Ashley Jackson, Jett Zero, Riley Combs, Ray Bentley, Beat Writers
Banner Image by J.R. Lawless
Neither rain, nor snow, nor heat, nor gloom of night, will keep us at the Beat Team from bringing to you another batch of stellar rookies for the Season 14 draft class. As we gear up in this final week before the first round of the draft (live on Eleven Sports / For the Fans at 9pm eastern, 8pm central), we’d like to thank all of those who have reached out to help make the Who’s Who article series such a smashing success, including Jayden Swift, Sean Clark, Kenny Smith-Knees, Seren Storm, Gerald Giudicessi and Derrick Majors, today’s rookies under the spotlight. These six, along with many others, have already begun #MakingTheirImpact and building their Simulation Football League legends – who knows! Maybe you’ve just read the interview of a future Hall of Famer, or one of our possible franchisees in seasons to come.
Who are you and what are you interests?
Jayden Swift: I’m Andrew, I’m 29 years old, a loving husband of 3 years, and a very proud father of 2 beautiful daughters who are 2 and 5. My wife and I are self employed running an in-home daycare. My interests are first and foremost my family; without them I am nothing. A close second is and has always been football. I’ve been watching football since I was 6 years old, I played for several years when I was younger, I’ve been playing fantasy football for 10 years, and I play in a few Madden online franchises. Football is a huge part of my life.
Sean Clark: My name is Sean Clark, I am interested in football and cars.
Kenny Smith-Knees: I’m Kenny Smiths-Knees. I’m just football fan who plays videogames offline to relax my mind.
Seren Storm: I’m Seren Storm, Season 14 rookie. 18 years old, originally from New Jersey but reside in South Carolina. Deciding whether to study Engineering or IT at the moment. Love music, sports and games.
Gerald Giudicessi: Gerald Giudicessi (heavyg517) from Pennsylvania. Interests are golf and grilling (steak connoisseur!!)
Derrick Majors: I’m Derrick Majors, and my interests are watching / playing football, spending time with my daughter and reading comic books. I’m also a huge Marvel and Star Wars geek, so I love watching those movies as well.
How did you find out about the SFL?
SC: I found out about the Simulation Football League from watching TV.
KSK: I stumbled upon the SFL by clicking through random streams and it caught my eye. I knew instantly I wanted to be part of this fraternity.
SS: From another player who’s my good friend, Giovanni Bolt.
GG: Was on vacation going to the Pitt vs West Virginia game, when we were eating lunch at a pub and it was on the TV. I was mesmerized. I looked into it right away.
DM: I’m really into the management / simulation type of games. Especially with football. I just searched for different types and I came across the SFL, so I started to research more about the league and it caught my interest.
Someone posted a link to the website in an NFL server I am in, and upon checking out the website I was immediately interested in joining. I can’t believe I didn’t know about the SFL until now. From what I’ve seen it is AMAZING!
~ Jayden Swift
What was the first game that you watched and describe the feeling you received while watching it?
KSK: First game was Houston vs New Mexico. I was excited to see an underdog in Houston destroy a team like New Mexico. I knew then this was something I wanted to be part of. [EDITOR: Unsure if he means the Gorillas or a different team – perhaps Mr. Smith-Knees has more history to him than he lets on!]
SS: Was a Vultures game. I was watching Giovanni play and rooting on for him. It was amazing to see how the league ran.
GG: See my above answer: we were eating lunch at a pub and it was on the TV. I was mesmerized. I looked into it right away.
DM: I just started a few days ago, but I re-watched the Chicago / Houston game on the Twitch channel. It felt like watching an actual game on TV. The thought of me being in the game and hearing the announcers say my name throughout made me even more excited to be a part of it.
JS: The Season 13 Championship between Denver and Seattle. I was blown away by the presentation and broadcasting aspect of the SFL. It’s just as good, if not better, than the NFL. I was hooked from the start, and loved every minute of it.
SC: My first game was a playoff game between Seattle and Denver, and it was really exciting.
What positions are you trying to fill and why did you select those particular positions?
GG: Trying to fill a TE role. Tight Ends (to me) are a strong position on a team, can catch the ball, but are also crucial in run and pass blocking. A good tight end could be a great safety net for a quarterback.
DM: I play QB, so it’s my natural position.
JS: Mainly WR/CB/TE/S, but I’m also interested in RB if a team needs it. I’ve always loved playing the bal,l whether it’s offense or defense – that is my favorite part of football. A lot of things happen through the air in a game, and that is what I love about it.
SC: I would like to be either a QB or WR. I picked those because those were my positions when I played football.
Safety or linebacker, mainly because I want to impose my will on offenses that think it’s going to be open season. Whatever team chooses to pick me up will have a player who isn’t for excuses and will take up all burdens thrown at my teammates. I see the open field, and it’s like a playground for me.
~ Kenny Smith Knees
SS: QB/RB mainly, but also open to WR/CB. I’ve always had an eye for QB wanting to play it somehow, someway. RB is another thing, being able to break out runs, or even dominate the game with 5-10 yard hitters. However I help the team.
Do you plan to get involved with the SFL in more than one capacity such as broadcasting, beat team or stats?
DM: I would like to be involved with the broadcasting as it’s something that I want to pursue for my career in the future, as well as coaching.
JS: In the future – yes, I am very interested in getting involved however I can. I’d love to help this league grow and continue to be on top. Coaching / owning a team is something I’m very interested in doing as well. If expansion is ever announced, I would be first in line to bring a fresh new team into the SFL!
SC: I would like to just be a player in the league.
KSK: Only time will tell. I can’t agree upon anything at the moment or the future. I’ll have to wait until I cross that path.
SS: Not at the moment, i’d like to experience being a player first.
GG: Currently looking to join the broadcast team as a color analyst. Maybe after getting familiar with the game, maybe become an OC?? Ya never know!
What are your expectations from the team that drafts you?
JS: Being given the opportunity to prove myself to the SFL and my team is enough for me honestly. I don’t have any expectations; I just want my shot. Whoever drafts me will not regret it, I can promise you that.
SC: I expect the team to let me get plenty of playing time.
KSK: My expectations are just to build chemistry with my teammates, work hard on becoming elite in my position, and most importantly – win.
To run as a family, work together to get better, and work as one to win. When we lose everyone be there for the loss, see what happened and find a way to fix it.
~ Seren Storm
GG: Just to be given the opportunity to be on a team in any role would be great. I would want my practice, work ethic and play on the field to open up great opportunities. Never take any opportunity for granted. A fair chance is all I ask.
DM: All I expect is for them to do the right thing to help the team win.
What values will you bring to your team?
SS: Laughter, loyalty, and competitiveness. Hopefully able to settle in and help boost the team up.
GG: Hard work, dedication, great team attitude.
DM: Just a competitive attitude. I want to win and that’s what whichever team drafts me will bring me in to do
JS: Passion, dedication, dependability, reliability, positivity, and commitment. The values I live by each and every day.
SC: I’ll bring commitment and athleticism to my team and we will win.
KSK: Blue collar work ethic. No one is going to give you these opportunities, so I have to work hard on becoming the best.
How do you handle trash talk and adversity?
DM: I don’t pay attention to it. I understand it’s inevitable, so the best way is to continue to go to work, play hard, and be the best player and teammate I can be.
JS: I leave everything on the field. I’m not going to call you out to the media or on the internet. I’m going to go out there and show you who I am and why I should be here. I let my play do the talking. You may start it but I’m definitely going to finish it.
I don’t take anything from anybody.
~ Sean Clark
KSK: Trash talking means nothing, action means even more than playing a mental game. Adversity is also mental. You have to take it one play at a time and don’t be afraid to get knocked down, it makes you stronger every time you get back up on your feet.
SS: There’s no real reason to trash talk; if something is said I may say something back, but play should be settled on the field.
GG: Haha! Trash talk is what it is – trash! You don’t need to trash talk if your play speaks for itself. Trash talk to me in a game? I’ll probably laugh, but try to run you over on my next reception, or pancake you on my next blocking assignment. The best way to get you back is on the scoreboard. But don’t think I won’t trade barbs with you either. Adversity can be troubling, and really can make an athlete humble in a hurry. What’s the old cliche… “What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger?” I agree!
Why should a team select you in the draft?
GG: The values that I described earlier in the interview – work ethic, team first mentality and a strong desire to win.
I’m very humble and professional with everything I do. I understand being a part of this league is a privilege so I’m determined to give it my all for whatever organization takes a chance on me. I’m a hard worker, and even if I don’t start, I’m gonna work my butt off every day and do whatever it takes to help my team win games.
JS: I have a passion for this game like nothing you have ever seen before. I am driven and pride myself on my work ethic on and off the field. I will support my teammates and organization and together we will make each other better. I will not stop until we bring home a championship.
SC: Because I bring a great amount of skill to the league and once a team drafts me, they won’t ever want to let me go.
KSK: Because I’m ready to build a legacy with any team that picks me up. I’m prepared to become great. With any tram that picks me up, they will see that as well.
SS: They invest in a player with heart and strive for the game. Someone who’s willing to do whatever it takes for the team. I’m a team player, and ready to support my team however I can.
Where are you ranked on the Rookie Big Board and how many check-ins have you done?
SS: Banked 9 weeks. Checked in everytime I had the chance to!
GG: Gerald Giudicessi and by the board…. looks like a mid 3rd round.
DM: I started in week 14, so only one check in so far, so I’m ranked towards the bottom.
JS: #226 of 228. I just joined the league on the 12th of November. I had my first rookie check in on November 12th-13th. When the draft starts I’ll have 4 weeks banked.
SC: I don’t know where I’m ranked and I’ve done one check in because I’m not greedy.
KSK: I currently don’t know. It’s my only weakness, but I’m working on it.
What are your personal goals for your SFL career? Goals for your team?
KSK: Personal goals? Besides be a GOAT, bring my team a ‘chip!
To just be a part of the Simulation Football League. Teamwise? Win it all, of course!
~ Gerald Giudicessi
DM: My personal goal is to make an instant impact. I’m very competitive so I’m eager to get to work and start making plays. As for my team, no one likes to lose, so the ultimate team goal is nothing less than a championship. We just have to make sure everyone’s doing their part and on the same page for that to happen.
JS: My personal goals are to be the best at my position, win championships, become a leader and mentor for younger players, and cement my legacy in the SFL. When it comes to my team I would like to learn and grow with my teammates, help lead the team to and win the championship, and prove to my coaches and Owner/GMs that they made the right choice in drafting me. With hard work and dedication I know that I can accomplish these goals.
SC: My main goals are to win a championship and lead the league in a stat.
What is the most important aspect of being on a team?
DM: It has to be able to trust one another. If a team doesn’t have the chemistry and trust with each other, that brotherhood… then it won’t work out on the field at all.
JS: Teamwork, humility, communication, delegation, efficiency, support. All important aspects of a great team.
SC: The most important aspect is teamwork.
GG: Being selfless. Putting the needs of the team in front of your own. Being a TE – blocking for a TD run. Pass protecting for a TD pass is just as meaningful as catching a TD pass. If I am able to have a hand in my teammate rushing for 1000, 1200, 1500+ yards – so be it.
Have you ever played sports? If so, what sports, and what were your positions?
JS: I played football, baseball, and basketball. In football I was a WR early on then played DE later. In baseball I played Catcher, Shortstop, 2nd base, Center Field, and Left Field over the years. In basketball I played Point Guard.
SC: Soccer- goalie, Football- QB/WR, swimming, track.
KSK: I played baseball and boxed mostly.
SS: Played soccer until 2nd year of HS, shattered knee 2nd year. Was defender.
GG: Anchor; sounds funny but I was the last (best) bowler on our team. A serious bicycle accident when I was 7 (serious thigh fracture — almost lost my leg) really took away contact sports. So bowling was it.
DM: I actually play Semi-Pro football; I play quarterback.
Any shout outs or last words?
DM: I just want to say how excited I am to be a part of this, and I can’t wait to join and help out whichever organization takes a chance on me.
JS: All fight and no quit. Give 110% each and every day. Don’t stop until the clock reads 0:00. It doesn’t matter if it’s practice, a game, or just a walkthrough you give everything you’ve got and do your job. I’ll see you on the field.
SC: No shout outs, lol.
GG: I would like to thank all the GM’s and Head Coaches that have an interest in me and bringing me on their team. Looking forward to being a contributor on any team I am drafted too.