Written by Ashley Jackson, Image by Jeff Gagne
I firmly believe that any man’s finest hour, the greatest fulfillment of all that he holds dear, is that moment when he has worked his heart out in a good cause and lies exhausted on the field of battle – victorious.
There is nothing like the smell of a a fresh cut football field sitting ready for action. The energy and nostalgic feeling that you feel from the sheer anticipation of starting a new season and the unknown possibilities that it will bring is priceless! All 24 SFL Major League teams took the field over the weekend to mark the SFL’s 17th season and it was one of the most exciting week one’s that we have had in a long time. Week one action included everything from high scoring aerial assaults, to teams losing by inches and even teams collectively scoring over 1200 yards of Passing Offense! Selecting Players Of The Week was difficult because everyone seemed to #makeanimpact. Without further delay, here are the picks for week one!
Offensive Player of the week- Tom Pepper-QB-Vancouver
Speaking of high scoring games, the Vancouver Legion took on the D.C. Dragons and Vancouver won 55-52. Both teams came out firing on all cylinders but only one team could take home the win. Offensive Player Of The Week is Mr. Tom pepper, Quarterback for the Vancouver Legion. He helped put up some major yards for Vancouver by putting the ball where it needed to be and even though he did have 3 INTs and got Sacked twice, he brushed it off and helped lead his team to victory. Pepper grinded out 38 Completions out of 51 Attempts, 737 Yards, & 6 Touchdowns. Spreading the ball around and taking those shots down field is the formula needed to win so congratulations on doing so Tom!
Runner Up-Phoenix Jones-RB-Mexico City
Runner up for Offensive Player Of The Week is Mexico City Aztecs Running Back, Mr. Phoenix Jones. The Mexico City Aztecs won 31-17 over the Lone Star Glory and it was largely because Matt Wilson relied on Jones to come through in the clutch when the Receivers are jammed up. Jones had 28 Carries for 229 Yards and 3 Touchdowns to go with an average of 8 Yards Per Carry. His longest Carry was for 39 Yards and he also had 4 Receptions for 25 Yards. The Phoenix always rises from the ashes and this week was no exception. Congrats Phoenix!
Honorable Mention-D.R. Sim-WR-Houston
Honorable Mention goes out to Mr. D.R. Sim, Wide Receiver for the Houston Hyenas. In a impressive win over Portland Fleet, 48 to 17, Sim showed why he is a Hall Of Famer by having 9 Receptions for 195 Yards one Touchdown. He also averaged 21 Yards Per Reception this game and his longest Reception was 55 Yards. Congratulations D.R.!
Defensive Player Of The Week-Geralt Winkler-FS-St. Louis
Defenses have a bend but not break mindset when defending their end of the field. The Defensive Player Of The Week, Mr. Geralt Winkler, FS of the Gladiators, displayed this mentality and more this week. St. Louis Gladiators won over the Tulsa Desperados 24-17, and Winkler worked to ensure that takeaways were a major part of his game play. He made 2 Tackles and 6 Assists but where he really shined was the 3 INTs for 36 Yards in key moments. You can’t win if you don’t score and Winkler made sure that he disrupted Tulsa’s plan to do that. Congratulations Geralt!
Runner Up-John Nevels-LB-Carolina
The Carolina Skyhawks celebrated a big win over the Louisiana Revolution 31-17, and Runner Up for Defensive Player Of The Week made sure his presence was felt on the field and he is Mr. John Nevels, LB for Carolina. Nevels made an impact on this game by having 3 Tackles and 4 Assists, but his 2 Sacks and 2 TFLs helped to dial up a W for Carolina. There are many levels to Nevels and during the course of the season, QBs will come to know this very well. Congratulations John!
Honorable Mention-Ashley Rose Finch-CB-Vancouver
Honorable mention goes out to Ms. Ashley Rose Finch, CB for the Vancouver Legion. She was able to make 11 Tackles, 6 Assists, 1 Pass Deflection, and 1 INT for 2 Yards. She is a veteran in the League and knows how to keep shining no matter where she goes. Congratulations Ashley!
Special Teams Player Of The Week-A.J. Levye-SS-Sioux Falls
Two teams that had something to prove from their performance last season were the San Diego Mavericks and the Sioux Falls Sparrows. Sioux Falls won 33 to 20. The Special Teams Player Of The Week knew exactly how to contribute positively in that team win. He is Mr. A.J. Levye, Strong Safety for Sioux Falls. Not only did Levye have 5 Tackles, 2 Assists and 1 Pass Deflection, he also had 4 Kick Returns for 156 yards and 1 Kick Return Touchdown that went 93 Yards! Truly impressive performance from another veteran in the League. Congratulations A.J.!
Runner Up-Shark Tarkington-K-Baltimore
In a big win over the Los Angeles Lycans, the Baltimore Vultures prevailed 57-10, and to put the icing on the cake with his reliable leg, Mr. Shark Tarkington, Kicker for the Vultures had 5 Field Goals made out of 5 Attempts and his longest Field Goal was 45 yards. The coaches rely on Tarkington to come through in clutch situations for those necessary points and he does season after season. Congratulations Shark!!
Honorable Mention-Paw T. Pawtai-K-D.C.
And finally, Honorable Mention goes out to Kicker, Mr. Paw T. Pawtai of the DC Dragons. He had 2 Field Goals made out of 2 Attempts and his longest kick was 45 Yards. Congratulations Paw!!