Tagged under: GEFA, News
Billy Splain | June 6, 2023
2023.06. Pam and Guy are always on the lookout for a never-before-tried quirky sports combination to give a go. Last Saturday it was our first ever June football double, with two different teams from two different leagues at two different locations. Ladies and Gentlemen, we present: The Dauphin County Double.
We traveled two hours south and west to the Harrisburg area and began the day with our third GEFA 8-man semi-pro football game of the year. Our first was the Wilkes-Barre Warriors, and second the Snyder County Spartans. This time we went to see the Dauphin County Comanche.
The Comanche play their home games at Koons Park in Linglestown. This was the most spectator friendly of the three locations we have seen so far for GEFA. Koons is a huge park that includes an impressive array of facilities including three picnic pavilions, four lighted tennis/pickleball courts, four baseball diamonds, three softball fields, a football field, an all-purpose field, three lighted basketball courts, two lighted volleyball courts, shuffleboard court, two bocce courts, playground, and swimming pool. Of course with this large of a park, permanent restrooms are available. There is also supposedly a concession stand, but it was either closed or not near the football field, as we did not see it.
This field has nice stands. We sat on the visitors’ side, and they are ten rows high so you can see over the players and coaches standing on the sidelines. There are plenty of seats on each side of the field.
This was the final week of the regular season and the Comanche were hosting the Lancaster County Cyclones, the only undefeated team left in the league this season. Both teams had already clinched playoff spots.
The Cyclones had an incredible 78-game regular season winning streak on the line. But the Comanche got off to a great start, and the tsunami kept on building. They could do no wrong, and at least for this particular week, after eight years the Cyclones could do little right. The Comanche were up 32-0 at halftime.
With the loss, the Cyclones finish at 9-1, leaving an incredible four teams with only one loss heading into the eight-team playoffs culminating in the Keystone Bowl at Kutztown University. We might have a chance to see one more GEFA game this year. Hope so.
After a dinner stop at Underdog Sports Bar and Grill, Pam and Guy headed for Game 2 of the day. This one was a WFA (Women’s Football Alliance) game for the Harrisburg Havoc, who play their home games at Harrisburg High School’s Severance Field.
The WFA is divided into four classifications: Pro, Division 2, Division 3, and Developmental. There are 60 teams overall, of which 25 are in D3 including Harrisburg. The WFA dates back to 2009, with this being the second year for the Havoc. Previously, there had been another area team in the league for a number of years, the Keystone Assault who folded after the 2018 season. This is not an 8-person game with 50-yard fields like GEFA; the WFA uses the same rules as NCAA college football.
Last season, the Havoc’s first, they had a record of 1-5. This year they have shown tremendous improvement, and are currently 3-1-1 (or 4-1 by their reckoning). The first game of the season vs. the Connecticut Hawks was called because of a storm and the Hawks chose not to reschedule, so the Havoc is claiming a forfeit win. However, the league is showing this game as a tie. It’s a shame as based on each team’s record; this would have likely been a big Havoc win.
In week two, the Havoc suffered their only loss to date against the Tri State Warriors, a Division 2 team. Since then, the Havoc have won three straight against D3 opponents New Hampshire Rebellion, Richmond Black Widows, and on Saturday vs. the Northern Connecticut Nightmare and are thus undefeated in their classification.
We met team owner Tiffany Thomas at the Big 33 game the previous week, and she invited us to a game. The regular season is only six games, and since this was the third and final home game for Harrisburg, it was now or never so Guy and Pam accepted the invitation. We should mention that we were not the only ones doing the Dauphin County Double, as two of the Havoc coaches also play for the Comanche.
Admission was $15 and there were a couple hundred fans in the stands. It was cool seeing fathers in the stands holding their small children and watching mom play rather than the other way around. We felt the 7:00 kickoff a bit late to start a game with fifteen-minute quarters. The Connecticut Nightmare are ranked last in the league, and have had a rough season, only scoring a lone touchdown to date, in their opener. They deserve a lot of credit for traveling from Connecticut with barely over a dozen players to play the game in Harrisburg. As anticipated, the Havoc rolled in this one. There was a thunder/lightning/hail delay at the end of the first quarter with the Havoc already up 34-0. The next two quarters were played with a running clock, and the game was called after three quarters when the Nightmare no longer had enough players to field a team.
The WFA D3 National Championship game is set for July 21 at the Pro Football Hall of Fame in Canton, OH. The top two teams from each of the four divisions make the D3 playoffs. With one game remaining, Harrisburg sits third in the Northeast Division, on the outside looking in by one spot. They are ranked behind the second place Maine Mayhem, despite having a better record, thanks to the goofy Massey Ratings system used. And this despite the fact that all three of the Mayhem wins were against the two Connecticut teams who have only one win between them, and that was when they played each other when someone had to win. Not being able to reschedule the game against the Connecticut Hawks appears to really be hurting the Havoc’s playoff chances.
To illustrate how goofy the Massey Ratings are, of the 25 Division 3 teams there are currently five that have zero or one loss. They are ranked one, two, three, sixth, and 20th, with Harrisburg being 20th. In fact, Raleigh, who is 0-5, is ranked 16th, ahead of the one-loss Havoc. Harrisburg won 54-0 this week, while Raleigh lost again. Guess which team moved UP in the ratings? It wasn’t Harrisburg. We think that Massey algorithm needs some major tweaking, to greatly increase the value of actually winning the football games.
This week for their final game of the regular season, the Havoc travel to Hampton, VA to play the undefeated and heavily favored Virginia Panthers, who have only surrendered eight points all season. To win on the road against a team of that caliber will be a huge mountain to climb for the Havoc, but if they can pull it off they might make the playoffs yet and continue on the Road to Canton.
In either case, the improvement the team has shown from year one to year two has been tremendous. Guy and Pam are eager to see another game next season, when the Havoc is scheduled to play a more competitive team.
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