2017 National Arena League season
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The 2017 National Arena League season was the inaugural season of the National Arena League (NAL). Playing with eight teams spread across the eastern and southern United States (with one team in Mexico), the league's regular season kicked off on March 17, 2017, when the Columbus Lions hosted the Jacksonville Sharks and lost 41–56. The regular season ended 14 weeks later on June 17, 2017, with the Sharks hosting the Monterrey Steel and the Lions visiting the Georgia Firebirds. The playoffs were held in two rounds, with the top seed hosting the fourth seed and the second seed hosting the third seed, with the winners of these games facing in the 2017 NAL Championship hosted by the highest remaining seed.
|2017 NAL season|
|League||National Arena League|
|Duration||March 17, 2017 – July 8, 2017|
|Season champions||Jacksonville Sharks|
|Season MVP||Warren Smith (Lehigh Valley Steelhawks)|
|1 vs. 4 champions||Jacksonville Sharks|
|1 vs. 4 runners-up||Monterrey Steel|
|2 vs. 3 champions||Columbus Lions|
|2 vs. 3 runners-up||Lehigh Valley Steelhawks|
|2017 NAL Championship|
|Finals MVP||Jeremiah Price|
For 2017, the NAL will consist of eight teams in a single-table format (no divisions or conferences). Four of the teams (Corpus Christi Rage, Dayton Wolfpack, High Country Grizzlies and Monterrey Steel) are playing their inaugural seasons, with three teams (Columbus Lions, Georgia Firebirds, Lehigh Valley Steelhawks) joining from the now-defunct American Indoor Football, and one team (Jacksonville Sharks) joining from the Arena Football League.
Each team was scheduled for 12 games (6 home and 6 away) with 2 bye weeks during the season. However, in order to satisfy their arena contract from their time in AFL, the Jacksonville Sharks were given eight home games, while the Corpus Christi Rage and Dayton Wolfpack were each only given five home games to balance the schedules. This was changed again when the Wolfpack were apparently unable to secure an arena lease, despite announcing they would play at the Nutter Center. Previously signed players reported on social media before the season that all players had been cut from the team, and as of February 20, all their home games were canceled.
Other cancelled gamesEdit
- The May 20 Firebirds vs. Rage matchup was cancelled by the league, which took ownership of both teams at the time, as they saw no reason to pay for the Firebirds' travel cost for a game between both of their teams.
- The June 16 Grizzles vs. Rage matchup was cancelled by the Rage as a result of the team suspending operations during their scheduled bye week.
|Columbus Lions||Columbus, Georgia||Columbus Civic Center||7,573||2006||2017||Jason Gibson|
|Corpus Christi Rage||Corpus Christi, Texas||American Bank Center||10,000||2016||2017||Steven Fillmore|
|Dayton Wolfpack||Dayton, Ohio||Traveling team (based in Georgia)||2016||2017||Multiple|
|Georgia Firebirds||Albany, Georgia||Albany Civic Center||8,436||2009||2017||Antwone Savage|
|High Country Grizzlies||Boone, North Carolina||George M. Holmes Convocation Center||8,325||2016||2017||Josh Resignalo|
|Jacksonville Sharks||Jacksonville, Florida||Jacksonville Veterans Memorial Arena||13,011||2009||2017||Mark Stoute|
|Lehigh Valley Steelhawks||Allentown, Pennsylvania||PPL Center||8,500||2010||2017||Chris Thompson|
|Monterrey Steel||Monterrey, Nuevo León||Arena Monterrey||17,599||2016||2017||JA Anderson|
|2017 National Arena League standings|
|z - Jacksonville Sharks||11||1||.917||697||299||—||L1|
|y - Lehigh Valley Steelhawks||9||1||.900||610||349||1.0||W7|
|x - Columbus Lions||9||3||.750||689||412||2.0||W6|
|x - Monterrey Steel||7||4||.636||478||364||3.5||W1|
|High Country Grizzlies||3||7||.300||449||484||7.0||L4|
|Corpus Christi Rage||0||9||.000||166||624||9.5||L9|
z - clinched home field advantage
y - clinched home playoff game
x - clinched playoff spot
|Semifinal||2017 NAL Championship|
Individual season awardsEdit
|Most Valuable Player||Warren Smith||Quarterback||Lehigh Valley Steelhawks|
|Offensive Player of the Year||Michael Reeve||Wide receiver||Columbus Lions|
|Defensive Player of the Year||Charlie Hunt||Linebacker||Jacksonville Sharks|
|Special Teams Player of the Year||Nick Belcher||Kicker||Jacksonville Sharks|
|Offensive Rookie of the Year||Malachi Jones||Wide receiver||High Country Grizzlies|
|Defensive Rookie of the Year||Sergio Schiaffino||Defensive back||Monterrey Steel|
|Most Improved Award||Warren Oliver||Wide receiver||Lehigh Valley Steelhawks|
|Coach of the Year|
1st Team All-NALEdit
2nd Team All-NALEdit
- "NAL Announces Inaugural Season Schedule". Archived from the original on 2016-12-20. Retrieved 2016-12-09.
- "NAL's Dayton Wolpack set to become a travel only team". Arena Football Talk. February 20, 2017.
- "WEEKLY SPORTS LEAGUE & FRANCHISE REPORT". OurSports Central. May 22, 2017.
- Harwell, Alan. "Another indoor football team bites the dust, Rage calls it quits after going 0-9". KRIStv.com. Archived from the original on July 22, 2017. Retrieved June 16, 2017.
- "NAL Announces All-NAL Defensive Honors- Sharks and Steel Lead the Way with 12 Selections". www.nationalarenaleague.com. National Arena League. July 5, 2017. Archived from the original on July 18, 2017. Retrieved July 5, 2017.
- "4 COLUMBUS LIONS NAMED TO ALL-NAL OFFENSIVE SQUAD". www.nationalarenaleague.com. National Arena League. July 8, 2017. Archived from the original on July 8, 2017. Retrieved July 8, 2017.