EXPECTATIONS HIGH AS ST. PETE RAISES ’17 CURTAIN
The 2016 St. Petersburg Swans – a Cinderella Story of the 2016 USAFL Season – are prepared to write a new chapter in team annals.
The club begins the next installment of St. Pete’s footy history Saturday, March 11 at 7 pm, when the Rollbotto Pre-Season Series opens with a metro-rules match vs. Orlando AFC.
In their first USAFL season, the Red and White compiled a 13-8-1 overall record, as the club roared out of the gate with a resounding win over cross-state brethren Ft. Lauderdale and worked their way to a full slate of metro rules (9-a-side) footy.
While impressive, the squad’s regular-season growth and improved play truly paid dividends at the 2016 USAFL National Championships.
In a Division IV pool that included traditional powerhouses, the Bloods powered their way to a victory over Nashville and a razor-tight draw with Tulsa before downing the Denver Bulldogs in the Preliminary Final.
In both the Nashville and Denver matches, St. Pete battled back from big early deficits – punctuated by defensive shutouts in the second half in both contests.
While the magic ran out of clock in the Grand Final, as five-time Premiership winners Cincinnati took the flag, 2016 was certainly a USAFL debut that put St. Petersburg – and footy in Tampa Bay – back on the map.
Now, after a 10-round ‘off-season’ competition that saw the Swans run out as Premiers in the Inaugural Major League Footy Florida Winter League, St. Pete is poised to raise the curtain on a season with heightened expectations.
With continued experience and improved play from the team’s young guns – paired with the veteran leadership from the side’s USAFL veterans, 2017 promises to end in fairy tale fashion.
ST. PETERSBURG SWANS PRE-SEASON, PRESENTED BY ROLLBOTTO
Orlando AFC at St. Petersburg
Saturday, March 11, 7 PM
Four ‘N Twenty Field @ Campbell Park, St. Petersburg
Admission and parking are free / Listen live on radiostpete.com