CEFL: Champs Make Their Debut

Photo: Miloš Rafailović
It was a day of great triumph for the Ljubljana Silverhawks. Confetti flying, trophy lifted high. First championship won, after many many years. But the CEFL Bowl VII is now definitely in the past. The Silverhawks start their championship defense on Saturday, when they make the trip to Kragujevac. The game kicks-off 1PM, also airing live on Sportklub.

The Wild Boars host the champs in an unexpected mood. Their highly successful season start also feels a bit dated now, after a convincing loss in Belgrade last Saturday. They also played most of the game without their starting quarterback Stan Bedwell, so we'll see if the backup Stefan Stefanović will this time get some starting experience.

The Silverhawks come into the season like many teams, with most of their team from last year. There are however some big changes at the top: two time CEFL Defensive Player of the Year Desmond Hendricks won't be with the Silverhawks in 2013 and neither will be their quarterback and CEFL Bowl VII MVP Anthony Gardner. This year they have just one import player on their roster, quarterback Keith Lockwood.

Despite this being the Silverhawks' first game, it could be quite significant, at least for the Wild Boars. This is already their third game of the season and a possible loss would make reaching the top two spots more difficult. Despite the loss and possible injury problems they have, the Wild Boars are still a team capable of winning the game. Especially considering that we don't know how good the Silverhawks will be this year.

A day later, the SBB Vukovi make their own trip to Hungary, where they will be hosted by the Budapest Wolves. The Wolves will have the first of their annual attempts to beat the Belgrade team. It would actually be nice to write about a Wolves' win for once, but the Vukovi really are favorites this time. 

One game is definitely not everything, but both teams are coming off of games against the Wild Boars. The same offense that torched the Wolves for 55 points – in Budapest no less – was completely shut down by the Vukovi's defense last weekend. In case they manage to win again, the Vukovi would have another typically strong season start. But a Wolves' win would make things much more interesting, almost guaranteeing one of the most intense playoff races in CEFL history, with all four teams competing for the top two spots.

Nothing is impossible, just ask the Silverhawks. The game kicks off 4PM Sunday.

Goran Košutić
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