The Blue Collar Football League formed an all-star team to compete against the Battle Ground Football League’s all-star team on Saturday in Cincinnati.
Several members of the West Portsmouth Tanks team played or participated in the game between the two leagues. Ultimately, the BCFL came out on top by a final score of 26-8.
The Tanks had 12 players selected to play in the game, but only three players wound up competing. Defensive lineman Dominique Johnson, running back Antwan “AJ” Williams and kicker Zack Christensen represented West Portsmouth on the field.
Head coach Jamie Rice roamed the sideline, coaching the BCFL defense alongside Rocky Johnson from the Dayton Oilers. Rice coached in place of Tanks defensive coordinator Brian Wroten, who was unable to attend the game.
Rice was thrilled with the number of West Portsmouth players that made the all-star game roster. “It means you’re well respected within the league honestly because those [players] are voted on by the other owners,” Rice said. “You can’t vote for your own guy, it’s all voted on with the people you played against.”
With an 11-2 record on the season and one of the best teams in the league, it came as no surprise that the Tanks had so many players named to the team. “I’m glad those guys get the recognition they deserve,” Rice said. “That means a lot that those guys got the attention of the other teams.”
Not only were the Tanks able to send their coach and several players to the game, but the team also sent their broadcast crew of Tyler Rowland and Nick Newton.
Rowland and Newton started a podcast at the start of the season, broadcasting games online for the Tanks. The two also produced video content for the team throughout the season, including a segment known as “Tank Talk” which featured interviews with various West Portsmouth players.
“We tend to feed off each other,” Newton said. “He usually calls color and I’m usually the sideshow. We’re like the dynamic duo, we’re the voice of the Tanks and we just keep doing what we do. The coaching staff loves it and the owners.”
Their broadcasts reached new heights when My Town TV broadcasted the BCFL Championship, as well as the all-star game on Saturday on television across the area.
Being able to broadcast the all-star game was certainly special for both, although they may not have acted like it. “Those guys rode up there with me, they were trying to play it off but I think they were pretty excited about being on TV,” Rice said about the tandem. “I’m happy for them, they deserve it.”
For Rowland, it has been a season full of memories. “It was a great experience to have,” Rowland said about working with the Tanks. “It’s something I’ve wanted to do my whole life. Just to have that opportunity, especially with a program like the Tanks, has been a lot of fun.”
Newton agreed that the experience was something to remember. “I’m just glad that they were able to allow us to call that game,” Newton said. “I had a blast doing it because you got to meet all these great players from around the league. It was just one of those moments where I’ll cherish it.”
Not only are Rowland and Newton having fun, but their broadcasts have been received well. Rowland said that the Tanks had 8,400 views for the BCFL Championship, and reached 39,000 households in the area.
“I knew we would do good,” Rowland said. “But, I didn’t expect it to explode like it did.”
The all-star game even garnered over 3,000 views. “I guess a lot of people enjoy me and Tyler’s shenanigans as we call it, as we call games and everything,” Newton said. “It’s a blast and I look forward to continue doing it.”
The broadcasts, both online and on television, just go to show how rapidly the BCFL is continuing to grow. Both the BCFL Championship and the all-star game Saturday were successful for the league, and certainly captured a lot of attention.
“It was definitely two big nights for semi-pro football,” Rowland said. “I think it’s great to get to see it expanding to our area. It’s a growing sport, and I think it’s going to continue to get bigger and bigger in our area.”
With extra interest, the BCFL looks to continue to grow next season. “Our championship game and our all-star game were both televised,” Rice said “That’s actually pretty cool that they were able to do that. I think the BCFL, our league is growing. They’re doing the right things, and that’s pretty good to see.”
Reach Benjamin Spicer at (502)264-7318 or on Twitter @BSpicerPDT
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