Blantyre Victoria Juniors FC Social Club opened it’s doors to the area’s young American Football talent as Lanarkshire Longhorns joined forces with Clyde Valley Falcons to present their annual Players’ Awards.
The Longhorns had a somewhat disappointing season after 2 teams withdrew from the league reducing the number of games they got to play. Their frustration was doubled when they narrowly missed out on their first ever play-off spot, losing out on points difference to Gateshead Senators.
Finishing joint second in the league did not however come without some fantastic individual performances and a growing sense of team identity, both of which were celebrated on Friday evening when the club came together to recognise some of this season’s key contributors.
Head Coach ,Graeme Clee, presented this year’s awards in 6 categories, highlighting the individual contributions of each player in terms of game statistics, team presence and influence, work ethic and desire to succeed. Each of this year’s winners displayed excellence in all these areas and richly deserved the acknowledgements of their Coaches and team-mates.
Coaches Award: Presented to the player who defines everything the coaches look for in terms of commitment; work ethic; team spirit and ability. This year’s winner is Defensive Back and Special Teams Captain – David McInally
Offensive MVP : Presented to the player who has made the most significant contribution to the team’s Offence, in terms of scoring ; receiving and rushing yards gained; and as a leader for the Offense as a whole. This year’s winner is Running Back – Andrew Steen
Defensive MVP : Presented to the player who has had the most significant impact on Defense, as shown by tackles; sacks; turnovers and also their motivation and leadership within the team Defense. This year presented the coaches with 2 players who had shown all these qualities in equal measure therefore a joint award was presented to Linebackers - Steven Munro and Mike Orr (Defence Captain)
Lineman MVP : Presented to a player who has displayed the necessary desire and commitment to excel at one of the less glamorous but vital positions in the team. Also reflected willingness to share skills and motivation with newer players. This year’s winner is Offense Line Captain – Anthony Dougan
Players’ Player : Presented to the one player who was seen by his team mates to embody everything that a winning Longhorn Player is about : skill; speed; strength; courage and team spirit. This year’s Players’ Player is – Andrew Steen.
Team MVP: Presented to the player who in the coaches opinion displayed an overall level of performance throughout the season, both at practice and on game days, which inspired other players and helped ensure the success of the team in every situation. Having played at almost every position from Full Back to Lineman, Linebacker to Running Back, the Lanarkshire Longhorns Overall Team MVP for 2011 is Offence Captain – William McLaughlin
The Longhorns made a special presentation to club chairman and Line Coach, Colin “Mac” MacMillan to express their thanks for his contribution in establishing the team and all the additional work he has done behind the scenes, promoting the team and the sport for young players.
Appreciation was also shown for the contribution of Lynne Samuel, Team Manager and club treasurer who has been actively involved with both the Longhorns and Clyde Valley Falcons in recent years and is having to take a step back due to the commitment involved in helping run 2 teams.
The Longhorns are holding their AGM at the John McCormack Community Centre, Carfin on Monday 12th December at 7.30pm. Anyone who is interested in becoming involved with youth American Football in the Lanarkshire area, in a big or a small way, is warmly invited to attend, details on website homepage www.lanarkshirelonghorns.com or Facebook (http://www.facebook.com/#!/pages/Lanarkshire-Longhorns-AFC/197221637844 )