Finnish Maple League kick-off

Finnish Maple League kick-off

the maple league kicks off its 2022 season with seven teams vying for the title that the Kuopio Steelers have won the past two seasons.

Eternal contenders for the title, the Helsinki Roosters top of the list of challengers followed by Porvoon Butchers, Seinajoki Crocodiles, Helsinki Wolverines, United Newland Crusaders and newcomers maple leaguethe Eagle Eagles.

Kuopio Steelers – (2021: 9-1 – Finnish Champions)

The Head Coach: Pekka Utriainen

Quarterback (back): Joey Bradley (University of New Haven, NCAA Div. II),

Key additions to the list: LB Cody Leonard (University of Quincy, NCAA Div. II), DB Iiro Pekkarinen, DB/WR Tino Ndongo

Key returning players: RB Le’Anthony Reasnover (Eureka, NCAA Div. III), DL Ikeem Allen, OL Elmeri Saastamoinen

Helsinki Roosters – (2021: 7-3 – Finished 2nd)

The Head Coach: Juha Hakala

Quarterback (new): Bryce Stancombe (University of Indianapolis, NCAA Div. II)

Key additions to the list: DL Kaleb Wezdenko (Grand View University, NAIA), WR Aymeric Nicault, (French team), OL Niilo Ojansivu, (player for the Finnish team).

Key returning players: OT Samuli Vehkomäki, WR Johannes Jauhiain, DT Christer Berg

Porvoon Butchers – (2021: 5-4 – Finished 3rd)

Head Coach: Richard Bachand

Quarterback (back): Brandon Gwinner (Morrisville State, NCAA DIII)

Key additions to the list: RB Dante Edwards (Leeds Beckett University, Benedictine College, NAIA), Dana Plantt, OL Asovaara twins

Key returning players: Timi Nuikka, Jussi Mäkelä, Väinö Pääkkönen

Seinäjoki Crocodiles – (2021 record: 4-5 – Finished 4th)

The Head Coach: Andy Bezaire

Quarterback (new): Zachary Whitehead (King’s College, NCAA Div. III)

Key additions to the list: Akseli Syrjanen DB Jyvaskyla Jaguars, WR Anttoni Lampivuo, Aleksi Hirvonen RB Jyvaskyla Jaguars

Key returning players: DL Filip Zacok, LB Juhani Koivumaki, DB Heikki Toivola

Helsinki Wolverines – (2021 record: 3-5, finished 5th)

Coach: Michael Mattingly

Quarterback (new/returning):Jabari Harris

Key additions to the list: Martin Emos, WR RJ Long, DL Ville Valasti

Key returning players: Curtis Slater, Eric Irvin, Jonathan El Ouacef

United Newland Crusaders – (2021 record: 2-6 finished 6th)

Coach: Tuomas Heikkinen

Strategist: Shay Netter (Ohio University, Eastern Kentucky, NCAA Div. I)

Key additions to the list: WR Miles Corpening, Mikko Rajala, Matias Castagno

Key returning players: WR Nolan Corpening, Cedric Johnson, Teemu Rehmonen

Kotka Eagles – (2021 record: DNP. Won promotion from Div. 1)

Head Coach: Charlie Ovey

Strategist: Chris Forcier (Furman University, NCAA Div. I)

Key additions to the list: WR Peter Anderson, (Colorado Mesa College, NCAA Div. II), DL Jamarcus Henderson (Newberry College, NCAA Div. II), OL Eemil Raudas, Joonas Santala, Marnol Raudver.

Key returning players: Niko Hannula, Roy Kamppi, Waltteri Puustinen

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