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Raptors End of Season Review and Awards Evening

Raptors End of Season Review and Awards Evening

Andy Judd30 Sep 2017 - 21:07
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Raptors End of Season Review and Awards Evening

The Jurassic Coast Raptors entered the 2017 season back in April with hopes of winning four or maybe even five games in this, their sophomore year in the league. Although the season didn’t play out the way the Raptors had hoped, only one win in the end, there were numerous positives to take from the season.

The Raptors gave their best performances against the new-boys, Worcester Black Knights, winning on the road in the second game of the season thanks to a four touchdown performance in the first half, and holding on in the fourth quarter against a determined come-back effort from the midlands team. In the home fixture, the Raptors narrowly lost, despite a strong resurgence in the second half.

Against the Torbay Trojans at Home the Raptors conceded the first score, but took a narrow one point lead into the second half. Despite some great defence and a few fantastic offensive runs the Raptors couldn’t manage another score, and ultimately lost. The away leg was a bruising affair for the Raptors, however in the first half they played possibly their best football all season, again leading handsomely at the half, but due to injuries to key players the second half wasn’t as successful.

The Cornish Sharks have a small squad, but are a physically dominating team that love to run the ball and control the clock. they are rarely involved in high scoring games, and that trend followed for both games. The home the Raptors gave a good account of themselves in the first half again, the score 7-7 at the half and the Sharks were shaken, and there to be beaten. The second half was more one sided, the Sharks rallied and defeated the Raptors. The away game was the Raptors first shut-out of the season.

Swindon Storm are another physical team, but with a decent sized squad. Having said that, the Raptors started out by scoring on their first drive. Perhaps the Storm were still drowsy from the drive to Dorset, but that Woke them up! Despite the Raptors best efforts and scrapping to the very end, Swindon run out handsome victors. The Raptors next faced the Storm for the last game of the season, in Swindon. The Storm playing for a playoff berth. The Raptors were shut out for the second time of the season.

Bristol Apache were the class of the division in 2017. They went on to narrowly lose to the Berkshire Renegades in the southern conference semi-final. They play a more open style of football than Storm or Sharks. Although the Raptors did lose both games, they did well not be shut out in either game. The home game in particular, Bristol seemed intent on testing rookie cornerback Joe Southcott, who performed magnificently under duress all day, registering several pass break-ups and tackles, thoroughly earning his man of the match award.

The Raptors were only really outclassed in 2 games in the 2017 season, away against Bristol Apache in their first game of the season, and Swindon Storm in the last game of the season. Both of those teams made the playoffs. In every other game the Raptors gave a solid account of themselves for at least a half, though not able to pull out the win against anyone but the Worcester Black Knights. From a scoreboard perspective the Raptor scored 3 times more points this year and conceded on average one touchdown less per game than last season.

At the End of Season Evening the following club awards were handed out:

Rookie of the Year: Jamie Lamb-Foster (Fitz)
Most Improved Player of the Year: Sonny Chester
Clubman of the Year: John Evans
Offensive Player of the Year: Andrew Finlay
Defensive Player of the Year: Sean Tapping
Lineman of the Year: Gregg Bevis
Coaches Player of the Year: Max Barnett
Players Player of the Year: Sean Tapping

The Raptors are now excited to be looking forward to next season, and begin the preparation for the 2018 season, starting with another major recruitment drive and rookie events later this year to find and encourage new talent on to the squad.

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