The league may want to consider relocating to Southern Utah though.
Walt Brooks Stadium (at Dixie High School) will be the site of the RMFL’s championship game Saturday night at 7:00PM. It is the second straight year the commissioner of the league has had to drive from Idaho to St. George to make a trophy presentation to the title game winner.
Last season’s RMFL commissioner Jared Nuemeier made the trip and handed the trophy to the St. George Blitz organization after the team defeated the Utah Shock 7-3 in July of 2010.
In an interview before that title game, Nuemeier dished out compliments to the team from Southern Utah.
“St. George has done it quick, they have great organization,” Nuemeier said. “They got people that know what they are doing. Here they are in only the third season and are competing for the championship.”
The St. George Blitz secured the championship trophy, but owner Josh Smith dissolved the organization a month later. The Blitz may have had the most successful team on the field, but apparently, the success and sustainability did not resonate off the field.
The players were coming off a 10-1 season and knew they had something special. Andy Stokes, Doug Cook and Wayne Alofipo were Blitz players who shared a similar passion for the game of football. In November, the three announced that they had filed the application with the RMFL to become a new organization known as the Dixie Rebels, the league’s team owners voted unanimously to accept them into the league. In hindsight, it may have been a mistake.
“We’re planning on repeating as champions,” Cook said.
Cook’s confidence came from the verbal commitment they got from many of the players who helped the Blitz become champions.
Some observers may have been perplexed by the selection of the name Rebels, since Dixie State College had chosen to no longer use the Rebels name a few years back.
“We wanted to bring the Rebel tradition back,” Cook said. “We don’t want to take away anything from the history of the college. This is not a spiteful thing. We want this to be appreciated in a sense of tradition and for the wholesome entertainment that it is.”
The management went to work adding new players, convincing others to stay, and trying to get sponsor support.
On the field, they started practicing, only once a week, and started playing in March. Since then, the Rebels have won all 10 of its regular season games (2-0 in preseason as well) and are now playing for the RMFL championship again.
Cook’s confident statement back in November was backed up by the team’s play.
Now 12 months later, the RMFL has a new commissioner in Travis Hobson, and he is driving down to St. George like his predecessor had to. Hobson’s words about the young semi-pro football organization from Southern Utah are reminiscent of Nuemeier’s last summer.
“Dixie is a class organization,” Hobson said. “They have great talent.”
But the first-year commissioner also noted that the Rebels won’t be the only talented unit taking the field tonight.
“The matchup itself, in terms of the RMFL, is epic,” Hobson said. “I would go so far as saying this game has two of the best three teams ever in league history.
“This is the best title game matchup the RMFL has seen in at least five years or more.”
The Rocky Mountain Football League championship game kicks-off at 7:00PM. at Dixie High school.
The Wasatch Revolution (9-1) are coached by former BYU Cougar great Eric Drage. Drage held the BYU all-time receptions record for 15 years until Austin Collie broke it.
The Dixie Rebels (10-0) are coached by 12-year NFL veteran Bruce Hardy. Hardy played all 12 seasons under Hall of Fame coach Don Shula and caught passes from Dan Marino.