By Hunter Jones, Jeff Melinyshyn, AJ Francis and Matthew Slinn
Offensive Player of the Season
Ron Cockren, Quarterback, Alaska Storm
Has there been a more dominant offensive player in the SFL this season when compared to others at his position, than Ron Cockren? The Alaska quarterback is in the top 5 in every major category that quarterbacks are graded on, save for interceptions (he has 10, but I’m giving him a pass on that). Cockren has lit up opposing defenses to the tune of 2405 yards, 19 touchdowns and 7.7 yards per attempt, all the while connecting with his receivers an unbelievable 78% of the time. Never mind Offensive Player of the Season, this guy is headed for MVP.
Jaye Eniola, Running Back, Tallahassee Pride
Currently, there are two rushers that are head and shoulders above everybody else in the league: Ash Odom, and the aforementioned Jaye Eniola. The reason I give the (very slight) nod to Eniola is his receiving production. The Pride back has 113 yards on 27 catches and 2 touchdowns, not to mention the fact that he leads every major statistic for running backs in the league. The second season, 232-pounder is averaging more than 2 touchdowns per game. He also has more yards on the ground than 6 quarterbacks do through the air. I mean, how insane is that?!
Mike Osayi, Wide Receiver, Dallas Lobos
You didn’t think I was going to forget a guy having an all-time great season, did you? Mike Osayi has made 101 catches in 6 games, accounting for nearly 40% of the completions thrown by Shabazz Psynergy. That is an average of nearly 17 catches per game. Just sit and let that resonate for a minute. That kind of production can not be ignored in an awards race. The amazing thing is, it doesn’t look like the 6’3 pass-catching machine is slowing down! Now, despite also having 9 touchdowns, the stat keeping him from topping this list is his yards per reception. Just over 10 yards per catch is fairly low, akin to a slot receiver despite him being on the outside. If he can shoot those numbers up, watch out Ron Cockren.
Defensive Player of the Season
Alex Dominguez, Defensive Tackle, Alaska Storm
C’mon, this is just too easy! ‘Big Sexy’ has FOURTEEN more sacks then the player in second place behind him, is averaging almost 4 sacks a game, and has, again, 14 more tackles for losses then the player in second place! This is a no-brainer right here as the Alaska storm are 7-0 and he has played a huge part. Dominguez has gotten pressure on almost every play and has gotten over 4 sacks in more then half of his games played! Dominguez and the Storm are tearing up the SFL, so there is no doubt in my mind that if the season ended today, Dominguez would be the DPOTS.
Aaron Lee, Strong Safety, Atlanta Swarm
This pick may not be quite as obvious. Lee is quietly having an amazing year, being tied for first in interceptions with 8, tied for 7th in pass deflections with 7, and tied for 14th in total tackles with 53 – as well as adding a touchdown! What this list is about more than anything is players who are making the difference to their teams in terms of getting them wins. Aaron Lee is that player, as he has gotten at least one interception in 4 of his team’s 7 games as well as being a great second level tackler if anyone breaks through. Lee is a turnover machine and I believe he’d be a great nominee for DPOTS!
Slinn Shady, Inside Linebacker, London Knights
So, the top 2 people above are the leader in sacks and the leader in interceptions, so how about we throw in a little balance? For this pick, I am choosing the always amazing Slinn Shady. Whether he is on the list or not, this player is always at least mentioned in the running as he has been dominant since joining the league. Shady this season is 4th in total tackles, 3rd in pass deflections (AS A LINEBACKER!) and has 2 interceptions to his name. His stats aren’t particularly gaudy in any one section, but Shady is a consistent threat to opposing teams and is a horror to game plan against. That’s why I believe he’d be a solid nominee for DPOTS.
Offensive Rookie of the Season
Siege Falco, Wide Receiver, Atlanta Swarm
Why? Falco is 328 yards from the leader in receiving yards, Mike Osayi, who is having a career year and possibly one for the record books. Being in an offense where they are throwing it as much as Atlanta is right now, Falco has to be the favorite at this juncture. The only thing that could hold back in my estimation is his 2 touchdowns through 7 games. He supports a 16.1 yards per reception that is 4.1 more than fellow breakout rookie receiver, Junior Senior III. He has 75 targets – that is 2 less than Senior III with 54 catches. If he can reach double digits in touchdowns and stay second behind Osayi, he may solidify himself as Offensive Rookie of the Season.
Troy Gaines, Running Back, Baltimore Vultures
Why? Well if you want to talk about someone who exploded on the scene, look no future than Troy Gaines. Right now, he is still a bit of a dark horse since his stats are kind of middle of the road. He has 91 carries and 501 rushing yards. He has been working his tail off and you can see that he has turned a corner. The offense in Baltimore is coming along nicely under Thomas Paterniti who took over as Head Coach. Gaines has 87 less yards than fellow rookie Keith Swearingen and hasn’t hit a hundred carries yet, but he is leading all rookies in receiving yards with 210 on only 42 receptions. His total yards are 711. This puts him just 42 behind fellow do-it-all back Swearingen. Colin Hart is leading rookies with 8 total touchdowns and Gaines is three behind with 5. The way the offense is clicking and how Gaines has been through his rookie season, he has a legit chance for Offensive Rookie of the Season with an explosion in the second half of the season.
Kentez Johnson, Quarterback, Houston Hyenas
Why? First, how can you not have a quarterback on an award article? Second, I could’ve gone with the obvious and put Marcus Dunhill on here, but I decided to take a deeper dive into these QB’s stats. Here is what I found: (since stats haven’t been updated for Week 7 for Johnson at time of writing, I used stats up to Week 6). Johnson has a 7.497 yards per attempt, touchdown percentage of 7.947, interception percentage of 7.285, and QBR of 99.048. Dunhill on the other hand, has 7.874 passing yards per attempt, touchdown percentage of 4.348, interception percentage of 4.831, and QBR of 84.410. Johnson beats Dunhill on yards per attempt, touchdown percentage, and QBR. Although Dunhill’s stats look good, we must look at everything as a whole. The race between these two should be fun to watch during the last half of the season.
Defensive Rookie of the Season
Achilles Franke, Free Safety, Queen City Corsairs
Queen City Corsairs free safety, Achilles Franke has been a key piece in a stout Corsairs defense this season. He’s tied for first in interceptions on the team with six and tied for second in the league. On the No. 1 scoring defense in the league, Franke has been nothing short of a standout on a standout defense. He’s had three different two-interception games, accounting for all his interceptions for the season. If he gets one in a game, it’s safe to assume he’ll grab another one eventually.
Tyrone Zeus, Defensive End, London Knights
After an explosive Week one which saw London Knights defensive end, Tyrone Zeus record six sacks, he’s yet to eclipse one sack in another game. Despite this, he’s still third in the league in sacks with 9.5 and has recorded at least a sack in his last two games, along with a ½ sack in Week 5. If he can continue his steady sack pace, he may wind up stealing the Defensive Rookie of the Season.
Ethan Kye, Strong Safety, St. Louis Gladiators
Speaking of consistent, St. Louis Gladiators strong safety Ethan Kye might be the most consistent ball hawk in the league. Through seven weeks of play, Kye has had an interception in five of them. Kye leads the Gladiators in interceptions with five and is tied for third in the league in picks. Kye has also put up solid tackle numbers, making five or more tackles in four games, two of which were 10-tackle games.