The years and years of time and dedication to playing, coaching and eventually owning a semi-pro football franchise has finally paid off for York Silver Bullets owner Shawn Brady.
After the Silver Bullets won the Atlantic Football Association (AFA) title back in June, Brady and his team expected an invite to the Sunshine Bowl Showcase in Florida.
The news, however, got better as the organization’s fall league squad, the Keystone State Predators, won the Atlantic Coast Football Conference (ACFA) title earlier this month.
As a result, the Silver Bullets will not have to participate in a play-in contest in mid-December in Raleigh, NC. Instead they earned the right to play in one of a handful of national championship games in January.
“We got an email letting us know that we earned an automatic berth,” Brady said. “So now we have to organize to get ready to play in a game either Jan. 18 or 19.”
The Silver Bullets will not know their opponent until the play-in games next month are completed. Brady expects the coaching staff led by James Way, who also coaches the Predators, and Blair Powell, who coaches the Silver Bullets, will scout the potential opponents during the play-in round.
While many of the details are still up in the air, Brady and his organization are excited at the prospect of playing in a major showcase game with the right to call themselves national champions.
“A lot of these guys never played for a championship,” Brady said. “So they are really looking forward to this opportunity.”
For Brady and the team, winning a national title would make them the second York County-area team to do so. The York Generals won a national title back in 2014.
Perhaps the biggest obstacle for the squad is finding enough funds to allow the team to travel and stay in a hotel for several days around the event. Brady is hoping a couple fundraisers as well as a future GoFundMe page will allow the Silver Bullets to raise the amount he estimates it will cost to do everything.
“We’re probably not going to be flying down there, so I’m thinking we might need to rent a couple of vans as well as a few hotel rooms for the guys when we’re down there,” Brady said. “So somewhere around $2,500 to $3,000 might be enough.”
Reach Ryan Vandersloot at firstname.lastname@example.org.