Want to know why the Tri-Point Football League was founded? Here is a prime example for why the TFPL came about, and proof that the formula works.
The Pittsburgh Saints started their 2021 offseason like every other semi-pro team that spring. The Saints joined the GDFL a few months earlier and players and staff were excited. From the owners to the players, no one on a semi-pro team really knows what they’re in for before the season gets underway. The Saints were no exception. After trudging their way through the first half of the season they were set to face off against the perennial powerhouse and nationally ranked Erie Express. That game ended with the Saints on the wrong side of a lopsided score, 42-0. That game was one of a few games that planted the seeds for the TPFL.
Skip forward a bit to the fall of 2022. A small group of owners just finished their seasons in a few of the local leagues and were licking their wounds. Within a couple weeks several small chat groups of owners merged into a single group that would eventually become the first Tri-Point Football League Board and the TPFL was born. Formed from a combination of experienced owners as well as new comers, the Board decided it was time for their organizations to no longer be the cannon fodder for super teams so leagues could promote their favorites with lopsided records. The plan was to form a league with as much competitive balance as possible while helping provide an opportunity for new and struggling organizations to build and become stronger and more stable.
Moving forward to the spring of 2022… teams from across three states were in their “preseason” and as excited as ever. The Pittsburgh Saints had benefitted from the emerging energy surrounding all the teams in the newly formed TPFL. That energy (along with some good timing) had players and coaches looking to join teams to be a part of building something new and successful. Adding talent to an already solid staff and roster, the Saints were more excited than ever to get games rolling. Owner Sandy Tipton scheduled her team a “trial by fire” preseason game against the always impressive Erie Express. There is no better way to see what progress you’ve made and what still needs work quite like going up against the best. After a knockdown, drag out battle… the Express squeaked by with a 7-6 win over the Saints. Teams around the area took note. Asking themselves, “what do they have going on over there”? The Saints showed visible and marked progress and everyone seen it, and a few teams were maybe even a little bit nervous about it.
Finally, let’s take a look at this past weekend (May 13, 2023). The Saints hosted the Express again in their now traditional yearly game. Since this was set to be the first real work for the 2023 Saints, expectations were probably what anyone would expect them to be. Excited as always to get the season underway, they went into this game ready to show the semi-pro world what they’ve been quietly working on. That progress includes fine tuning a great staff headed by head coach Jaimeison Brown and his coordinators, Savon Tipton (offense) and Darius Barnes (defense). The Express came in fired up and looking to make a huge statement after a tough game the week before. What would come after the clock hit “00:00” would be the crescendo (author’s opinion) of the existence of the TPFL. The Pittsburgh Saints walked out of the stadium with the victory over one of the top teams in the country. Chat groups of owners around the league as well as the board started dinging with congratulations and excitement for Ms Tipton and the Saints. The final score was 22-6 and will be cemented as one of the top proof of concepts that the vision of the TPFL will continue to be realized.