Ashley Jackson, Jett Zero, Ray Bentley, Riley Combs, Beat Writers
Banner image by J.R. Lawless
Less than a month remains before the live draft (December 14th, 8:00pm eastern) on For the Fans, and the we here at the Beat Team HQ are up to our eyeballs in rookies! Fortunately, they’re all very pleasant and friendly and, as they have not been drafted, not yet wearing cleats, so it could be much more painful. Another six have deigned to let us in on their lives, what brought them to us, and their plans to each #MakeAnImpact in the league; this time, the lucky six are Rashad James, Shane Easley, Jarrid “King Jaffe” Johnson, Roberto DeMoura, C.J. Arthur and Fox Highwind. But enough of my banter – it’s them you’re here to see, so full steam ahead for the fifth entry in our Meet the Season 14 Draft Class: Who’s Who series!
Who are you and what are you interests?
Rashad James: My name is Rashad James, and my interests are everything.
Shane Easley: I would prefer not to share my real name, as I have a fairly high-profile job in the sports industry, but let’s just say that I love sim leagues, sports management games, and especially football. I have been playing in various sim leagues, of all sports, since the early ’90’s, when we tracked things with pen and paper. When playing a sports video game, I rarely play the games, I manage things, coach things, and let the players perform. That is what I enjoy. In the league, I’ll be playing as Shane Easley.
Jarrid “King Jaffe” Johnson: Jarrid “King Jaffe” Johnson, I have an interest in sleeping, running, & sports video games. I’m 35 from Arkansas & work banking / auditing for a casino, and have been a heavy Dallas Cowboys fan since birth.
Roberto DeMoura: My name is Roberto DeMoura, I am Portuguese, 23 years old, and living in Boston, Massachusetts. My interests are gaming – family time & my career in the medical & recreational cannabis industry.
C.J. Arthur: I’m C.J. Arthur and my interest is the heart and soul of football.
Fox Highwind: Hi! My name is Fox Highwind and I’m from Chattanooga, TN. I love gaming (video, board, D&D, etc), playing Pokemon GO with my son, and of course Fantasy Football!
How did you find out about the SFL?
SE: Some late-night channel flipping. Was instantly intrigued.
JJ: I remember I was combing through the sports channels & saw a SFL listing on my DirecTV lineup.
RD: I found out about the SFL by scrolling through tv channels one day & came across Eleven Sports Network and caught a glimpse of the end of this season regular season games, instantly had huge interest and wanted to get involved anyway I could – so I jumped into the discord server ASAP and got my legacy going.
CJA: I find out about SFL because there’s a good thing about joining a team, and supporting the team whether you win or lose.
FH: My brother-in-law ran across a video and started looking into it. He thought it was pretty complicated, but knew that I love simulations / stats / competition, so he sent me a link to the website and… here I am!
RJ: I found out about the SFL on King Javo’s channel.
What was the first game that you watched and describe the feeling you received while watching it?
JJ: I believe it was Sioux Falls vs. Seattle, and I was asking myself why a simulated football game had commentary & was being shown on TV – so I did some further digging.
RD: The first game I watched was the game I saw that introduced me to the league, I do not remember the teams involved – but I do remember getting into the discord server and catching all the conversation and banter about the game that was being streamed. That being said watching that game and already having huge interest to get involved, plus seeing the community interaction about the game, made me feel excited and even more determined to get involved myself.
CJA: I watch SFL on YouTube and it feels amazing, because watching SFL feels like you have to take a chance!
After learning about the SFL, I checked out a few minutes of the recent Championship Game between Denver and Seattle. I was very impressed with the depth of the broadcast… seeing the player introductions was, I think, the moment I said “sign me up!”
~ Fox Highwind
RJ: My first game was Season 13 Tyrants vs Storm. When I first watched this. I was confused like “wtf is this?” but then I kept on watching and fell in love.
SE: I remember Queen City was playing. I don’t remember their opponent. I couldn’t believe that a sim league was being broadcast, with a live following. Played in countless leagues over the years. This was my dream come to life, to see one being broadcast, and to see that joining was a possibility.
What positions are you trying to fill and why did you select those particular positions?
RD: I am looking to create my legacy as a defensive player – either on the D-line or as a LB. I chose those positions, most importantly the defensive side, mainly because those are the positions I played myself in football, but most importantly because I am a huge advocate of defense and how important and dominate a defense can be. I am a true believer in the saying “defense wins championships”.
CJA: My positions is quarterback, and I selected it because I particularly take the time to set it right.
FH: I want to be as big of a contributor to my team as possible, and to me those positions are (in order): RB, WR, QB, and LB.
RB: I would LOVE to be a RB, but I understand the over-saturation the position is currently suffering from due to popularity. Still, I’m holding out hope lol
WR: This such a versatile position, being able to move all over the field and create big plays is vital for success. I’m open to lining up wherever my team needs my talents, from slot receiver to home run threat.
QB: I’ve rarely played QB in real life (I usually want to be in the supporting cast)… but this is the SFL! Why not play the captain for a change?
LB: If I’m on defense, I wanna hit someone. HARD. Especially the QB, I’m always up for a sack or two.
RJ: The positions i am trying to fill are wide receiver, cornerback and safeties. I chose this positions because this are my favorite positions to watch.
SE: I chose to create a LB, because I figured that skill positions would be in less demand, and yet a linebacker could still greatly be involved. Plus, the versatility of the LB position, having to play both the run and pass presents more of a challenge and a chance to put a stamp on the kind of player I would become.
JJ: Looking to flex between linebacker & safety – it’s better to hit than get hit!
Do you plan to get involved with the SFL in more than one capacity such as broadcasting, beat team or stats?
CJA: Yes I will – I can be involved and support people on social media!
FH: Maybe after a year or so, after becoming more established in the community… I’d want to learn the ins and outs of the league, as well as my fellow SFL members. As long as I can still be a player (and real life allows me the time to do it efficiently) then I would love to help out on a podcast, be a color analyst, or broadcast.
RJ: Yes but not right now; just focused on my player right now.
SE: I would love to get involved with broadcasting. I’ve done voice work for TV and radio before, and have been “announcing” my various sports games since I was like 5. I just don’t know that I would have time to do it, but I would certainly be open to the concept of it.
JJ: My outside job is banking / auditing for a casino so I’m good w/ numbers, so stats are super interesting.
RD: I am absolutely looking and willing to help this league anyway I can – I am a part of other gaming leagues and organizations and feel I could help bring more to the table for the SFL and the road to growth. I’d like to help anyway I can!
What are your expectations from the team that drafts you?
FH: First and foremost, a communal respect. From what I’ve seen of the community, that’s easily attainable! Otherwise, I just want an opportunity to improve and contribute to helping my team win a championship!
RJ: My expectations is a team that fights hard and never gives up, and are loyal.
SE: Communication. Camaraderie. Openness to let my player be himself, yet obviously, I’d be building him in such a way that he would be benefiting the team. A willingness to help teach a noob about the best way to develop.
JJ: Finding ways to help me develop into a better player & find as many ways that I can be of service to the team.
RD: My expectations for the team that drafts me aren’t much, because honestly I do not know what to expect! I can only say that expect them to know that I’m coming in looking to learn and teach and help in anyway I can, and really create my legacy from the field to off field to the general atmosphere of the league.
They will draft me to the team because I will carry all the way to the championship, and I desire to compete every step of the way from practice to game day.
~ C.J. Arthur
What values will you bring to your team?
RJ: I will bring fun leadership to any team that drafts me.
SE: Openness, a willingness to learn. Some bad humor from time-to-time.
JJ: Hard worker & staying positive, can be a jokester at times but I keep people loose & focused.
RD: The values I would bring to the team are right off the bat dependability & trustworthiness. I have a huge positive attitude always & determined worker with a strong work ethic (I’m Portuguese – that is all we know). I am very loyal and know my worth at the same time.
CJA: My value is to be a good sportsman, with good sportsmanship.
FH: Dedication and pride. ANY team that says, “Fox, we want YOU” earns my loyalty… and I’ll always have a place in my heart for anyone in that organization, even if I move on to another team. But I’ll always be 110% behind any team that values me enough to give me a roster spot.
How do you handle trash talk and adversity?
Trash talk just rolls off of me. It’s white noise most of the time. If it’s good-natured, maybe I’d fire back with some of my own, but usually not my style. Adversity? I was given my Last Rites at age 6 while in a coma. I’ve put up with a few things in my life. I’m stronger for it. I’m also a San Diego (not Los Angeles) Chargers fan. I’m used to adversity.
~ Shane Easley
JJ: Trash talk back! I’m hardly shaked but will clapback when I can. I must be special if they want to do it to me rather than them just being silent.
RD: Handling of trash talk or adversity is easy – my simple solution is to ignore and keep on moving on, because talk is cheap and actions will always speak louder.
CJA: I can calm down, stay on the right and be good to teammates as well.
FH: I usually take it all in fun and like to take jabs back and forth. However, there’s a line between trash talk and truly “getting personal”. When it comes to people like that, it’s a cancer to the whole community, and I’d rather just alert the admins and let them handle it.
RJ: I just laugh and trash talk back. For adversity, I have this mindset that there is nothing called adversity – just learning experiences.
Why should a team select you in the draft?
JJ: Look at the above answers. I know what I want & will work, but I will be humble & absorb what I can.
RD: My opinion on why a team should draft me is the simple fact that I will be a bigger part than just a draft pick or a player – I will help the team across all aspects & want to create a legacy for myself that will always represent that team, in the past, present, and future.
CJA: Because I can be strong, tougher and throw passes.
FH: My goal is to be a day-one asset to the team that drafts me. I want to sign with my team quickly, and I want to communicate with upper management about my attribute distribution… find a happy medium between what my team needs me to be and what I’d like to be, too. As a rookie I’m a blank slate, and I’m moldable!
A team should select me in the draft because I am just here to bring 110 percent effort to any team.
~ Rashad James
SE: My player build will be something that benefits the team, but the person behind the player is a knowledgeable football mind, who is eager to learn and be a willing participant.
Where are you ranked on the Rookie Big Board and how many check-ins have you done?
RD: I currently see myself ranked in the top 100 when filtering weeks banked from most to least. I am about rank 98, may have lost my spot counting. I currently have 6 weeks banked, joined week 8.
CJA: 2 check-ins.
FH: I JUST discovered and joined the league, so I have only one check-in so far. As far as my RBB position, I didn’t see a ranking but I imagine its near the bottom, as I have been in the league for only a couple days.
RJ: I have one check-in and and I am in the lower part of it but only because I joined late
SE: I have not missed a check in since I joined. The board says I currently have 11 weeks banked. I’m not sure if that counts the check-in I did earlier today.
JJ: Honestly have not checked the big board yet. I just control what I can & develop myself the best way I know how & being observant. Don’t have an exact count on check ins but as far as I know I checked in EVERY week since I got on.
What are your personal goals for your SFL career? Goals for your team?
CJA: My personal goals are 25 passing TDs and at least 750 yards passing.
FH: I want to be seen as one of the best ever, a legend (who doesn’t? lol). But I’d rather win championships than break records… if that means I have to take a smaller role than expected so that our team can win, I’m okay with that.
RJ: My personal goal is to be the greatest player I can ever be and push myself. Goals for team? A championship.
SE: Achieving personal goals is only rewarding if you can do so in helping the team reach their goals. I want a championship. I’ll start there. After that, I want another one. If in winning championships, I am able to be recognized individually, that is a bonus.
JJ: Key goals are to make a team & wreck shop. Team wise, I want to see about chemistry developing & hopefully win a championship in the future, as well as continuing to learn the ins and outside of this league
RD: My personal goals are to just hopefully stick with one team and create a legacy – I want to be the defensive TB12 of the SFL. The personal goals for my team are to be a family- work hard and together and create a dynasty.
What is the most important aspect of being on a team?
FH: Being able to be a cohesive unit. We win together, we lose together. Everyone should be able to lean on their teammates while at the same time supporting others. And sometimes sacrifices need to be made… not everyone can be MVP every game. Its important to support those that are having a stellar game/month/season.
RJ: Having fun, have your teammates backs, positive attitude.
SE: The most important aspect of being on a team is involvement. Feeling like you are a part of it, contributing to its success. Only then, can you feel like you have achieved anything. You win together. You lose together. It’s a team sport.
Knowing & improving chemistry, we can’t really challenge anyone until we challenge ourselves to be better 1st.
~ Jarrid “King Jaffe” Johnson
RD: The most important aspect of being on a team in my opinion would be working together and communication, staying focused and driven.
CJA: Well My most important thing about it is be respectful to the team and to take it seriously to the coaches and others.
Have you ever played sports? If so, what sports, and what were your positions?
RJ: Yes; I have played basketball and I currently playing shooting guard for high school.
SE: Grew up playing baseball, basketball, football, and hockey. Was a 1st Baseman / outfielder in baseball. Power forward in basketball. Quarterback / safety in football. Switched between RW / D and part-time backup goalie in hockey.
JJ: Was a starting LB / Bandit throughout high school, did a 4 LB set my 9th-11th year, then moved to a 3 LB set my senior year.
RD: I did play sports growing up, played football (MLB), Basketball (SG/SF), Soccer (CDM).
CJA: Yes, I play for the unified track team; my position is the long jump.
FH: My high school didn’t have a sports program between other schools. I played some recreational football and was a pretty good RB, and I played softball as a 2nd baseman. I also enjoy Badminton and used to be very very good at it!
Any shout outs or last words?
SE: I just appreciate the opportunity to be interviewed, and look forward to my first full season in the SFL. I very much want to publicly thank the Vancouver Legion organization for bringing me on board as a generic free agent after I joined mid-season, and letting me be a part of their family. I learned a good bit from them, and can only hope that the team that drafts me is as good of an experience for me as the one I had with them.
JJ: I love my mama!
Shout out to the whole SFL community & thank you to all that make this happen – hoping to be a part and start my legacy!
~ Roberto DeMoura
CJA: My shout out is to be the wonderful kind of day when you can become best in the universe!
FH: Shout out to my son, maybe I can get him to join next year! Let’s have a great season everybody!!!
RJ: To any team willing to draft me, I’m gonna show you that you made the right choice. For the others, I am gonna make you regret your decision not to draft me