Everett Royals ready for playoffs after successful turnaround
Everett,WA-In 2022, the Everett Royals finished their first season in the Gridiron Developmental Football League (GDFL) with an 0-8 regular season record.
One year later, the Everett Royals finished their regular season with a 20-13 victory over the South Lane Buzzards (Eugene) to finish with a 7-1 regular season record and finished in first place in the Impact Conference East Division.
The GDFL, which has over 30 teams within its nationwide league, ranks the Everett Royals #5 in the country.
As the Everett Royals prepare for the GDFL postseason, which starts August 12th, owner Mike Thomas reflects on the turnaround.
“2022 was very emotionally draining” Thomas went on to add “we had a lot of talented players in our organization, we just weren’t clicking when we needed to”.
The Everett Royals spent the 2022 offseason focusing on player recruitment and raising awareness of the team.
Mike Thomas also selected last seasons Defensive Coordinator, Boyd Demus, to be the new Head Coach.
Boyd Demus has a wealth of experience coaching at various levels including youth and women’s football.
“We knew if we focused on getting more players to the field, we would turn this into a competitive program” Thomas said.
Coach Demus is quick to give credit to his coaching staff, which includes Offensive Coordinator J.R., Defensive Coordinator Michael Winters, Assistant Coordinator Mike Shea, Offensive Line Coach Leanne Winters, and Defensive Line Coach Denis Nikitin.
The Everett Royals roster is filled with players from all different walks of life and football experience. Linebacker Baxter Patrick leads both the team and the GDFL in tackles and is joined at linebacker by Richard Woodlyn and Bryan Sarnowski.
“There is no better hard-hitting linebacker crew in the league” Thomas said when describing the success of the teams defense.
Against the South Lane Buzzards, the notoriously stingy Everett Royals defense generated three interceptions, two by returning Cornerback Cole Stephens and one by, former Kansas City Chiefs, JR Nelson who joined the team at midseason.
On the offensive side, Rodney Raines, a longtime veteran of professional development football, has anchored the Quarterback position and former Eastern Illinois University Running Back Shephard Little has led the team with 751 rushing yards and 8 touchdowns.
On Saturday August 12th at 4:00pm, the Everett Royals will host the Spokane wolf pack for the first round of the GDFL Playoffs. The game will be played at Snohomish High School at 1316 5th St, Snohomish WA. Tickets are $10 for age 13-65, $5 for fans over 65 and free for anyone 12 and under.