Category: 2016

Preseason Training Begins – 8th January 2017

On Sunday 8th JANUARY, the Saints senior team will begin preseason training with their annual team combine.

This event is for rookies and veterans alike, which is carried out at the state of the art 4G dome at the Oxford Academy.

If you are interested in being involved with the Oxford Saints, you can attend the session and see what you think. Sign up information here – http://www.oxfordsaints.com/rookies

ABOUT THE SESSION

Players will be divided into groups and rotated through various stations, each of them designed to asses fundamental skills and drills for American Football.

– 20 yard shuttle
– 60 yard shuttle
– 40 yard dash
– Broad jump
– 60 kg bench press

The session is not considered a ‘Try Out’ for the team, as the Saints looks to accommodate players of all types and abilities. The session will however serve as an opportunity for the coaching staff to evaluate the 2017 squad, observe player attitudes and identify areas for improvements.

To the individual, it should be fun and educational, also giving them an opportunity to see where they stand against existing players and other rookies, whilst highlighting areas that they could improve and how best to do so.

(all times are recorded using manual stop watches, so are not 100% accurate)

20 YARD SHUTTLE

The 20 yard shuttle drill measures change of direction, agility and the ability for a player to be explosive off the mark.

Most if not all football positions require players to be quick over a short area and be able to change direction with speed and precision.

2016 Leaders:

GAIN, David (rookie RB/WR) – 4.18

WALTER, James (veteran RB/TE) – 4.20

DUNSTAN, James (veteran DB) – 4.24

BEARMAN, Michael (veteran DB) 4.25

SWIFT, Tom (veteran WR)


60 YARD SHUTTLE

The 60 yard shuttle drill is another great test of acceleration, quickness in changing direction and anaerobic endurance, over a longer test.

Breaking down and making fast, controlled turns are crucial for most positions.

2016 Leaders:

GAIN, David (rookie RB/WR) – 11.15

WILLIAMS, Jason (rookie WR) – 11.22

BEARMAN, Michael (veteran DB) – 11.28

SWIFT, Tom (veteran WR) – 11.62

ARMSTRONG, Sam (veteran WR) – 11.65


40-yard dash

 

40 YARD DASH

The 40 yard dash is probably the most well known of all combine-style tests. Most important for receivers, running backs and defensive backs,  the test gives a baseline for how fast a player is.

Ideally the time would be measured at 10 yard intervals as the rate of acceleration and how long it takes a player to hit their top speed is key.

2016 Leaders:

GAIN, David (rookie RB/WR) – 4.50

SWIFT, Tom (veteran WR) – 4.66

MAULDING, Destin (rookie WR) – 4.66

WILLIAMS, Jason (rookie WR) – 4.72

GIBBS, Adam (veteran DB) – 4.81


BROAD JUMP

The broad jump is another great way to measure how explosive a player can be. This test evaluates a players ability to explode out of their stance and propel their body forward, a vital skill for football.

2016 Leaders:

GAIN, David (rookie RB/WR) – 2.84m

WILLIAMS, Jason (rookie WR) – 2.84m

SWIFT, Tom (veteran WR) – 2.75m

GIBBS, Adam (veteran DB) – 2.73m

ARMSTRONG, Sam (veteran WR) – 2.71m


bench-press_0

60 KG BENCH PRESS

A new test for the Oxford Saints combine, the bench press measures strength and endurance. Players are required to complete as many reps as they can under supervision of a qualified fitness instructor.

2016 Leaders:

BENTLEY, Stephen (veteran RB/LB) – 45

HOLMES, Calvin (veteran LB) – 40

WALTER, James (veteran RB/TE) – 37

WILLIAMS, Jason (rookie WR) – 36

WRIGHT, George (veteran DE) – 33

Next Rookie Session – 11th December

We’re holding our 2nd recruitment session this Sunday at Tilsley Park for players and staff interested in joining the Saints for 2017.

Following an excellent 2016 season, the Saints have been promoted to Division 1 and are looking to grow the team further.

For full details and to book your place at the session, please go to www.oxfordsaints.com/rookies.

Rookie training sessions are designed to be an introduction to the fundamentals of American Football, which will be ran by our qualified coaches and experienced players.

RB James Walter – By Gareth Brown

The sessions do not require you to have any experience but players who have previously played with other teams are encouraged to join too.

Club spokesman James Dunstan said “The 1st rookie session on 27th November was a great success, with near 40 new players in attendance. There was real potential on show at the session, including a few players with experience at university or other senior teams”.

The session on 11th December will wrap up the year before weekly training begins on January 8th.

With Division 1 football coming up in 2017, the British American Football Association are due to announce the conferences shortly, which will determine the opponents for the Saints.

Saints Finalist in Oxfordshire Sports Awards

We’re excited to announce that the Oxford Saints senior team is a finalist for Team of the Year, in the 2016 Oxfordshire Sports Awards

 
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Representatives from the club will be attending the prestigious event at the Kassam Stadium, home of Oxford United Football Club.

Entering it’s 11th year, the Oxfordshire Sports Awards looks to showcase the “best that Oxfordshire has to offer in sport and physical activity”. Over the years, the event has grown in popularity and success with nominations from across the county.

The Saints had a remarkable season in 2016, achieving their first undefeated record in the club’s 30+ year history with 13 wins and 0 losses. On 11th September, the Saints were crowned Division II Champions when they secured victory in the national final, defeating rivals the Cambridgeshire Cats in a convincing 24-2 display.

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The team has been extremely successful in developing home-grown talent whilst also attracting experienced players from across the country to choose Oxford as their team.

Saints chairman Graeme Taylor said:

“This is a great testament to the work that the club has been doing over the last few years, and I would like to thank the backroom staff, coaches and players for their continued hard work and dedication.

To be selected as a finalist for the Team of the Year award has capped off what has been a truly remarkable year for Saints football.

Regardless of the result on the 27th January, the Club will look to build on our successes this year and continue to prepare for the 2017 season in Division 1”

Sports Team of the year – Sponsored by Grosvenor
Oxford United Football Club
Oxford Saints American Football
Harlequin Bowmen Compound Clout Team

You can view the full details of all finalists in the 2016 Oxfordshire Sports Awards here: http://www.oxspa.co.uk/finalists

Oxford Lancers 2016/2017 – Season Preview

Head Coach Adam Goldstein breaks down the upcoming season

Adam Goldstein

On Sunday 13th November the Oxford Lancers travel to Bristol to face the UWE Bullets in their first game of the season.

With the promotion to Division 1 South West, we play UWE Bullets, Exeter Demons, Solent Redhawks and the Cardiff Cobras. We play two games this term and then six in the next term. We play our games at Oxford Brookes Wheatley campus and we always welcome anyone to come down and support our team.

View the 2016/2017 schedule

The team has changed dramatically over the course of the summer. Many of the vets that helped the Lancers go undefeated in the regular season last year have graduated, leaving just a small group of around 10 experienced players left.

The newly elected student Executive worked tirelessly to recruit, knowing full well that a squad size of mid twenties would simply not be enough now that the Lancers have been promoted to Division 1. We now sit at around 40 squad players, but during our first two pre-season games; Vs our Old Boys and then against local rivals, Oxford Brookes Panthers, we have picked up some injuries already.

However we can proudly say that going into this game we should be looking to kit up more players than ever before. Last year our Varsity game against Cambridge (which we won for the first time in team history) we had a team record of 28 kitted Lancers. We hope to break through the 30 mark on Sunday.

The game was played at Tilsley Park in Abingdon, which is also home to the Oxford Saints and provides excellent facilities for American Football.

Oxford Lancers VS Cambridge Pythons – Varsity Highlights

Coaching

From the coaching side we have shuffled a few things around too and picked up some great experienced coaches. Andy McKenzie (Head Coach who steered the Lancers turn around in 2014 to take us onto a 12 game win streak), moved away from Oxford. However he is still on the coaching roster as “football consultant”.

Our quarterback guru/coach Marcel (the Swiss national team quarterback) moved back to Switzerland. Our linebacker coach Thomas Casson has gone back to Loughborough to play for them in the Premiership and Jamie our defensive line coach and former Lancer has moved to London.

The team elected running back coach Adam Goldstein to be Head Coach and Offensive Coordinator, while Oxford Saints player and long standing Lancer coach, Ian Hiscock is now the defensive coordinator.

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We have brought in two other Saints players to help bolster the defense. The Saints’ 2016 Most improved Player, Deke Morton, is our new defensive line coach, while linebacker Rob Coates will be leading the linebackers for us this year. We have also added former Great Britian player Ronie Twumasi to coach the defensive backs.

On the offensive side of things, we are continuing with Johnny Lynn with the wide receivers, Adam with the running backs, former Lancer Ben Lacey with the offensive line and former Lancer quarterback Pan Christoforou with the quarterbacks.

Women’s Rookie Session – Monday 7th November

Come try American Football with the Oxford Saints Women’s Team

The Saints Women started this year and are currently recruiting new players. Women’s American Football in the UK is growing at a very fast rate, with new teams being formed and hundreds of players across the country showing what they can do.

Come down to our rookie session at Wheatley Rugby Club on Monday 7th November and try your hand at a new and exciting sport that is growing rapidly. We are the only dedicated women’s team in Oxford, and ready to expand.

– Wheatley Rugby Club
– Oxford – OX33 1QL
– Arrive for 19:00

We don’t require any previous playing experience to join. Our coaching team are dedicated on developing new players, and there are positions to suit everyone.

Come with plenty of water, studs and mouthguards if you have them. Open to ages 17+.

 

Rich Bloomer looks at the 2016/17 OBU Panthers

A look at the Oxford Brookes University Panthers ahead of their 2016-2017 Season

Report by Saints veteran Rich Bloomer

The Oxford Brookes University (OBU) Panthers have some work to do after last season. After a disappointing year for a variety of reasons on and off the field, they are looking to change minds.

I’ve enrolled this year as TE/DL and I will be giving my feedback on how the season is going, along with which players you should be watching out for.

UPCOMING GAMES

OBU Panthers – 2016/2017

DateHomeScoreAwayCompetition
2016-11-13 13:00:2013th November 201611 - 6BUCS - 2A South West
2016-11-27 13:00:4427th November 20167 - 21BUCS - 2A South West
2016-12-04 13:00:554th December 20168 - 33BUCS - 2A South West
2016-12-11 12:30:3611th December 201612 - 17BUCS - 2A South West
2017-02-12 13:00:0412th February 201718 - 2BUCS - 2A South West
2017-02-19 13:00:0619th February 20170 - 40BUCS - 2A South West

THE COACHES

The team continues to be led by Head Coach Nick Wykes, who has recently come off an impressive undefeated winning streak with the Oxford Saints senior team, claiming a National Title.

As part of the Saints, Coach Wykes was the defensive coordinator and created a team that did not leak points, conceding an average of just 8 points a game.

Nick Wykes

Alongside his responsibilities with the Saints, Wykes is back at the Panthers with defensive coordinator Toby Durant. Durant is another Saints veteran and defensive line coach. He also handles NFL correspondence for realsport101.com and has an impressive knowledge of the game, looking to impart his knowledge onto the students.

Special teams will see the return of Phil DeMonte from the Swindon Storm and will also be supporting our running backs. As for the supporting cast, Mat Paixao (LB), Charlie Waters (CB) Michael Bearman (DB) and Jack Geerthsen (WR) all support their specialist areas respectively.

As for the team themselves, they are looking strong in their pre season warm ups. The team train 3 times a week and works hard in the gym making sure they are ready for what faces them this year.

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OFFENSE

As we go into the first pre season game there seems to be a dead heat for the quarterback (QB) position.

Jack Gray and Tate Butcher are both returning second year players and looking to fight over the starter spot. Both are very agile in the pocket and look to use their speed to expose weak defenses. Both have similar play styles and it will come down to who can perform in game situations and under pressure.

I have a lot of confidence in them both and at the moment, it looks like it will be made on a toss of a coin!

These boys need protection though. The Panther offensive line (OL) is built around speed and power. Experienced second year OL players like Jamie Pierce, Rob Towler, Luke Withers, Stuart Thorpe and Ollie Lashley are not what I am used to as an OL corp. These guys are quick and they pack a punch. These lads give the QB’s the time they need to find their targets.

Rob Howard has personally impressed me a lot in the pre season and if he sticks to his current rate will be fighting for the OMVP title at the end of the season.

Alongside JJ Gibbs the WR position seems set for the panthers and the rookies will be biting at their ankles to take these two down.

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Inside at the TE position you have returner James Whybrow, a skilled big body guy who runs routes like a WR and is a serious vertical threat.

The running game is spearheaded by three very different types of runners. Callum Glass and Cedric Cools are small agile backs and will make players miss tackles.

On the flip side the versatile back of Cameron Christie looks more like a TE than a FB and his height will prove difficult to cover in the passing game.

ROOKIES TO WATCH: This is not a case of the game being sewn up for these returners. The Uni season always brings players keen to try out new things. Arran Gulliver RB and Alex Stafford TE will be getting a lot of reps this year. So watch this space.

DEFENSE

On the other side of the ball you have some huge strengths in this team.

The defensive line will cause problems for people this season. The defensive ends play two very different roles and will be used in a variety of ways. Both big highlight material returners and both looking to cause havoc for offensive co-ordinators.

Stuart Thorpe provides a blistering burst of speed backed up with good strengths and a highlight player. Max Honigsbaum provides the strength and power that will stop any tackle in their step. In the middle you have Jake Connolly, this 18 stone veteran will be blocking anything coming up the middle to let the DE duo have a field day.

If a play gets through to the second level they will be met by Jack Shepard marshaling his core of line backers. One linebacker to look out for is Ollie Morgan. This fridge shaped gentleman will be a real threat and I am excited to see how he does in the game!

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Alongside him and fighting for reps will be converts Rob Smith and Josh Rowan.

Finally you have the little guys at the back, kept in check by club president Ian Whitehead. The feisty DB controls the secondary and brings a level of intensity that I was not expecting at the University level. This guy is a role model for the University game and I expect a lot from him this year.

Now supported by Alex Wright, previously from the Colchester Gladiators, makes our secondary strong and should not struggle with the passing game. CB’s James McGurk and Ben Smith will be our men out on the island and complete a very strong secondary unit.

Finally every team needs one of those “he can do everything” kind of players and the one to watch this season will be Freddie Kuhle. This DB/DE is one of those players and I am expecting him to bring something different when we need it.

ROOKIES TO WATCH

There are gaps for the rookies to really shine in the defense this year. Tim Edwards LB and Dan Goodchild DB will look to fight the starters for their positions this year. Both very green to the game but showing great potential as the season progresses.

The OBU Panthers open their season to the Plymouth Blitz deep down in Devon. As an undergraduate with the Blitz I should have mixed emotions about this game. However, they changed their team kit to an odd blue colour now, so I have no feelings anymore and we will be looking for our first in the W column.

PANTHERS AT THE SAINTS

The Oxford Saints have been closely tied to the Panthers for many years, seeing a range of uni players joining up with us to try out some senior football.

We look forward to welcoming new Panthers who wish to develop their American Football skills at the next level with the Saints in 2017.

The standout name is RB/TE James Walter, a graduate of OBU who has been with the Saints for several seasons now and is a huge factor in the team’s offense. Watch James Walter open the scoring in the 2016 Division II Final below, catching a pass for a touchdown from QB Destin Maulding.

Walter has rushed for 1,000+ yards in back-to-back seasons, breaking personal records and winning team awards.

On September 11th 2016, he helped lead the team to it’s first undefeated season in club history and a 24-2 victory over the Cambridge Cats in the Division II Final.

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7
Name
James Walter
Nationality
gbr United Kingdom
Position
Running Back
Hometown
Cheltenham, ENG
Height
6'3
Weight
230
Current Team
Oxford Saints
Past Teams
OBU Panthers

Senior Team

SeasonTeamAttYdsAvgTDRecRec YdsRec. AvgRec TD
2012Oxford Saints144.002425210.55
2013Oxford Saints893584.01271555.72
2014Oxford Saints766408.452627710.77
2015Oxford Saints14811037.514201869.33
2016Oxford Saints15412568.8191838621.47
2017Oxford Saints-------0
Total-46833610391151256024

Many other Panthers have contributed to the success of the Saints in recent years, including Ryan Kingshott (RB), Mike Turner (CB), Ken Snider (DL), Harry Brookmyre (QB), Jake Geerthsen (WR), James Sharples (QB), Bradley Maybury (WR), Dale Hooper (DB), James Ferrigno (RB).

Ryan Kingshott is a dominating force for the Saints and he helped seal the win in the Division II Final. See his big touchdown below: