Photo by John King – Ultiphotos.com
The San Francisco Dogfish season kicks off at home as they prepare to take on the Vancouver Nighthawks this Saturday, April 9th at 4:00pm PST.
The San Francisco Dogfish are coming off of a 2nd place finish at Davis Ultimate Invitational last weekend, losing only to the San Jose Spiders in what many have deemed the first and only AUDL/MLU scrimmage. Unlocking this achievement adds 6 games under their belt as they prepare to host the Vancouver Nighthawks on what is looking like a romantically rainy Saturday afternoon Home Opener in Berkeley, California. This is the first game of the 2016 MLU season for both teams, each of which boast rosters full of rookies and are both lead by new head coaches, proving to make this preview write-up a little more of a challenge than I was expecting.
Jason Seidler, the new Head Coach of the Dogfish, has already been quoted by players as bringing a “positive, meditative style” to the team along with a big focus on fundamentals, which can often be lost in translation when multiple different playing styles are introduced to a professional team. Other new faces on the Dogfish will likely be showing up big in both handler and cutting spots. Nate Young and Chris McKeag are both looking to become Dogfish‘s dominant handlers while Shane Earley, Ben Hubbard and the dreamy Daniel Naruo have proven chemistry and results on the field.
The Nighthawks have also introduced Head Coach Patrick Gatien to the team, a veteran of the sport who has previously shared the field with many Nighthawk players on Vancouver’s Blackfish club team. These readily established relationships have given the team a leg-up where some new teams have faced roadblocks with new coaches. Not unlike the Dogfish themselves, the Nighthawks are definitely a rebuilt team in 2016, with a roster sporting only 10 veterans leading 20 rookies.
The weather could also become an obstacle at tomorrow’s opener. California has been so dry that the longest lines at Disneyland are for the water fountains, yet rain is still forecasted during game time. This will be a good test for how both young teams will handle weather throughout the season.
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Grab your 2016 San Francisco Dogfish Season Tickets, here.