Every Team's Historically Most Impactful Player - A Celebration of 20 Seasons
WRITTEN BY BJ LOVELESS AND JACOB CLEAR
Edited by Jacob Clear
Alamo City Artillery
Dallas Law S6
Dallas Ruffnecks S7-S10
Dallas Lobos S11-S12
Seattle Tyrants S13-S14
Lone Star Glory S15-S19
Alamo City Artillery S20-Present
Jukin Roukyn - DE/DT - S12-Present
Jukin Roukyn is a perfect player to start off with. First off not too many players survive 4 ownership and brand changes and still remain loyal. Roukyn is one player that’s been around long enough to have played for the Dallas Lobos before making the championship with the Tyrants, then returning to the championship with the Lone Star Glory. A top-15 player in all-time tackles for loss, he’ll be making plays for many seasons to come having recently been sworn in as a minority owner for the Artillery.
Honorable Mentions: Ace Fenech, Mason Kirby, Zack Sandlin, Shabazz Psynergy
OKC Renegades S1-S13
Arizona Scorpions S14-Present
DJ Moses - RB S13-Present
We could take the easy route and say Eddie Gauge or Ashley Jackson and, while they are great and instrumental in their own right, we are going to highlight DJ Moses. Moses, who is one of two holdovers from the last days of the Oklahoma City Renegades, was one of the earliest FB to RB conversions in the progression era. In his first two seasons, he ran for just 1,121 yards rushing combined, but he quickly kicked into high gear the following 2 seasons of his career, with 2,416 rushing yards on the way to some successful seasons with the Scorpions and galloped to 2 championship appearances and.... potentially an MVP campaign?
Honorable Mentions: Parker Thomas, Everett Garrison, EJ DeCue, Tybeerious Bovine
Joshua Williams- DT S11-Present
Atlanta is one of those franchises where you could punt a pebble on the gridiron and hit someone worth talking about being an impact player for the Swarm. Anybody from BDG, Boo Chisolm, Marcus Dunhill, Bryant Dynasty, Siege Falco, Aquantis Shyne, and even Jamaal Wooding (enjoy retirement my friend!) but Joshua Williams is the player that shines for us. On top of his contributions off the field, Swole has shown his worth on the field as well. A champion, with double-digit tackles for loss in 8 of 10 seasons, he looks to continue to haunt teams in the SFL East division for seasons to come.
Honorable Mentions: BDG Hollewood, Marcus Dunhill, Boo Chisholm, Jamaal Wooding
Jack Wigmore- QB S15-Present
Replacing a winner like Mike Dazzo were sizable shoes to fill to begin with. Jack Wigmore showed up with his own shoes and showed that playing under pressure was easy work. 4 championships in 5 seasons. 24,961 yards with 151 touchdowns in just 6 seasons. Winning means everything to champions and Jack Wigmore is just looking to WIN More!
Honorable Mentions: Giovanni Bolt, SyrRon Yates, Ivory Ervin, Mac Chimah, T-Roy Gaines
Bob Funk- FS S19-S20
In the Classics' short history, they’ve seen some solid defensive play, especially in their defensive backfield. Bob Funk has been the most impactful player in team history. Bob bet on himself after departing Portland and in two seasons with the Classics saw career highs in tackles and interceptions as he trolled the defensive backfield. A handful of multi-interception games in 2 seasons (including one against his former team). Funk is moving on going into S21 but his presence won’t be missed by Classic opponents.
Honorable Mentions: Gary Birney, Mark Gronek, Mike Ahl
Heath McDaniel Jr. - WR (S8-9, S15-18, S20)
Consistency is a form of impact as well. Heath in a Carolina uniform is just a pure menace. 5 900 yard plus seasons in Carolina in 3 different stints. After taking his talents to Canada for a season, he just wasn't the same. He returned to Carolina and he returned to business as usual. Lining up next to Harish Prasad every week, the shadow could loom, but Heath McDaniel’s shadow has stood out in its own way in Carolina.
Honorable Mentions: Trystan Hatley, AJ Francis, Davidson Joseph
Indy Red Devils S10-S11
Indianapolis Spitfire S12
Charleston Predators S13-Present
Keith Swearingen RB S11-S19
Undisputed Mr. Charleston has seen every iteration of the franchise even back when the team was in Indianapolis. Swearingen was an offensive staple with 7 1000 yard plus campaigns in 9 seasons and saw 3 double-digit touchdown seasons for a franchise who is most recognized in the past for their defensive prowess, Swearingen will be immortalized for being a force to be reckoned with in Charleston and left a sizeable void where it took two guys to replace him.
Honorable Mentions: Ken MaCarro, Buchanan Simons, Johnny Bravo
Kevin Seay RB S16-Present
Seay something babyyyyy!!! Kevin Seay burst onto the scene in the Dragons' return season to the SFL and hit the ground running at full speed. 5 seasons, 5 1000 yard seasons, 4 double-digit touchdown seasons, and has been the feature of the offense that has led the team into the playoffs behind Psynergy and company, who could be the lead of the Dragons for seasons to come.
Honorable Mentions: Shabazz Psynergy, Lauren Percoco, Paw T PawTai
San Antonio Vaqueros S9-S10
Denver Nightwings S11-Present
Jarrod McChesney - RB (S11-S16)
It’s a feat in itself that McChesney ended his Season 16 with over 1700 rushing yards, had 21 TDs on the ground in the previous season, got inducted into the Hall of Fame, and finished just shy of the top 10 all-time in his position - consider that he did this in six seasons. He also won two titles. It’s really hard to describe just how dominant this guy was in such a short span of time - Denver mastermind Jeremy Vega, regarded as one of the best coaches of the APF era, produced a complete cheat code in McChesney. Since his retirement, it’s been tough sledding for the Nightwings, with his heir Baylee O’Shaughnessy yet to really take off under the new regime.
Honorable mentions: Logan Keel, Kramer Jackman, Josh Vasquez
Alaska Storm S8-S13
Florida Storm S14-Present
Alex Dominguez DL S8-Present
Was there any other choice really for Florida? The force that is affectionately known as “Big Sexy” is hands down the most dominant defensive player the league has ever seen followed by one of the winningest players the league has ever seen. 1st all-time in career sacks with 222.5 (and counting) also #1 all-time in career tackles for loss at 324 (and counting) followed by being the single-season record holder of two defensive records that realistically may never be touched again with 38.5 sacks and 46 tackles for loss. Add 3 championships in 5 appearances and you get a Hall of Fame jacket. While Dominquez’ most dominant days are back in Alaska, he still strikes fear in the hearts of coaches and players alike that line up against him.
Honorable Mentions: Ron Cockren, Ryan Davidson, Optimus Cline, JW Doyle
Fort Worth Toros
EK Vinson - LB (S15-Present)
EK Vinson a veteran of the SFL, but a staple on the defense of the Toros since the franchise's inception. A staple in the 2nd level of that defense and being a bullheaded run stopper (no pun intended) he’s seen his share of tackles for loss seeing double digit numbers in that category for 3 of his 5 seasons with the Toros. A model of consistency is something you see out of a lot of Toros players, but EK Vinson may wear that badge the proudest.
Honorable Mention: Jason Williams, Luther Gond, Cade Stephens
Houston Hyenas S6-S18
Houston Headhunters S19-Present
Warren Murray - RB (S10-17)
If DR Sim is the flag bearer of the Houston franchise’s from its inception, for 7 seasons at least, Warren Murray was Houston’s champion. Warren was a back who constantly showed a combination of speed, power and balance with the Hyenas being the lead dog in the offense. Murray eclipsed 1100 yards 5 times in Houston, a feat that hasn’t been accomplished again since his circumstantial departure from Houston and his triumphant return to the league in a Vulture uniform. With career numbers of 12,000 yards rushing and over 100 touchdowns, Warren Murray’s Hall of Fame call isn’t about if, it's about when!
Honorable Mentions: Josh Rowe, Chad Takkul, Greg Corky
Ryan Roosevelt WR (S19-Present)
Season 20 a star was born! Ryan Roosevelt has had a career where he went from a WR3 in Atlanta and effective in his role. Enter S19, the expansion Indianapolis Ramblers gave Roosevelt an opportunity he couldn’t refuse, a shot to be WR1 for a brand new franchise. With the role change, Ryan saw his production rise immediately. Then S20 rolled around and a bomb went off! Roosevelt showed up as a brand new player. S20 saw a 140 reception, 1810 yards, 15 touchdown season which eclipsed his previous three seasons combined! A potential Offensive Player of the Season run has Rambler fans excited to see what’s to come for Ryan Roosevelt in S21!
Honorable Mentions: Colin Pierce, Derek Genco, Randy Pierce
Tallahassee Pride S5-S13
Jacksonville Kings S14-Present
Christian Christiansen QB (S9-16)
Let us remind you for those who weren’t around then, who the People’s QB was during his time in the league. Christian Christiansen was a gunslinger surrounded by a plethora of offensive weapons like Ken Gossett, Jaye Eniola, Duke Wilson, Jared Willis, Greyson Willis amongst others but those guys were made by Christensen. 7th all-time in passing yards and touchdowns and leading the Pride/Kings to back to back championship appearances. An MVP campaign, a season he won’t let many forget because he swapped his name on his allstar jersey to MVP that season. With a laundry list of accolades and never missing the playoffs in his 7 season career, his Hall of Fame jacket arrived before he turned in his retirement papers. One of the best the SFL has ever seen.
Honorable Mentions: Hunter Norwood, Ken Gossett, Taqwuan Hale, Jared Willis, Anthony Wyo
Las Vegas Fury
John Blades - WR (S11-Present)
Plenty of players to choose from in the Sin City. The obvious choice would have been the recent Hall of Fame inductee Max Jackson however, we’re looking beyond the scope of owner players, and have chosen the receiver that has been with the club since its inception. Now a tight end, Blades has enjoyed four 1000+ yard seasons with the Fury, providing a real X-factor ability during the QB carousel period following Tom Ramen’s departure. Despite the team’s success, the positional switch has not proved beneficial for him individually, putting up numbers close to that of his disappointing S13 campaign however the new game engine will support his build for a hopeful bounceback season.
Honorable mentions: Tom Ramen, Scott Johnson, Mason Kirby
Cam Frosby - DT (S17-S20)
Okay, we’re going a little left-field with this one, but bear with us. Yes, Robert Merrill was the initiator of London’s turn of fortune in Season 19 with the massive numbers he put up, but from the outside perspective, it was Liam Crowter’s defense that was what propelled the Knights to a quarter-final last season after many previous campaigns filled with disappointment. This defense had slowly been building over the course of several seasons and, the glue of this unit was former Sioux Falls Sparrow Cam Frosby. Ask Eddie Gauge, when he was tasked with game-planning for London in S19, this was who he was worried about. And it makes sense - 32 single sacks and over 50 TFLs in his last two seasons are crazy numbers. A true defensive anchor who has now stepped foot back into the free agency market and will be a true force for his next team in Season 21.
Honorable mentions: Robert Merrill, Vin Calia, Tanner Hendrix
Los Angeles Lycans
Chicago Wildcats S9-S15
Los Angeles Lycans S16-Present
Clint Hendershot - LB (S9-S15)
It was ultimately difficult to pick anyone from the current Lycans roster that has really stood out yet for the team long-term. There were multiple players who could’ve been picked from the Chicago era, but we’re going with the 9th all-time tackler in Clint Hendershot, who was on board with the Wildcats for every season until they were passed into the league at the end of Season 15. One of the all-time greats at his position who spent the majority of his esteemed career in Chicago before taking his talents to D.C and finishing it off where it all began with the Carolina Skyhawks.
Honorable mentions: Ash Odom, Buchanan Simons, Ryan Yoseph
New Orleans Pharaohs S11-S14
Louisiana Revolution S15-Present
Tank Bennett - SS (S11-Present)
Seriously, it couldn’t have been anyone else. Top 5 tackler all-time, has over 50 interceptions career and is a franchise-defining player on the defensive side of the ball. Bennett is ultimately Hall of Fame-bound himself and shows no sign of slowing, having jumped right into the Louisiana takeover and hasn’t looked back. Even just last season, amassing over 100 tackles for the third time in his career, having not done so since his third season with New Orleans. Simply an incredible player.
Honorable mentions: Rolamin Hood, Evan Arthur, Reggie Streeter
Mexico City Aztecs
Santa Fe Gorillas S5-S7
Mexico City Aztecs S8-Present
Ray Bentley - RB/FB (S8-Present)
We hear you. Matt Willson and Mike Daggs are the greatest players to play for this team, and will forever be regarded as the greatest 1-2 punch the league has ever seen, both on and off the field. Even further, it was very hard to overlook the ever-consistent, fellow Hall of Famer Jeffrey Daggs. However, since owner players are being passed on, and we're grading this on overall impact, it must be another running back who decided to have the entire league at his mercy for a seemingly short span of time. Having now been confined to a backup role behind Phoenix Jones, he’s a shadow of what he was at the beginning of the Aztec’s time in the league. Bentley more than doubled his season rushing total in his second season, hitting the 2000 mark and hardly missing a beat beyond that - enjoying 1000+ yard seasons in 3 of his following 4 campaigns. Off the field as well, Bentley would prove to be a defining figure for the Aztecs, fronting the league’s beat team and appearing on the TV studio draft panel in Season 14. An incredible career that has seen him sit pretty as the 5th all-time in rushing yards who continues to chug away as the second fiddle to Phoenix Jones.
Honorable mentions: KL Barrett, Jeffrey Daggs, Kole Varner
Mickey Melillo - Kicker (S19-Present)
It would be unjust to write an article like this and not include a kicker! Melilo was the first draft pick for this franchise in Season 19, a team that would go on to make a wildcard spot in their first season and replicate that success in Season 20. Melilo has provided Minnesota with a personality that would absolutely have made an impact, with Mickey also serving as a broadcaster for the league. Overall, a historic draft pick that holds extreme weight for this young but successful franchise.
Honorable mentions: Johnny Reno, Colin Hart, Daniel Wright
Motor City V8s
St Louis Gladiators S8-S19
Motor City V8s S20-Present
Nicholas “Pop” Warner - SS (S15-Present)
This was an interesting one to pick. Under the leadership of Drew Reilly, it’s been St Louis’/Motor City’s defense that has stood to be of more significance to the organization, a team that has struggled with building momentum as an overall unit. Warner, whilst also serving as the team’s defensive coordinator for a period, joined after a season with Florida and a lengthy stint with Denver. On the cusp of the top 25 all-time in tackles, he’s been very consistent alongside now-retired Colin Douglas and Freeman Peltier, in particular in Season 17 where he hit double digits for interceptions. An all-time great that has served well for this ball club historically and will be crucial if they are to find form in the new era.
Honorable mentions: Rodney Panani, Phil Kos
Ezekiel Love - RB (S16-Present)
This was one of the most obvious ones on the list. In just 5 seasons, Love has already entered the top 20 all-time in rushing yards and has not had a season below 1400. Only once in his last 4 seasons has he scored less than 15 touchdowns on the ground. Love has been the catalyst for any success that Portland has had since their inception in Season 15, a team deprived of playoff football but seemingly always in the conversation purely through the talents of this guy. An incredible player that will look to continue his electric form in the new era of the league as he looks to progress through the all-time ranks.
Honorable mentions: Benjamin Warner, Khalil Thomas, Cyrus Jive
Queen City Corsairs
New York Knights S1-S5
Queen City Corsairs S6-Present
AJ Caswell QB S8-S18
One of the longest-tenured players and one of the winningest players in league history was the one who donned the green and black in Buffalo. A championship winner in S8 was only the beginning to a storied career. 35,000 plus passing yards, 235 passing touchdowns which lands him 5th all time in both categories. 7 playoff appearances in 10 seasons has shown that AJ Caswell’s resume is Hall of Fame worthy!
Honorable Mentions: Jeff Duffy, Deezer Powell, Jett Zero, David Tilley
San Diego Mavericks
Scar Patterson - QB (S18-S20)
Yeah, it’s bittersweet. Really, it’s incredible to think this guy has fallen on the outside of this organization. We’re talking about a guy who, in his rookie season, pushed out 4200 passing yards and then backed it up with an effort that pushed the Rocco Marconi 5199 season that was once considered untouchable. He capitalized on having two electric wideouts in Gunnar Lewis and Liam Hammer and San Diego reaped the benefits - just not on the standings. The infiltrator for one of the league’s very few true air-raid offenses will be looking for a new home in Season 21 and, whoever lands him could be in for a real treat.
Honorable mentions: Liam Hammer, Leon Thunderman, Nick Hoagland
Mathias Citrion - LB (S19-S20)
This was, to say the least, difficult. Their offensive personnel has done little to inspire in the opening two seasons for this franchise, as evidenced by the complete overhaul of their primary cattle this offseason. So, we must turn our attention to the defense, and, their linebacking core has been particularly impressive early on - at least until the Horrell crew left. David absolutely led the way, with KT the second fiddle opposite Mathias Citrion. Why Citrion? Well, he’s staying, but he was also one of the first draft picks made by Ethan Kye in their first season, and given his personality and presence in the league, it’s safe to assume that his impact on the Nemesis squad over the coming seasons is assured.
Honorable mentions: Trellis Blanton, Brady Clarke, KT Horrell
Sioux Falls Sparrows
AJ Levye - SS (S6-Present)
What a player, what a career, what an impact. Top 3 all-time in tackles, has over 75 picks in his career and is the defensive bedrock for this embattled franchise over 15 seasons. He’s seen a championship game and just embodied consistency and longevity across his career. Interestingly, the pick-six curse almost hit Levye as well, only securing one way back in Season 9. Irrespective, he’s an all-time great, and undoubtedly hall-of-fame bound.
Honorable mentions: Colin Hart, John Barnhardt, Nick Fargo
Douglas Brown - RB (S18-Present)
It might seem odd to pick someone who has been around for seemingly so short a timeframe, especially given we’re passing on newly Hall of Fame inducted Gabriel Manning. However, we’re talking impact players, and, respective of Manning’s all–time statistics and accolades, Tulsa’s entire franchise took a complete 180 when they took Douglas Brown with the top pick in Season 18’s rookie draft. Having been the sole member of the Four Horseman draft class to go undrafted the previous season, Brown walked in a mature rookie ready to make an immediate impact - and that he did. Tulsa has had 3 straight 1000+ yard seasons from this dynamic back and, whilst the stats aren’t eye-catching, he gave an otherwise dormant Tulsa offense a completely new lease of life. Taking the ball out of Jay Cue’s hands and seemingly having entire defenses under his will at any given moment, he has provided for Tulsa in ever-critical moments across the last 3 seasons, capping it off with a wildcard win in Season 20. The lights are very bright in Tulsa.
Honourable mentions: Jay Cue, Ashley Jackson, Gabriel Manning, Espnn Ry'ale, DJ Majesty
Tom Pepper - QB (S9-S10, S12-S18)
There were plenty of candidates to pick from here, but it would be remise of us to not pick the all-time great signal-caller here. 9 seasons as Captain Canada saw him sit pretty at 4th all-time in passing yards. Under Andy Hamilton, he matured like a fine wine, with 2 of his last 3 seasons finishing with over 4000 yards. He, with Hamilton, was never able to pick up that elucid title that has so far escaped the clutches of the Legion, who have been within reach of it countless times. His status, however, will seemingly be in-tact for some time, with only Ashley Jackson close to surpoassing him all-time. An all-time great, in many ways unlucky not to be a Hall of Famer, will forever be regarded as Vancouver’s finest.
Honorable mentions: Robert Redford, Brett Killian, Gerald Giudicessi, Marc Lopez