Week 1 Southern Conference Event Recap
Week 1 kicked off in dramatic fashion featuring the Fort Lauderdale Lions, South Beach Palms, Palm Beach Breakers, and the Daytona Venom. Watch a video recap of the action below.
The 2023 season kicked off with a matchup between the Palm Beach Breakers and the Daytona Venom. The Breakers, revamped with significant new talent, came into the match hot. The Venom, on the other hand, faced tough last minute losses in their roster due to illness, injury, and travel issues. Some of the Breakers’ fresh talent, including Alex Brosseau , Vilma Rosario, Caitlin Dent-Hernandez, had a massive impact on the match, just as head coach Matt Hornaday had expected. The Venom, despite their player losses, fought hard, with substantial contributions from both new and returning players such as JoJo Gomez, Alex Alvarez, and Angelina Midas. With a dominating performance, the Breakers amassed a substantial point differential which is key in Season seeding. The Venom look to rebuild after a challenging start to the season.
An eagerly anticipated rematch of the 2022 Southern Conference Championship unfolded in somewhat unexpected ways. The Fort Lauderdale Lions and South Beach Palms both made key mistakes in significant races, leading to an uncharacteristically sloppy performance for both teams in the first half of the match. Despite this, the match became a tight, back-and-forth battle. Both teams shook off their initial performance issues in the second half of the match and put on an impressive display. The match came down to the sprint relay, with the Lions pulling away to secure a big race win, resulting in an overall match victory.
In the latter part of the day, both the Palm Beach Breakers and South Beach Palms looked sharp, putting on great performances throughout the match. In a Grid League first, the venue’s air conditioning system failed midway, causing condensation on the playing surface and sparking concerns about player safety. The teams and the league collectively decided to omit the ringer point race featuring shuttle sprints due to the slippery conditions. However, it was agreed that if conditions improved, the race could be run later pending the score and if it was necessary. The match eventually hinged on the outcome of the sprint relay. The Palms won the relay, rendering the skipped race irrelevant and sealing the match victory in a tense and tight finish.
The Venom entered the final match of the day in a difficult position, with a beat up roster and up against the reigning champion, Fort Lauderdale Lions. They managed to secure a last-minute single match signing, Orlando resident Nathan, who, despite being new to the league, quickly became a vital part of the squad. After losing the initial races, the Venom threw the bonus flag on the ladder race and secured a big win. This was followed by a very close victory in the ringer point race, between the Venom’s Dalton Wood and Lions star Paula Leyes… bringing them within two points. The Lions, big favorites in the Jack and Jill race, threw their bonus flag in that race and pulled away with a significant win in that race and in the final race, the sprint relay.
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Articles by League Staff are generally informative about new initiatives, rules, and announcements related to the League.