November 17, 2020
The Simulation Football League community has spent the last week voting on the top players, teams, games and community members, culminating in SFL Honors, Season 15! Honors begin with the Commissioner’s Franchise of the Year Award, which this season goes to the Jacksonville Kings.
The Kings are a top five in merchandise sales, have the second-most active locker room in terms of chat activity and was one of four teams to have perfect progression this season. Jacksonville also built a robust scout team, has coaches in SFLm, possesses the JaxDATA team, advanced to the quarterfinals on the field and – from start to finish this season was a model franchise in the Simulation Football League on and off the field.
“I am proud to present this award to the Kings organization today,” said Commissioner Cameron Irvine. “Jacksonville is an underrated franchise I think on and off the field as the team is still trying to find that first championship, but this team is strong in all areas of the game and have a first-class staff, led by team owner Frank Goodin. This award is well deserved. Every player in the organization was a part of making this possible and should be proud of their accomplishments.”
Atlanta won the inaugural award in Season 14. All-Star Game Honors and rosters will be revealed Thursday afternoon.
MVP: Louisiana Revolution running back Reggie Streeter
Streeter dazzled the SFL in Season 15 with 2,246 rushing yards, which fell just short of a SFL record (Jaye Eniola, 2,387 rush yards – Season 11 MVP). He scored 24 rushing touchdowns and added 257 yards through the air and another score. Reggie now ranks 11th all-time in rushing yards with 7,718, now just 70 yards behind Jarrod McChesney (active, Denver). He surpassed his season highs of 2,162 rushing yards and 21 rushing touchdowns, which he got in London in Season 13 – that makes two 2,000-yd seasons in his last three campaigns.
In his first opportunity to make the postseason in four seasons of work, Streeter dazzled again with 443 rush yards in just two games with six rushing TDs, averaging 8.1 yards per carry.
Offensive Player of the Year: Atlanta Swarm quarterback Bryant Dynasty
Forget Offensive Rookie of the Year, Dynasty took the crown in his first season, filling the shoes properly for Season 14 MVP and Championship Game MVP Marcus Dunhill. Dynasty led the league in passing touchdowns with 28, becoming the first rookie to lead the league in touchdowns since ET King in Season 9. He racked up 3,782 pass yards and a QBR of 96.8. Dynasty through for a season high 410 yards in a 41-34 shootout loss to the Denver Nightwings in a battle of the league’s last two champions. He dazzled on opening night with four touchdowns and zero interceptions against the eventual champion, Baltimore.
Dynasty was unable to close it out against Vancouver in the playoffs, but did throw two postseason touchdowns and for 326 yards in the contest.
Defensive Player of the Year: Louisiana Revolution strong safety Tank Bennett
Nominated last season but trumped by Queen City’s Jeff Duffy, Bennett gets over the hump this season after leading the league in tackles back-to-back seasons when the team was in New Orleans. In Season 15, Bennett was a more complete player, still racking up 115 total tackles, but he also recorded a career high 11 interceptions, including a crucial one in overtime against Tulsa that resulted in a Revolution win early in the season. Bennett also had five pass deflections and a forced fumble.
In two postseason games he added 21 total tackles and scored another pick from the opposition. In five short seasons in the SFL, Bennett is already 29th in all-time tackle with 663 and ranks 16th all-time in interception return yardage with 499.
Special Teams Player of the Year: Denver Nightwings kicker Kramer Jackman
Jackman continues to be the greatest kicker in SFL history, reregistering another perfect season, but this time leading the league in field goals made and attempted – hitting all 33 in Season 15. Jackman now trails only Kole Varner and Shark Tarkington for career field goals made and his 132/133 career mark (regular and postseason) is unmatched by any kicker of the same ilk. He hit five field goals in the playoff win over Florida and in the regular season, made and attempted four field goals in three different games.
His 57-yard field goal in Week 1 against Las Vegas set a new SFL record. He later booted a 52-yarder against Carolina, a 55-yarder against Charleston and a 50-yarder against Las Vegas. He hit game-winning kicks against Portland and Charleston.
Offensive Rookie of the Year: Lone Star Glory tight end Adam Williams
It was the season of the tight end in the SFL this summer and rookie Adam Williams was a big part of that spotlight on the position. Williams was fourth overall in receiving yards (WR and TE) with 1,098 yards. Williams becomes the first rookie TE over 1,000 yards in a season since James Matthew Jr. put up 1,147 yards in Season 13. He also scored seven touchdowns and did so on 101 targets, the least amount of targets amongst the top nine in receiving yards in Season 15.
Williams’ 15.9 yards per reception was fourth-best amongst players who played every game this season. Another tight end – Atlanta’s Jamaal Wooding – led the league with 18.4 YPR. Williams finished the season with back-to-back-to-back 100-yd, touchdown performances, including 168 yards on 12 receptions (both season highs) in the postseason loss to the Florida Storm.
Defensive Rookie of the Year: Houston Hyenas outside linebacker Brody Gulch
Gulch led all rookies in tackles this season with 127 total, was one of only three players to recover two fumbles this year and returned both for a touchdown. Gulch also forced a fumble, swatted away six passes and had 10 tackles for loss. A first-round draft pick, Gulch had 17 total tackles in Week 2 against Arizona and 16 total tackles in Week 3 against Lone Star, making an impact early and often in Houston’s season. He had nine total tackles in the playoff loss to Jacksonville.
Gulch isn’t the first rookie home run for Houston. Quarterback Kentez Johnson won Offensive Rookie of the Year in Season 11 and Everett Garrison won Defensive Rookie of the Year in Season 12.
Rich Pratchard Commentator of the Year: Play-by-play broadcaster Tim Hackett
Hackett burst on to the scenes in the inaugural minor league season after doing some public address work at Duke University and as a studio host for Learfield IMG College. Hackett’s professional delivery and style followed in the footsteps of Rich Pratchard, who was one of the first broadcasters with professional experience to seek the SFL out as an outlet to hone skills and make a name. Hackett, recruited by and paired with Mike Improta, called the SFLm Championship and regularly called SFL games in Season 15. He called the postseason overtime thriller between Jacksonville and Houston.
Hackett wins the inaugural award, named after the late great Rich Pratchard, SFL play-by-play and analyst commentator who tragically passed away at 50 years old during the season. Broadcasters carry on his legacy every SFL broadcast.
Moment of the Year: Rich Pratchard touchdown after his passing
In memoriam, the Vancouver Legion took the field the Sunday after the loss of Pratchard, hosting the Mexico City Aztecs. Just before the end of the first half, Pratchard caught a touchdown pass in honor of his legacy. He would go on to catch four more, including one in the playoffs against Atlanta. He caught five receptions for 35 yards in the game against the Aztecs and had a season high 10 receptions, 225 yards and two touchdowns against Lone Star in Week 2, including a Top 10 play of the season on a 67-yard scamper.
Game of the Year: Vancouver’s Wild Wild Card comeback
Down 23-0 at home late in the first half, the Vancouver Legion scored 41 points in a row, eventually holding on for a 41-33 win after a near-comeback from Atlanta fell short. Vancouver scored their first touchdown with 0:36 remaining in the second quarter and took a 28-23 lead just four minutes and 14 seconds later, with 7:22 left in the third frame. In the quickest turnaround of any game in league history, Vancouver did what they did down the stretch of the season – scored in bunches leaving opponents scratching their heads.
SFL Partner of the Year: Eleven Sports / For the Fans
Eleven Sports and For the Fans continues to bring the SFL game to thousands of viewers every week. Playoff ratings on digital platforms were up this season, paced by a huge Saturday quarterfinal doubleheader that averaged 2,426 viewers for the Baltimore/Mexico City game and 2,495 viewers during Florida and Denver. The Championship Game between Baltimore and Sioux Falls soared to an average of 3,508 viewers. In October, SFL viewers averaged an impressive 46 minutes per viewer and the league was consistently one of the highest-rated shows on the network. While definitive ratings are not calculated on Eleven Sports, it’s expected to be 35% higher than digital platforms, according to household reach and network executives.
The cable/satellite network also broadcasted the league’s schedule release show, minor league championship and first round of a historic Rookie Draft that saw over 100 new players get drafted into the league. Viewership on the networks have increased every season since the league joined the lineup mid-way through Season 13.
Coaching Staff of the Year: Baltimore Vultures
En rout to the franchise’s first title, Tim Johnston and Jack Wigmore led a talented coaching department that juggled adversity, a tough schedule, a lot of close wins and plenty of anxiety to cap a championship season. Baltimore became the first team to win two road playoff games in a season since Queen City won three in Season 8 to claim that franchise’s fourth title. They erased the memories of the semifinal exit – Tim Johnston was 0-5 in semifinal contests before beating Denver 44-34 in Season 15 in the snow.
Baltimore also became the first team to defeat a team in the Championship they lost to in the regular season since the Season 7 Minneapolis Maulers knocked off the unbeaten Louisville Wolfpack. Thomas Paterniti won two titles at the helm of the Maulers and as Co-Owner of the Vultures, is now stepping back into coaching starting in Season 16 after the team announced he’d be the team’s Offensive Coordinator next season.
Community Ambassador of the Year: Dave Axis
With 3x champion of this award Ashley Jackson finishing a close second, Dave Axis has been named the Community Ambassador of the Year for Season 15. His show ‘Axis Live’ on Twitch sprang consistent coverage of the league two nights a week every week all season and off-season long. He’ll be the first to tell you that his talented production team has helped the show become what it is today, but his variety of shows and causes – from honoring the military veterans of the league, to charity work, to his outreach to players across the league has made him a voice of the community that is appreciated and respected.
A champion on the field with Atlanta in Season 14, Axis currently plays for the Lone Star Glory alongside Offensive Rookie of the Year Adam Williams and serves as the team’s General Manager.