastic challenge of having more players than could be accommodated in the the Axemen team each game”, said Howland. “So with the help of some great partners the minor league competition was set up so we did not have to say no to any player. Yes all teams are in this to win a Championship, but let me also be very clear on the other goal that is just as important; We are growing our sport in the USA, and the more athletes we can have play our game, at any level, is a step forward in grassroots development.”
All four Southern teams are now looking at the transport, accommodation and logistic challenges, to see how many minor league games can be held during the season, but they are certain of a least some teams operating their own “second level” games.