June 29, 2021
By Evan Lepler
The calendar flips to July on Thursday, with the AUDL season, much like the summer weather, expected to keep heating up. Four weeks in, the journey has already been special. We’ve got plenty of memories, mountains of data, and new personalities making their mark on the field every week. For sure, the best is yet ahead.
And when I say “best,” I mean more games like the Dallas-San Diego barn burner that transpired this past Saturday night. What a great battle that was; two teams with big time championship ambitions trading haymakers for 48 thrilling minutes, neither ever leading by more than two the entire way. In fact, the outcome remained unclear until a couple seconds after the final buzzer, when the game’s last throw, a 50-yard Hunter Taylor hammer, soared off multiple hands in the end zone and hit the turf, sending the Growlers into a celebratory frenzy and leaving the Roughnecks itching for the July 23 rematch in Texas.
Overall, it was a rough weekend for the five teams that hit the road for doubleheaders. Philadelphia and Austin, two of the surprising 2-0 teams through three weeks, both saw their previously perfect records quickly sink to the .500 mark by falling twice in approximately 26 hours. And at the other end of the spectrum, Detroit, who has not won a road game in more than five years, expedited its losing by suffering two more double-digit defeats, dropping the Mechanix to 0-6 with a minus-85 point differential. Tampa Bay also went winless in their northeast travels, meaning that if not for Dallas playing a strong second-half in LA, the quintet of teams on the road for twin-bills would have gone 0-10.
It was also the first weekend I can recall in ages that featured just one game going down to the wire. While the Roughnecks and Growlers were relentlessly riveting, none of the 10 other games were decided by three or less. Of course, one byproduct of these comfortable margins is this: plenty of teams are feeling good about themselves heading into July, setting the stage for a slew of marquee matchups in the weeks ahead.
The standings, along with the one-month eye test, indicate that Atlanta, New York, DC, and Raleigh are the top four in the Atlantic. Looking forward, we’ve got at least two of those teams matched with one another for each of the next four weeks, and we’ll see at least one battle between those teams in seven of the final eight weeks of the regular season.
Chicago has obviously been the class of the Central, 4-0 with a plus-38 point-diff, but the Union will experience far more meaningful tests in July, a month where they have two games in Madison and one in Minnesota. The Indy AlleyCats also hope to throw some spice into the race, a goal that should be helped by a nifty nugget of breaking news that you can read by scrolling to the end of this column. How’s that for a tease?
The West Division is definitely the craziest quadrant thus far, with a four-way tie for second place between Austin, Dallas, San Jose, and Seattle separating first-place San Diego and last-place Los Angeles. Of course, the last-place team’s lone win doubles as the first-place team’s only loss. Overall, eight of the 13 contests in the West through four weeks have been decided by three or less, with a couple overtimes mixed in there too. It remains to be seen whether Dallas and San Diego, the two overwhelming preseason favorites, will be the last two standing in this division, but at the very least, through four weeks, all six teams in the West have enjoyed a marquee moment.
July will also feature the start of the Canadian Cup, with Montreal, Ottawa, and Toronto all anxious to retake the field too.
So there’s a snapshot of the competitive landscape at the four-week check-point. The July slate begins with New York-DC, Madison-Chicago, and Seattle-Austin this Friday night.
Bring it on.
The Full Field Layout
Paul Lally thought he had the clean foot-block, but the ref, and his Roughneck opponent, disagreed.
“I knew I wanted to match up with a handler, and since I’ve gotten to play Chase several times in the South Division, I went with the familiar option,” said Lally, who spent five seasons in the South between Nashville and Atlanta before joining San Diego in 2021. “He’s an elite thrower with a great low-around backhand, so I was hoping to make a play in that spot if he took it. Unfortunately, the ref saw a bump on the pivot before the release.”
Cunningham briefly thought about overturning the call, but since he did feel the contact, he decided to accept it, at which point he jokingly said to Lally, “just go get another one.” The tone was friendly, though the likelihood of Lally actually getting another block on the same point with the game on the line was quite small.
Dallas, who had trailed 20-18 with 4:47 left, was suddenly in position to convert a second straight break and re-take control with just about one minute remaining. Even though Lally was a new member of the Growlers who did not experience the Championship Weekend loss against the Roughnecks in 2019, he still understood the importance of the moment.
“They worked straight up our trap side, where we’ll sometimes look to double team, and I believe Goose [Helton] showed a double before peeling off into the backfield space since there was a bit of congestion upfield,” remembered Lally. “The marks and downfield defenders really made the play happen, getting the thrower up to a high stall count so that upline was really his last option. All I had to do was peel off my matchup to take away the vulnerable space after the double team and everything just culminated in getting plastic.”
No whistle overturned this clutch layout block, and the Growlers regained possession with 45 seconds left. Shortly thereafter, Lally’s inside-flick break found Helton about 16 yards shy of the end zone, and Helton’s tight, low-release backhand connected with a sliding Jesse Cohen, who narrowly stayed in bounds by the sideline to give San Diego a 21-20 lead with 14.4 seconds left.
The Roughnecks still had a chance for the equalizer, and from my perch in the Torrey Pines High School press box, I thought Jay Froude was well positioned in the end zone to sky for the game-tying hail mary hammer, only to see San Diego veteran defender Steven Milardovich get a finger-tip on the disc first. The deflection popped over Froude, where another Growler, Hunter Corbett, ushered it to the ground.
“I wasn’t necessarily expecting the hammer, so that sort of caught me off guard,” said Froude, who led the Roughnecks with 503 total yards and completed all 31 of his throws. “Seeing as I was lingering in the end zone to occupy the space for the hail mary, I didn’t get a good jump at it, and unfortunately, I couldn’t get up high enough to outright grab the disc.”
That wild sequence capped an intense four quarters between two teams that both had played their best ultimate of the season up to that point. The crowd was hype, the respect was mutual, and up in the broadcast booth, we were shaking our heads at all the excitement we had just witnessed. Clearly, the Roughnecks and Growlers both have the stuff to be suiting up inside Audi Field in Washington, D.C. this September at the 2021 Final Four, though the reality is only one, and possibly neither of them, will get there.
“Dallas is 2-2 record-wise, but collectively we have been in contention for a 4-0 start,” added Froude. “Both losses have been by one point, and I think that is a decent showing of what we can do even with guys missing games…There is clearly another level that Dallas can hit, and I’m confident, moving forward, we are rapidly excelling to reach that apex.”
While the Roughnecks finished June grouped in the four-team cluster tied for second place in the West, the Growlers triumph lifted them to 4-1, surging them into the top spot in the standings heading into July.
“The main postgame tone was to keep building,” said Lally, who totaled a game-high 595 yards, including 406 throwing yards, three goals, one assist, and one unforgettable block in San Diego’s one-goal win. “We were extremely excited for a big win, but know we’ll see them one or two more times and want to keep the focus on our process of putting our best and most complete game out each time we hit the field.”
It was not all bad for the Roughnecks, who still managed a win over Los Angeles on Friday night despite some crazy circumstances forcing them to begin the game against the Aviators with just 11 available players. The team’s private plane from Dallas had been delayed by a technical issue, but the Roughnecks’ out-of-town talent that traveled separately carried the load until the rest of the team arrived.
The reality of out-of-town talent, of course, is that it features the most elite competitors, the dudes that an owner deems worthy of paying extra for in order to help the organization win. On Friday, this group included players from Austin, El Paso, Denver, Arkansas, and Los Angeles, with no addition more valuable than current LA resident Chris Mazur.
Mazur won a title with the Roughnecks in 2016, helped lead the Aviators to Championship Weekend in 2018, and was set to rejoin Dallas in 2020 prior to the pandemic. He agreed to join the Roughnecks this year too, but knew his availability would be quite limited. Even if he does not suit up again all season, his presence was massive throughout the ‘Necks’ SoCal swing.
“Orchestrating an offense comes naturally to Chris,” said Brandon “Muffin” Malecek, another veteran Roughneck who was part of the 2016 title team. “Mazur is an easy fit, willing to do the dirty work to make the offense hum. Ready to fire the deep ball or make the simple decisions to keep the O in flow.”
Behind Mazur’s 413 yards, four assists, and endless positive energy, the Roughnecks still prospered against the Aviators, outscoring them 9-5 in the third quarter en route to a 21-16 victory. Dallas actually led 4-3 at the end of the first, playing with just 11 players. The reinforcements arrived as the second period began, and though it took a little time for the other participants to find a rhythm, Los Angeles struggled to really take advantage.
“I think we are all frustrated with how the game went on Friday,” said LA Captain Sam Fontaine. “The red zone turnovers were huge—the one late in the second quarter would have been a momentum-changing break, the one in the fourth quarter would have pulled us back within range to make a final push.”
The Aviators dipped to 1-4 on the season, but Fontaine remained confident that Los Angeles has the pieces to make an impact in the wild West moving forward.
“We may have had the toughest schedule of any team thus far,” he noted. “In our first five games, we faced San Diego twice, Dallas twice, and Austin on the road. We feel like our record doesn’t reflect how close some of those games were.”
Meanwhile, the Roughnecks, at 2-2, felt similarly optimistic after their loss on Saturday night. I thought it was especially interesting when I noticed that, of all people, it was Mazur who spoke super passionately in the Dallas huddle after the San Diego setback. It may have been his first weekend with the Roughnecks since a March minicamp prior to the pandemic shutdown in 2020, but his words still resonated with his teammates.
“People like Chris have a knack for knowing the right thing to say and when to say it,” said Froude. “Hearing him pipe in comments or concerns throughout the weekend was reassuring. Having a veteran you can lean on and trust definitely settled down the squad and allowed us to play within ourselves.”
Dallas is back in action against Seattle this Saturday—the first meeting between the Roughnecks and the Cascades since the 2016 AUDL Championship game—while the Growlers and Aviators both get the holiday weekend off.
Whereas no team in the West is still perfect, two teams in the Atlantic and one in the Central are still undefeated. Of that trio, the Atlanta Hustle experienced the toughest test in Week 4.
Facing a Philly team that got blasted pretty good in Raleigh the night before, the Hustle felt they began the game pretty crisply, but the Phoenix were even better.
“Both offenses were firing on all cylinders in the first quarter—zero turnovers from Philly and only one turnover from us that resulted in a break for them,” said Atlanta Captain Austin Taylor. “The second quarter showed both teams’ defenses starting to have an impact on the game, with four turnovers from both teams’ offenses, but it was still a relatively clean quarter with just one break for each team.”
The Phoenix led 12-10 at halftime, but Atlanta’s D-line scored breaks on two of its first three chances in the third, tying the game at 13 just five minutes into the period. Then came a dramatic sequence late in the third that vaulted the Hustle in front for the first time all game.
“At 15-all and on the final possession of the third quarter, Michael Fairley had a massive reach-around block and proceeded to march the ball up the field as time expired for the break,” said Parker Bray, who led the Hustle with 569 total yards. “Since we received to start the fourth, that break and a half was crucial.”
Atlanta’s John Stubbs tallied the first of his four fourth-quarter assists on the opening point of the final frame, and after the Phoenix managed one quick hold on a Mike Arcata-to-Sean Mott huck, the Philly wheels started to skid from there.
“I believe there was about nine minutes left in the fourth where we started to make too many mistakes on offense to remain in the game,” said Philadelphia Coach David Hampson. “I look forward to seeing Atlanta again when they come to Philly. Overall, though, you have to give them the recognition they deserve. They are undefeated and play with good energy.”
Indeed, the Hustle are 4-0 after pulling away from the Phoenix late to win 24-17. Fairley finished +7, Antoine Davis went for +6, but Stubbs’ +9, with seven assists, one goal, one block, and 29 completions in 29 attempts, led Atlanta’s attack. In just his second AUDL game—remember, Stubbs committed only for Hustle home games—his positive contributions were critical to Atlanta’s victory.
“It’s 100 percent fair to assume it’s been pretty easy integrating John Stubbs into our offense,” said Taylor, who added 473 total yards for the Hustle, third-most on the team behind Bray and Stubbs. “The guy is an absolute rock, averaging a plus/minus of 7.5 and over 400 total yards with zero turnovers. The moment that stood out to me most from the Philly game that speaks to his importance on our team was the first point of the fourth quarter. We had just taken our first lead of the game and needed to start the fourth quarter with a calm, cool, and collected offensive hold. John helped us do just that—nothing fancy, just fundamental ultimate. He got open underneath, delivered a nice around break throw, got open on the dump, ran a give-and-go up the line, and delivered a nice and easy throw to space for the score.”
Bray added, “John Stubbs is a top seven men’s player in the world. He makes everyone else’s life easier with his ability to create separation cutting, ability to break the mark with his throws, and drawing attention that allows other folks to get better matchups.”
Atlanta, idle this week, will strive for 5-0 when they face the DC Breeze on Saturday, July 10.
As has been the case with most of their games, New York and Chicago both remained perfect with solid performances against overmatched opponents that bordered on feeling routine. The Empire’s offense was never broken in their 24-18 home victory over Tampa Bay, while the Union’s D-line went 11-for-13 on break chances to cruise past Indianapolis, 28-20. At 3-0 and 4-0, respectively, the Empire and Union will both put their undefeated records on the line against dangerous foes on Friday night, New York at DC and Chicago at home against Madison.
Beyond the basics, it was noteworthy to see New York’s Mike Drost tally three Ds, his second-straight multi-block game, to lift his career total to 176, the most in AUDL history. Chicago’s Peter Graffy and Madison’s Andrew Meshnick—both of whom were long-time teammates with the Radicals prior to 2021—are tied for second on the all-time blocks chart, with 165. Graffy and Meshnick will meet as opponents for the first time on Friday night in Chicago.
Offensively, New York’s Elliott Chartock and Chicago’s Pawel Janas both had monster games in their respective wins. Chartock threw for 540 yards and totaled 664, while Janas registered his first 300/300 game of the season, leading all Week 4 participants by reaching 767 yards in aggregate, 315 receiving and 452 throwing.
Beyond all the numbers, the Empire O-line was proud of its ability to play within their system and avoid the hucking risks that were plentiful in their first two games against DC and Pittsburgh.
“I would say that 90 percent of our turnovers in the first two games were unforced and simply from playing too loose with our decision making,” said New York’s Ryan Osgar. “I was happy with our ability to internalize the adjustment and execute against Tampa. It’s been belabored at this point, but we have a lot of new pieces on our O-line and we are still settling into our new roles, so naturally things aren’t perfect just yet, but our game against Tampa was a step in the right direction.”
Chicago’s offense turned over the disc just seven times at Indy’s indoor arena, completing 97 percent of their throws and converting on every one of they 18 red-zone opportunities. Heading into Week 5, the Union own the league’s top scoring offense at 25.25 goals per game, and they have turned it over fewer times than anybody, enduring just 9.5 turns per contest through one month.
New York and Chicago both have more challenging schedules in July, with the Empire taking trips to Boston and Atlanta and the Union journeying to Madison and Minnesota, however I will not be at all surprised if both these teams maintain their perfection into August, and potentially beyond.
Seven On The LIne
- The Philadelphia Phoenix were eager to turn the page after their first game of the weekend, as Raleigh held their first-time foe without a goal for the game’s first 11 and a half minutes and just three scores in the entire first half.
From the Flyers perspective, their 23-10 triumph was especially satisfying because of the D-line’s efficiency. Raleigh produced 14 breaks in 48 minutes, denying Philly’s offense a goal on 29 of the Phoenix’s 38 possessions. “We had a game plan and executed it well,” said Raleigh’s David Richardson, who recorded three blocks. “I love seeing our young guys getting Ds. Alex Davis had a good run-through D, and [Matt] McKnight had a sweet layout D; those were exciting to watch. It was a also really good to see that the rain didn’t affect our offense’s flow too much.” After three straight contests that were super intense down to the wire, an overtime loss to Atlanta, a one-goal setback against DC, and a hard-fought 27-24 win over Boston, the Flyers finally experienced a fourth quarter without much drama. “Winning a game with more of a point-buffer was nice, but the close fourth quarters are tons of fun as well,” said Elijah Long. The Flyers utilized a balanced attack, with no one on the squad accumulating more than 250 yards throwing or 250 yards receiving. Long’s production topped the roster at +8, with three goals, four assists, and one block, completing all 20 of this throws. On the flip-side, Philly Coach David Hampson did not put too much stock in the Raleigh game as the Phoenix quickly pivoted their mental energies to Saturday’s battle with Atlanta. “[Friday] was one of those games that happens once in a lifetime where it seems like nothing could go right,” he said.
Still smarting from last week’s blown fourth-quarter lead against San Diego, the Seattle Cascades rebounded with a clutch final frame against Austin, a crucial and necessary performance to get Seattle back on track and deal the Sol their first setback of the season.
The Cascades’s four-goal first-half advantage did disappear again, echoing the collapses the team has endured against the Spiders and Growlers, but Seattle outscored Austin 10-6 over the final 11 and a half minutes on Friday night to pick up the pivotal result. “There has definitely been chatter about playing four quarters,” said Cascades veteran Ben Snell. “But, a lot of positive stuff. We were happy to have improved each of the last few games in terms of how we were handling the fourth quarter. Inevitably in these games there are going to be ebbs and flows; when you hit an ebb, it is important to identify the one or two pieces that need polish and continue on with playing the way the team wants to play. In previous games, we got away from ourselves a bit down the stretch. The difference in this game was we were able to commit to playing and executing the way the we wanted to, even after we hit a couple bumps in the road.” Unquestionably, as it’s been for much of the season, Seattle’s D-line was its top unit, converting nine breaks in 12 chances. Snell, along with Manny Eckert and Adam Simon, did the heavy-lifting for the Cascades’ O-line, as all three threw for between 297 and 318 yards, and the trio combined for 13 assists. The Sol, who got six assists from 22-year-old Shane Heath in the rookie’s professional debut, won’t have to wait long for a rematch with Seattle, as the Cascades travel to Texas this weekend.
On Saturday in San Jose, the Sol fell behind 4-1 in the first quarter for the second consecutive game. Unlike Friday night in Seattle, though, Austin never got back level, trailing by anywhere from two to seven goals the rest of the way, as the Spiders rolled 28-23. “That was the most in-control that I have seen the Spiders play so far this season,” said San Jose Coach Dan Silverstein. “The workhorse cutters on our offensive line had a strong game—[Sawyer] Thompson, [Jordan] Kerr, and [Andrew] Moore all played very well. Our offensive’s ability to succeed ultimately dictated the fast pace of the game.” Yes, the Spiders were going against a shorthanded Sol squad on the second night of a back-to-back, but San Jose’s overall efficiency, which still, Silverstein says, has plenty of room for improvement, was considerably better than it had been throughout the first three weeks. Whereas the Spiders had scored on just 41 percent of their offensive possessions in their first three games, they converted 61 percent against Austin. Thompson, Kerr, and Justin Norden all surpassed 500 total yards, with Thompson’s 607 leading the way. Austin’s Eric Brodbeck led all competitors with 650 total yards, an even 325 apiece passing and receiving along with six goals and six assists, but the Sol’s six red-zone turnovers definitely hurt the cause. “Credit to Seattle and San Jose’s game plans against us,” said Austin Coach Steven Naji. “With us missing two offensive starters, they forced us to take a lot of throws and were able to generate enough to get their jobs done. If someone told me we’d be 2-2 after [four] weeks of play, not sure I’d be too happy with it. But we’re in position to control our destiny, and that’s something I would accept.”
Whereas Philly and Austin saw their winning streaks conclude, Boston Glory were grateful to snap their three-game losing skid on Friday night against Tampa Bay, utilizing a 7-2 run in the second quarter to break the game open in their 24-17 victory. The result was different for Glory, but the top two offensive producers remained the same, as Tanner Halkyard (+8, 274 receiving yards) and Ben Sadok (+5, 425 throwing yards, 629 total yards) again anchored Boston’s O-line. “[Sadok’s] field vision is unparalleled,” said Boston Captain Gus Haflin. “He sees the field differently than most players, and differently than what most coaches teach. It’s that vision that propels his game; our offense is his vision’s beneficiary. [Halkyard] has been smart, skilled, fast, and huge since I first marked up against him in 2016, but he has stepped into the role of being ‘the guy’ in a way we all hoped he could. His experience guarantees excellent decision-making as well. I fear for other teams when he’s rejoined by TJ [Tannor Johnson] and Orion [Cable]; how do you possibly cover all of them?” Through four weeks, Halkyard (+31) leads the league in plus/minus, while Sadok (+24) is fourth in that metric across the entire AUDL. Gus Haflin and Ethan Fortin each contributed three blocks, while Eugene L'Heureux and Chris Bartoli added two Ds apiece, helping Boston create nine breaks and force 27 Tampa Bay turnovers. Andrew Roney and Bobby Ley may have combined for nine assists, four goals, and over 1,100 total yards, but the 16 throwaways between the two high-usage handlers prevented the Cannons, who dropped to 1-5 at the midway point of their season, from keeping it closer.
Aside from Raleigh’s 14 D-line scores against Philly, no team registered more breaks in Week 4 than the Minnesota Wind Chill, who cashed in 13 times in the category in their 29-17 rout of Detroit. Minnesota outscored the Mechanix 7-3 in the first, 10-4 in the second, and cruised from there to improve to 3-1 on the year. “These are the kinds of games where you prove who you really are as a team,” said Wind Chill Captain Brandon Matis. “It’s easy to get better in games that are close. It’s a lot harder to get better as a team in games when you’re expecting to win big. I’m not sure if you’ve noticed, but we seem to get off to slow starts in quarters—especially the start of the game and the second half…We crushed the first quarter Saturday—what, three or four breaks to start the game? That felt really good.” While Detroit’s Joe Cubitt completed all 51 of his throws, the Wind Chill limited the Mechanix’s diminutive standout to just 219 throwing yards and four assists. Minnesota’s Josh Klane went 22-for-23 for 212 throwing yards and four assists in his 2021 debut, returning from offseason shoulder surgery, while Tony Poletto added 202 throwing yards and four assists. More impressively, 16 different members of the Wind Chill recorded at least one goal, with Nick Vogt leading the team with six scores on the day. “Overall, I feel great about this team,” said Matis. “The top-end talent is there. The depth is there. The competitiveness is there. The camaraderie is there. The selflessness is there. The drive is there. The fight is there. We’ve proven we can win ugly. We’ve shown what we look like when everything is clicking…We know Chicago is the team to beat, but with Klane coming back, we’ve only added to the creativity of our depth. I think we’ll be ready to trade body blows, but as is cliche, we need to get there first.”
Just like the Wind Chill, the Madison Radicals also erupted for 29 goals against the Mechanix defense that’s now allowed 180 goals in six games. That’s more than five goals per game beyond the second-worst goals permitted rate in the league. And while Madison’s numbers are certainly bolstered by two big wins over Detroit, the Radicals actually enter July as the second highest-scoring offense in the league at 24.8 goals per game. AUDL goals leader Andrew Sjogren found the end zone eight times on Sunday against the Radicals, but Sterling Knoche scored six, Kevin Pettit-Scantling got five, and Dylan Power added four. Three other Rads chipped in with three goals apiece, as Madison converted 74 percent (17-for-23) of its offensive possessions and 71 percent (12-for-17) of its break chances. Knoche finished +10, his first double-digit plus/minus effort in his 40th career AUDL game. All these fun numbers are encouraging and Madison should enter this weekend’s critical doubleheader trip to Chicago and Indy with some offensive confidence, but the Radicals surely know they will be judged by how they fare on the road against the Union and AlleyCats far more than how they create video-game success against the Mechanix.
We’re still calibrating the meaning and significance of certain yardage benchmarks, so I believe it’s worth mentioning a few observations through four weeks. Currently, 17 players are averaging at least 300 throwing yards per game, but only one player is up over 400 yards per game. New York’s Elliott Chartock is averaging 483 throwing yards per contest thus far, 88 more than Chris Mazur’s 395 average that he piled up this past weekend for the Roughnecks. In the receiving realm, only five players are averaging 300 yards per game on their catches, with Sjogren’s 394 per contest leading the league. After four weeks, only two players across the league, Boston’s Ben Sadok and Tampa Bay’s Billy O'Bryan, have surpassed 1,000 total yards in both throwing and receiving, though Sadok is the league’s only individual to average at least 250 yards in both categories for the season.
In the all-time records department, Cameron Brock’s scoring mark is suddenly, and surprisingly, about to change.
The AlleyCats legend found the end zone 504 times in 120 games before deciding to retire this past fall. He’s still 218 goals clear of his former teammate Keenan Plew, but that gap will probably widen this weekend.
That’s because Brock is planning to unretire and re-join the AlleyCats for the rest of the season, starting this Saturday night against Madison.
“Cam retired last year for personal reasons as he and his wife focused on some exciting new ventures,” said Drumright. “Well, some of those reasons have changed (for the better) and it has allowed him to scratch his competitive itch with ultimate. After some great conversations with him over the last few weeks, I am happy to say that we are bringing him out of retirement and signing him to our active roster this week.”
The AlleyCats provided the following statement from Brock:
“With some changes structurally to some organizations I was working with, and finding out my wife is pregnant with baby number two, my new life circumstances allowed for me to sign on with the Cats yet again. I’m excited to return and play with and learn from some new and phenomenal talent and hope to be a helpful piece in the pursuit of another playoff berth.”
Brock recorded a career-low 41 goals in 2019, but that still ranked among the top 15 scoring seasons in the league. He scored at least 52 goals in every other season he played. Just 32 years old, with more games played than anyone else in AUDL history, he will immediately add massive amounts of experience to a relatively young Indy roster.
He’s only beaten Madison twice in a decade, but his return, which coincides with Saturday’s Fox Sports Game of the Week matchup against the Radicals, certainly lends some additional spice to the upcoming nationally televised Central Division clash.
Just another fascinating development among dozens of other compelling storylines as the second month of the 2021 AUDL season is about to begin.
Starting in just a couple days, July should be both educational and epic. Can’t wait.