WIN OUT, AND THEY’RE IN: ST. PETE CONTROLS LADDER FATE

WIN, AND IN: SWANS CONTROL FATE IN WINTER FLAG QUEST

AUSTEN KUGLER AND THE SWANS need only win out to capture Florida Winter League Minor Premiers and qualify for Championship Final (Feb 25) (file photo)

Glancing at the current ladder in the Major League Footy Florida Winter League 2016-’17 season, one sees the St. Pete Swans (1-0-0) lodged in third, trailing both the Suncoast Suns (3-0-0) and StarfishFC (2-1-0).

And, given the abbreviated schedule of the winter league season, that first glance might cause the casual observer to say perhaps it’s time to focus on the 2017 USAFL season, just around the corner.

For the other sides in the club’s intra-squad off-season circuit, doing so would be a mistake. Perhaps one fatal to their own hardware hopes.

The reasoning is actually quite simple: St. Pete firmly controls its own destiny as the winter schedule races toward the February 25 Championship Final. Win next week against the Pasco BlackDog (0-2-0), and the Swans move back into the ladder’s second perch.

Win both remaining matches (February 11 and February 18) – and do so while passing the Suns’ current 35-point scoring differential – and the Bloods wrap up the winter league’s minor Premiership.

Ever since the 2016-’17 Florida Winter League season kicked off back in November, St. Pete has been buoyed by a resounding 48-point win over Orlando, and their +300 on percentages going into the season’s final sprint bodes well – perhaps well enough for the side to be able to afford one loss over the next two matches, and still qualify for the Final.

That remains to be seen,  but one thing’s for certain: Win, and they’re in.

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