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 Appalachian League

Last Week around the Leagues

by Fran Stuchbury
August 17, 2021 - Appalachian League (ApL)

This past week the Albany Empire won the National Arena League Championship, the Greenville Flyboys won the Appalachian League Championship, NWSL NJ/NY Gotham FC forward Carli Loyd announced her retirement, and the Seattle Storm won the inaugural WNBA Commissioner's Cup championship. Highlights from this week are from the National Arena League, Champions Indoor Football, Canadian Football League, Appalachian League, New England Collegiate Baseball League, High-A East League, National Women's Soccer League, Major League Soccer, United Soccer League Championship, United Soccer League One, Women's National Basketball Association, Big3, NBA G League, Southern Professional Hockey League, Western Hockey League, North American Hockey League, Quebec Major Junior Hockey League, Major League Rugby and American Ultimate Disc League


National Arena League

The Albany Empire completed an improbable first season in the National Arena League by winning a championship, wearing down the Columbus Lions 79-62 at Times Union Center. It marked the city's straight championship after winning the Arena Bowl title in 2019. COVID-19 wiped out the 2020 season before the Empire laid claim to their newest accomplishment as 2021 NAL Champions. "The season has been a blessing," coach Tom Menas said. "It's done. We're on to 2022 to win another championship now. We're going to start assembling a team this week."

50 Yard Game Film: 2021 NAL Championship - Albany Empire vs. Columbus Lions. After their Arena Bowl-winning season in 2019, the Albany Empire fought through COVID and a league change to win another title with a familiar cast of characters.

Champions Indoor Football

The Champions Indoor Football League board of directors is pleased to announce an expansion team located in Topeka, Kansas for the upcoming 2022 season. With the addition of the new expansion team, it brings the total number of teams in the CIF to nine for the upcoming season. Teams will be based in Texas, Iowa, Nebraska, Kansas, Oklahoma, Wyoming & Montana.

The Stormont Vail Events Center announced their plans for an indoor football team in Topeka starting in the spring of 2022.

Denver Colorado will also be joining Champions Indoor Football for the 2022 season bringing the number of teams in the league to 10.

Canadian Football League

Montreal Alouettes Mario Alford takes it 86 yards for a punt return TD strike.

Early candidate for CATCH OF THE YEAR? What a touchdown!

Winnipeg Blue Bombers Rasheed Bailey gave his family something to celebrate tonight


Appalachian League

Chris Williams hit a walk-off, two-run double in the bottom of the ninth inning to lead Greeneville past Pulaski, 9-8, in the 2021 Appalachian League Championship Game at Pioneer Park in Greeneville, Tennessee. The Flyboys close out the 2021 season with a 34-16-1 record, while the River Turtles finish at 32-23. After the River Turtles took the lead in the top of the ninth, Williams doubled to right field with a pair of runners on to secure the championship in the Appy League's inaugural season as a collegiate summer league.

Greeneville Flyboys Walkoff to Win 2021 Appy League Championship

New England Collegiate Baseball League

The fourth-seeded Danbury Westerners (7-1) swept the No. 5 seed North Shore Navigators (5-3), in common comeback fashion for the team, in Game 2 of the 2021 New England Collegiate Baseball League (NECBL) Championship Series to win their first-ever Fay Vincent Sr. Cup in the organization's 26-year history at Fraser Field.

The final at-bat of the 2021 NECBL season....Coleman Picard finishes off the Navigators and starts the frenzy

High-A East League

Bowling Green Hot Rods Turbo makes his gameday debut:

Major League Baseball Draft League

Congratulations to the Trenton Thunder, winners of the inaugural Major League Baseball Draft League season! Trenton led the Draft League in Points (98) and Points Percentage (.583), finishing the season with a 30-18-8 record.


National Women's Soccer League

Carli Lloyd, U.S. Women's National Team legend and NJ/NY Gotham FC forward, has announced her retirement, closing out an historic career of performing at the highest levels. She will leave the game as the second-most capped player in world soccer history and currently has 128 international goals and 64 assists to her name. Lloyd will play her final matches with the USWNT in a soon-to-be announced set of fall friendlies taking place in September and October. She rejoins Gotham FC this week and will play the remainder of the National Women's Soccer League (NWSL) in the final chapter of her professional club career that has spanned 12 years and six teams.

USWNT Star Carli Lloyd Retires from Professional Soccer

Make that three straight for OL Reign. Cheers in the chat for Bethany Balcer, your Budweiser Player of the Week!

She's a defender, but this save is a keeper! Portland Thorns FC Christen Westphal takes home Verizon Save of the Week honors!

Major League Soccer

During the second half of FC Cincinnati and Orlando City, the 2-year-old ran onto the field and was quickly chased down and tackled by his mom.

What a brilliant performance by LA Galaxy goalkeeper Jonathan Klinsmann! Top-notch saves against Minnesota United FC. The Galaxy goalkeeper pulled off seven stunning saves and kept a clean sheet on his 2021 debut.

United Soccer League Championship

The USL Championship announced the Team of the Week Presented by Cleer Audio for Week 16 of the 2021 regular season with Atlanta United 2 forward Tyler Wolff voted Player of the Week after recording a hat trick and an assist to lead his side to a 6-2 victory against Indy Eleven on Sunday night at Fifth Third Bank Stadium.

United Soccer League One

Save of the Week Winner - Tim Trilk - Chattanooga Red Wolves


Women's National Basketball Association

Didn't matter whether it was the Japan Time Zone on Sunday or the Mountain Time Zone. The Seattle Storm's three basketball gold medal Olympians were in their own zone for the inaugural WNBA Commissioner's Cup championship game. Breanna Stewart scored 17 points - with 15 of those during the first quarter, Jewell Loyd added 16, and Sue Bird chipped in 10 to go along with five assists as the Storm routed the Connecticut Sun to capture the Cup inside the Footprint Center, 79-57.

Take a look back at the first-ever Commissioner's Cup!


After not leading all game, Trilogy come all the way back as Jarrett Jack wins the game. Bahamas here they come

NBA G League

Jason Hart, a nine-year NBA veteran with extensive coaching experience at the collegiate level, has been named head coach of NBA G League Ignite, NBA G League President Shareef Abdur-Rahim announced. Hart joins Ignite after coaching for nine seasons at the collegiate level, including the last eight seasons at USC, where he was promoted to associate head coach in the 2017-18 season. He began his collegiate coaching career as an assistant at Pepperdine in 2012 before leaving to join USC as an assistant coach for the 2013-14 season, serving under head coach Andy Enfield.

Joe Barrer has been named head coach of the Lakeland Magic, the team announced. Barrer becomes the 2nd head coach in franchise history after spending the last four seasons as an assistant coach with the team. Barrer has been on the bench as an assistant coach for every Lakeland Magic game in franchise history. In his four seasons coaching Lakeland under Stan Heath, the Magic were tied for the most regular season wins in the league and won the 2021 NBA G League championship.

Jalen Green went 3-for-5 from distance - and hit from some tough angles - in the NBA Summer League showdown between the No. 1 and No. 2 picks on Detroit and Houston.

National Basketball League of Canada

The defending Champions of the National Basketball League of Canada Moncton Magic have officially informed the Board of Directors that it is leaving the league this week. The organization will not be able to comment any further at this time.


American Hockey League

The Boston Bruins announced that Ryan Mougenel has been named the 13th head coach of the Providence Bruins. Mougenel, 45, has served as an assistant coach for Providence since the beginning of the 2018-19 season. Over the last three seasons since Mougenel joined the organization, the P-Bruins have recorded a record of 91-51-13-8 (W-L-OTL-SOL), captured two consecutive Atlantic Division titles, and set a new regular season franchise record with 12 consecutive wins to conclude the abbreviated 2019-20 season.


The Jacksonville Icemen, proud ECHL affiliate of the NHL's New York Rangers and the AHL's Hartford Wolf Pack, are pleased to announce today that the team has named Nick Luukko as the team's new Head Coach and Director of Hockey Operations. Luukko, 29, becomes the second head coach in Jacksonville Icemen history, after serving the past two years as an assistant coach with the Reading Royals (ECHL). Luukko helped guide the Royals to an impressive 37-17-6 record during the 2019-20 regular season.

Southern Professional Hockey League

The Vermilion County Bobcats of the Southern Professional Hockey League (SPHL) have officially tapped Mike Watt as head coach for the 2021-22 season. "I'm very excited and honored to lead Vermilion County," said Watt. "I'm very grateful to Ellen Tully for providing this opportunity to me and all of the effort that she has put forth to secure the franchise. She has done an excellent job in giving the key resources to make the organization a premiere destination for players."

Okay but does YOUR head coach have moves like this? Didn't think so.

Western Hockey League

NHL Draft 1-On-1: Sebastian Cossa - Edmonton Oil Kings goaltender Sebastian Cossa was selected in the first round, 15th overall, by the Detroit Red Wings in the 2021 NHL Draft.

North American Hockey League

The Anchorage Wolverines get set for their debut in the North American Hockey League!

Quebec Major Junior Hockey League

NHL Post Draft Interviews - Cole Huckins - was taken in the 3rd round - 77th overall by the Calgary Flames.


Major League Rugby

MLR Player of the Year - Mikey Te-o - Scoring nine tries over the duration of the season, Utah Warriors' Mikey Te'o carried the ball more than anyone else on the roster, careering down the field on 173 occasions, a league leading amount, making 1566 meters, another league high, and traveling into contact 142 times.

MLR Rookie of the Year - Andrew Guerra - Drafted 10th overall in the first ever MLR Draft in 2020, Andrew Guerra has already made an impact at NOLA. Making 12 appearances in his debut season, the Chicago-native led his team in tackles, with 149 successful attempts, five of which were dominant.

American Ultimate Disc League

The Top 10 plays from Week 10 of the 2021 AUDL season.

Did we miss anything newsworthy or downright fun? Have a nomination for next week's column? Contact us today and let us know.

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Appalachian League Stories from August 17, 2021

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