Dixie League Offseason Update

DIXIE LEAGUE – Preparations for the 2018 Dixie League are in full swing with the draft just a few weeks away.  The 2017 Champion Austin Bulls coached by Dan “The Polish Rifle” Mayhoff have already confirmed a return for this season to defend their title, and the League has received confirmations as well from the league veteran New Orleans Black Hats, and two-time defending Western League Champion Andalusia Arrows.  Also signed on for 2018 are the defending Eastern League Champion and 2017 Leauge runner-up Lakeland Raiders, although their brother-coached rivals, the Orlando Crush has withdrawn.  The league is still waiting for confirmation from several teams from the 2017 season, incuding the Sanford Celryfeds, Westfield Bombers, Kokomo Kings, and San Angelo Wolverines. As, expected, after a contentious opening day and then a contraversial ELCS loss, the Hineville Warrior will not return in 2018.
By Dixie League Rules, 8 or more returning teams will trigger a rule change that converts the League to a paid entry/dynasty league.  With 5 teams already confirmed before the first Commissioner’s offseason update goes out to the coaches, The Dixie has never been closer to realizing its goal of dynasty conversion.  Because keepers would be chosen from last season’s rosters, lots of teams are sweating the turnout results and for entirely different reasons.

Andalusia Stadium is due to receive some much needed improvements over the course of the season.

During the offseason, the Western League Arrows, in conjunction with the league office, have been in extended talks with Andalusia town officials about the stadium issues that arose last season. At one point threatening to relocate, and fielding offers from as far away as Wichita, the front office of the Andalusia Arrows have decided to stay in Alabama this season with a promise from the city that the necessary improvements will be made.  If this does not happen the Arrows will be forced to leave and search for a new home after the 2018 season has ended.  Andalusia will be representing the Dixie League this season in the 2017/18 Associated Fantasy Pro Bowl Tournament.  After coming up a half vote short of being named a “starter”in Pro Bowl balloting in this year’s tournament, the Alabama Archers caught a break when the IFFL’s Los Angeles Dragons declined their invitation which was passed on to the Arrows as first alternate.

To celebrate their 2017 Dixie League Championship, the League has issued the Austin Bulls a commemorative Alternate Team Pennant

In other franchise news, a special team pennant, commemorating their 2017 Championship has been designed and presented to the Austin Bulls.  Their championship, conducted in a 2-1 game series, marks the first time since the League’s founding in 2009 that a Western league or Division team has ever won the Dixie Title.  Also just breaking this week, the League Offices have confirmed that they have been in negotiations with former Dixie League franchise Little Rock Radio Flyers about resuming play for tjhe upcoming 2018 season.  The Radio Flyers compiled a 23-12-4 record over 2 seasons from 2015-16, and were runners-up in the 2015 Western League Championship Series.

Earlier this offseason, the Dixie League debuted a League Record Book in its AF pages.  The comprehensive log, covers all seasons since the League adopted it’s current, baseball themed format and tracks stats for Runs (total scoring), Home Runs (touchdowns scored), Errors (offensive turnovers), and Steals (defensive takeaways).  The powerhouse ball clubs of Sanford, Andalusia, and New Orleans dominate a lot of the records, with New Orleans taking first and fourth in Single Season Touchdowns (57 and 46) with Sanford right behind them (55), followed by Andalusia who comes in tied for fourth (46) and also in fifth (45).  Sanford takes number 1 in Single Season Scoring (135pts), with Andalusia behind them (126) and New Orleans in third (124) and fourth (123).  Sanford holds the Single Game Home Run Record, with 12 touchdowns scored in the Week 16, 2016 Dixie Championship Series, and also holds 1st, 2nd, and 4th place on the the Single Game Total Runs Record for scoring 24, 23, and 19 points – respectively – in a single game.  On the Single Season Steals Record, New Orleans sits in first place with their 9 defensive takeaways in the 2016 season, and they tie for second place with Andalusia and Sanford, while the now defunct Texas Confederates hold the Errors Record for their 2015 season with the unbelievable number of just 6 offensive turnovers commited all season.  (To view the League Record Book click here)
The league office has been working diligently with the Association on new and improved scoring rules for the upcoming season, and the Association has finally issued an updated version of the AF Century Offensive Scoring Set that The Dixie utilizes.  The changes are minor, but should greatly improve competitiveness.  uarterbacks now receive their 1st point for yardage at 100 yards of passing instead of 200, and now also get a 400 yard bonus point.  Rushing yardage scoring has dropped from 1point/75 yards to 1point/60 yards while receiving yardage has increased from 1 point/60 yards to 1 point/75 yards, but benefits from the addition of a 100 yard bonus point.  In the kicking game, missed extra points now cost teams -2 points instead of -1 in an attempt to balance the value of the kicking position.
Further updates will follow from the League office on all matters, including confirmed teams, draft order and date, and possible league expansion.