There is no other way to say it… I went to the IAFL semi final in Atlanta last June to see the Horsemen win and move on the championship game at Finley a week later. I was very tired from work and didn’t really want to go but I figured Miss Dainah and I would leave at halftime and grab a bite on the way home, (not to mention Miss Dainah insisted we needed to go!). Well, that’s what I had expected anyway.
The Metro Horsemen had a resurgence of a season and were 10-0 after winning the Georgia region and were ranked number one by the league. It only took until halftime of the 6-6 game to know that I seriously had underestimated the Seahawks. The Horsemen were as good as advertised, but I was blown away at how physical the Hawks were and as the second half moved along you could just see it happening. I saw how good the Seahawk offensive was but it was not until afterward that I learned it was anchored by the Brown brothers, who lived the dream in 2018 by helping their team capture the first IAFL Phantom Horse Championship. Champ 30, Ruru 28 and Lama 21, helped anchor the leagues most physical offensive line and surprised everyone in taking home the trophy, but also doing it together.
Champ and Ruru had helped lead the Hinesville Hurricanes to the 2010 SEAFL title with Lama, serving as water boy. Things have certainly changed as Champ declares Lama as, “The dominant force and not too many can match up with him.” Champ says they knew that going into the game that the Horsemen were the heavy favorite and that they used that as a chip on their shoulder to come together and beat the odds. Champ says he believes the team’s success has to do with the communication they all have and as he says, “The rest of the team fed into our antics as brothers and being able to showcase it with ‘minimal’ backlash from coach Tunchi, as he sort of lets the leash go with our jokes and canter on the field.” Champ fully believes the entire team effort of offense, defense and special teams made last year’s championship possible, but now knows the spotlight in on them as they enter the 2019 season as the number one ranked team in the league. He fully believes in the unit of the offensive line and as he says to have three brothers a part of that unit makes it unbreakable. He says they keep God first and keep the mindset that football is fun. You add in Ronnie Black and Anfernee Blackmon and you flat out have no weaknesses.
When I was in college I had a coach walk out with my dad and I one day. Coach said only two people know how valuable an offensive lineman is, and that’s a lineman’s coach, and his dad. Some of you may have noticed that I have a signed Dave Rimington helmet on my desk at league office. Rimington, a two time Outland trophy winner at Nebraska in the early 80’s was my idol. Everyone that really knows football these days knows that the games are fought and won in the trenches and that’s probably why I keep that helmet on the desk. I saw this first hand in last years semi final and while I know we are in for another amazing season in 2019, I now fully believe the best offensive line in semi pro is in Augusta, and it’s led by a band of brothers.