2017 National Arena League season

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.[1]

2017 NAL season
LeagueNational Arena League
SportArena football
DurationMarch 17, 2017 – July 8, 2017
Regular season
Season championsJacksonville Sharks
Season MVPWarren Smith (Lehigh Valley Steelhawks)
1 vs. 4 championsJacksonville Sharks
  1 vs. 4 runners-upMonterrey Steel
2 vs. 3 championsColumbus Lions
  2 vs. 3 runners-upLehigh Valley Steelhawks
2017 NAL Championship
ChampionsJacksonville Sharks
  Runners-upColumbus Lions
Finals MVPJeremiah Price
NAL seasons
2018 →


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.[2]

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.[3]
  • 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.[4]


Team Location Arena Capacity Founded Joined Head coach
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
Siaha Burley
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
Georgia Firebirds 2 9 .182 372 576 8.5 L5
Dayton Wolfpack 0 7 .000 125 478 8.5 L7
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
1 Jacksonville 43
4 Monterrey 32
1 Jacksonville 27
3 Columbus 21
2 Lehigh Valley 50
3 Columbus 52


Individual season awardsEdit

Award Winner Position Team
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

Quarterback Warren Smith, Lehigh Valley
Running back Derrick Ross, Jacksonville
Wide receiver Michael Reeve, Columbus
Darius Prince, Lehigh Valley
London Crawford, Monterrey
Offensive tackle Cornelius Lewis, Jacksonville
Moqut Ruffins, Jacksonville
Center A. J. Harmon, Jacksonville
Defensive line Joe Sykes, Monterrey
Jabari Fletcher, Monterrey
Jeremiah Price, Jacksonville
Linebacker Wesley Mauia, Monterrey
Charlie Hunt, Jacksonville
Defensive back Erick McIntosh, Jacksonville
Kyle Griswould, Columbus
Marvin Ross, Jacksonville
Special teams
Kicker Nick Belcher, Jacksonville
Kick returner Brandon Renford, Lehigh Valley

2nd Team All-NALEdit

Quarterback Mason Espinosa, Columbus
Running back Undra Hendrix, High Country
Wide receiver Brandon Renford, Lehigh Valley
Moe Williams, Jacksonville
Tristan Purifoy, Columbus
Offensive tackle Bret Piekarski, Lehigh Valley
Colin Madison, Monterrey
Center Ryne Holland, Columbus
Defensive line Brandon Sutton, High Country
Larry Ford, High Country
Daylou Pierson, Jacksonville
Linebacker Larry Edwards, Columbus
Marte Sears, Columbus
Defensive back Rodney Hall Jr., Lehigh Valley
Micheaux Robinson, Jacksonville
Svante Davenport, Monterrey
Special teams
Kicker Brandon Rutherford, Monterrey
Kick returner Daron Clark, High Country



  1. ^ "NAL Announces Inaugural Season Schedule". Archived from the original on 2016-12-20. Retrieved 2016-12-09.
  2. ^ "NAL's Dayton Wolpack set to become a travel only team". Arena Football Talk. February 20, 2017.
  3. ^ "WEEKLY SPORTS LEAGUE & FRANCHISE REPORT". OurSports Central. May 22, 2017.
  4. ^ 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.
  5. ^ "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.
  6. ^ "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.