#Sapphire17 | Baller of the Week – Round Three

Division One North

Leeds Carnegie Coaches
Photography by Duncan Gray - see more of his work and purchase prints and downloads at Duncolm.co.uk
Photography by Duncan Gray – see more of his work and purchase prints and downloads at Duncolm.co.uk

Yes that’s right the baller(s) of the week are the Leeds Carnegie Chargers’ coaches. The situation that faced Connah Scholes and his staff at the weekend was their opposition had arrived to the tournament with the minimum number of players to begin playing. EKP then took a 86-6 drubbing by Manchester losing 2 more players. Leeds had the option of sending on their starters and putting EKP to the sword. Instead they offered EKP as many time outs as they needed to complete the game, scaled back on the heavy linemen sets and rotated players constantly leaving some of their GB stars sitting nearly the whole game. As a result the scoreline was half of what Manchester put up but EKP finished the game and finished the tournament. In this fine sport of ours a coach is often measured by their actions when the win is #in the bag’ so to speak. In this instance the Chargers set an example of the rest of the Sapphire coaches.

Division One South

Amanda Humphrey
Photography (c) Oli Coetzee
Photography (c) Oli Coetzee

On a day when their main rivals were rotating their players, Hertfordshire’s day was looking rather grim on paper needing two wins to guarantee a place in the finals -one win would end up in tiebreakers. With the entire starting backfield out through injury as well as two of the backups Amanda Humphrey moved across from LB to try and give the Tornadoes a viable running threat. Alongside her in the backfield was fellow turncoat defensive end Becky Martin at FB. Amanda played some old school iron (wo)man football scoring four of Hertfordshires five TDs on offence, while hitting double digits for tackles as well as three sacks and a forced fumble on defence. Fortunately for her the workload will be lifted for Sapphire 4 with the return of Glassborow, Anderson and Anusi.  With impressive numbers both sides of the ball it was easy to make Amanda our Div One South Baller of the Week.

Division Two North & West

Sam Parker

The first QB in the North to win this newly prestigous award. Sam Parker’s return from a year out has gone fantastically so far guiding Teesside to a 6-0 record and one hand on the Northern Crown they narrowly missed out on last year. This makes it two BOTW in a row for Teesside, but it is hard to argue when you look at the way they have manhandled the conference. On Saturday at their home tournament Sam tore opposing defences apart with gunslinging passing TDs ol’ Brett Favre would have been proud of. Parker’s main target, Aishah Waithe, has also returned this year after missing last season with injury and GB staff duties and it’s good to see the mojo is still there. Our spies have obtained footage of Sam Favre and her risky but bountiful passing game. With guts to throw passes like that you’ll either be a hero or a zero, but this time…. you are Baller of the Week.

Division Two South & East

Emma Arnold
Photography (c) P&M Photography
Photography (c) P&M Photography

If you told me we would be awarding BOTW to a player who only played in one game I’d tell you it better have been an MVP performance. Well it was. We’ve had our eye on Emma this season as a potential baller and Sapphire Three was where she lit the tournament up. Her numbers on the day speak for themselves: 10/16  for 7TDs. That’s an incredible feat for just one game of football. Division Two tends to be quite run heavy due to the smaller field, and lacking the likes of Kilby and Green in Division One, but seven touchdowns in one game is something worth holding a protein shake aloft for! We shall be keeping an eye on this Air Raid Stallion offence on Finals day. Making the most of your 40 minutes by throwing seven TDs… that’s Baller of the Week material that is!



Header image Photography by P&M Photography