|The Spring League 2021||P||W||L||T||PF||PA||Pct|
|TSL North (Indianapolis)|
|TSL South (Houston)|
|Date||Home Team||Away Team|
|Mega Bowl Championship||Rice Stadium, Houston, TX|
|Date||Home Team||Away Team|
The Spring League expanded to 8 teams in 2021 with the addition of Linemen and Sea Lions and for the first time since its birth in 2017 shall consist of two divisions: North and South, each based in a different city: North in Indianapolis and South in Houston.
Week 1 5-7 May 2021
Brian Burt and Blake Morgan combined for 273 yards rushing and QB Vad Lee added two goal-line Touchdowns as the Alphas opened with a 23-9 win over Aviators in Indianapolis. Also in Indianapolis Conquerors utilised smart defensive play and a resilient quarterback to defeat expansion team Linemen 27-20. In Houston the South Division opened with the Blues outlasting the Sea Lions despite Wide receiver Tom Lavine’s fourth quarter touchdown catch of the day as it finished 15-12 to the Blues. An exciting finish in the fourth game saw Jousters take a late lead through Quarterback Drew Aderson only for his opposite number Ryan Mallett to strike back immediately for the win. Generals won 21-19 helped greatly by kicker Lirim Hajrullahu’s five from five field goals.
Week 2 12-14 May 2021
In Week 2 Alphas became the only undefeated The Spring League team with a 26-21 win over Conquerors, meanwhile in the other North Division match-up Linemen defeated Aviators 17-3 to move to 1-1 and leave Aviators the only team without a win. In the South Division all teams were on 1-1 records after Sea Lions defeated Generals 17-3 and Jousters beat Blues 28-7.
Tadhg Leader – Irish-born Player (Aviators)
Former Connacht Rugby player Tadhg Leader was signed up to play another year of Rugby Union for Connacht in 2021 when the kicker started kicking American Footballs for fun. People took notice and said he should try out for American Football teams and so he went off to San Diego where he was kicking alongside Super Bowl-winning athletes. Unsure of his own ability he asked John Carney, who has 23 years of experience kicking Footballs and Carney said he could mix it with the NFL players. Before long Leader found himself playing for the Aviators in The Spring League in USA. The Aviatiors, one of four teams based in Indianapolis, a COVID-19 Pod and one of two Pods in the 8-team league in 2021 finished with an 0-6 record in 2021.
The Spring League is a Professional Development League (D-League) which plays all its’ games in one city to enable talent scouts from the NFL and CFL to view all the players in one location. As of March 23, 2020, the Spring League had seen 229 players sign professional contracts with Major or AAA Leagues since its’ first season in 2017: 90 with the National Football League, 51 with the Canadian Football League, 55 with the Alliance of American Football (AAA League 2019) and 33 with the XFL (AAA League 2020) [Ref: 6]
 The Spring League (2017) Profile Picture August 13, 2019 [Internet] Available from: https://scontent-dub4-1.xx.fbcdn.net/v/t1.0-9/68494309_2435273623417739_8497449137069883392_n.jpg?_nc_cat=101&_nc_ohc=osM0If13hRYAX9kbxYM&_nc_ht=scontent-dub4-1.xx&oh=3d2ef90b030c12beaf5c4be4b091d540&oe=5E9E9711%5BAccessed 25 January 2020]
 The Spring League (2021) Schedule [Internet] Available from: https://thespringleague.com/?page_id=5732 [Accessed 20 June 2021]
 The Spring League (2021) League [Internet] Available from: https://thespringleague.com/?page_id=136 [Accessed 6 May 2021]
 The Spring League Facebook (2021) Post, May 7:”The two headed Alphas RB monster of Brian Burt (139 yds) and Blake Morgan (134 yds/TD) ran all over the Aviators in Game 1 tonight en route to a decisive victory. QB Vad Lee added two goal line rushing TDs of his own.” [Internet] Available from: https://www.facebook.com/thespringleague/posts/306368164193780 [Accessed 9 May 2021]
 The Spring League Facebook (2021) Post, May 7:”The difference in Game 2 of Week 1 was the Conquerors ability to capitalize on their opportunities while the Linemen could not. Strong ground game, smart QB play, and a resilient defense secure the W for the Conquerors..” [Internet] Available from: https://www.facebook.com/thespringleague/posts/306452994185297 [Accessed 9 May 2021]
 The Spring League Facebook (2021) Post, May 8:”The Blues take Round 1 of “The Hunt” at #TSL2021 in the South Division’s opening game from Rice Stadium in Houston. They outlast the Sea Lions despite WR Tom Lavine’s jaw dropping play-of-the-game TD grab in the fourth..” [Internet] Available from: https://www.facebook.com/thespringleague/posts/307258050771458 [Accessed 9 May 2021]
 The Spring League Facebook (2021) Post, May 8:”What an unbelievable finish in Houston! After QB Drew Aderson inspires the Jousters to a late lead, the Generals eek out a W on a convincing return to the gridiron for QB Ryan Mallett and an unreal 5/5 kicking performance from Lirim Hajrullahu!” [Internet] Available from: https://www.facebook.com/thespringleague/posts/307715927392337 [Accessed 9 May 2021]
 The 42 (2021) The former Connacht man now trying to make it as an NFL kicker [Internet] Available from: https://www.the42.ie/tadhg-leader-connacht-nfl-5425042-May2021/ [Accessed 3 December 2021]
Thanks to Todd Zboyan and Decy Maher.
About this document
Researched, compiled and written by Enda Mulcahy for the
Eirball | Irish North American & World Sports Archive
Last Updated: 3 December 2021
(c) Copyright Enda Mulcahy and Eirball 2021
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