Category: No Category

Saints In The Playoffs: Round 1 Preview

PLAYOFF ROUND UP

The Oxford Saints have qualified for the playoffs and, if they are able to defeat the Swindon Storm on Sunday, they will be entering the playoffs with an unbeaten record.

By finishing top in the SFC II West Conference, the Saints claimed the #2 seed in Division II South and a home game for the quarter finals on 21st August.

The revered #1 seed can only be achieved if the high flying London Hornets were to suffer a loss or tie against the Wembley Stallions, on 14th August.

Oxford will enjoy home field advantage through the quarter finals and semi finals (if they make it), with the big showdown for the Division II South title being played on neutral ground at the John Charles Stadium, in Leeds.

In this article we’ll be taking a look at the possible match ups that will occur for Oxford at Tilsley Park on 21st August.

 

SPONSORED BY NORTH OXFORD PROPERTY SERVICES

NOPS Professional

We’re delighted to announce that North Oxford Property Services (NOPS) have partnered with the Oxford Saints to be the Gameday Sponsor for the quarter final on 21st August.

A word from NOPS:

There are many property service companies based in and around Oxford. At North Oxford Property Services, we are a little different, our team of proactive property experts go the extra mile to meet the needs of our tenants and landlords alike. We are trusted and valued by our clients.

Whether you are a prospective tenant, landlord or investor you can be sure that our friendly and committed approach to working will give you peace of mind. Our team’s extensive knowledge and experience of the Oxford Property market is second to none, our advice is always up to date, reliable and practical.

Let NOPS take the strain out of renting, letting or investing in Oxford.

Visit http://www.nops.co.uk/ to find out more.

 

 

OXFORD VS WEMBLEY STALLIONS

wemA squad that has reportedly racked up a fair few injuries, they’re unlikely to be able to turn the tables on the #1 Hornets on 14th August in their final regular season game.

With the Cambridgshire Cats sitting at 7-3 plus holding the H2H (head to head record which is the primary tie breaker) over the Stallions, the Stallions will likely slide in to the #7 seed in the SFC II conference.

This means that they will be travelling up to play Oxford in the quarter finals, where it’ll be down to the Saints to try and put these Stallions out to pasture…

 

OXFORD VS BOURNEMOUTH BOBCATS OR EAST KENT MAVERICKS

mixThe SFC II South is the closest division around with a single game currently separating the leaders, Berkshire Renegades, from the two teams below them at 7-2.

Those two teams are the East Kent Mavericks and the Bournemouth Bobcats, who both only have one fixture left of the regular season and it’s against each other.

With the Mavericks having lost when they travelled to Reading last weekend and the Bobcats currently holding the H2H (head to head record which is the primary tie breaker), having beaten the Mavericks 29-14 earlier in the season, there’s not a lot separating these two and it could go either way.

If the Hornets do end up stumbling against the Stallions on 14th August, then Oxford would clinch the #1 seed and play the loser of this match up.

 

OXFORD VS CAMBRIDGESHIRE CATS

catThe Cambridgeshire Cats have had a season full of “almost” and “not quite”.

Ending the season at 7-3, those three loses came at an average of just 1.3 points per game. Obvious contenders in their own division, but liable to miss out on the second spot if the Stallions manage to best the Hornets on 14th August.

The slip ups in the season, where they were reportedly unable to finish potentially game winning drives in the 4th quarter, seem to have been dealt with following the win over the Stallions in week 13.

The Cats enter the playoffs on the back of a 3 game winning streak, the most recent win was a 31-13 victory over the Ipswich Cardinals.

There’s a fair amount of rivalry between the Cats and the Saints, not only the long standing competition between these two historic University towns, but the Cats have ended the Saints playoffs runs the last two times they’ve met in the post season.

 

OXFORD VS CORNISH SHARKS

sharFor the Saints to face the Sharks there would need to be a few unlikely events taking place, but it is still a possibility.

The only one that the Sharks control is that they would need to beat the Apache by less than 7 points on 14th August whilst also conceding less than 30 points.

The Saints have already faced the Sharks twice in 2016, winning both games 36‑12 and 28-10, at home and away respectively.

With a good knowledge of what the Cornwall side are able to do there should be minimal on field surprises, but this third match up has everything riding on it for both sides so expect no punches to be pulled should it take place.

Written by Chris Fox

Game 3: Oxford Put Trojans To The Sword

Score

Team1234TotalOutcome
Torbay Trojans00077Loss
Oxford Saints92871458Win

Video Highlights

Statistics available here

On Sunday 8th May, the Oxford Saints extended their winning streak with a 58-7 victory over the Torbay Trojans

Following wins over the Cornish Sharks and the Bristol Apache, the Saints moved to 3-0 and top of the conference table with a convincing victory  on the road over the Torbay Trojans.

With a travelling squad of 60 players, the host team were outnumbered from the start and throughout the contest, the Saints were able to rotate players frequently to take advantage of the situation.

1st Quarter

The opening few drives saw Oxford’s defensive unit dominate, making tackles behind the line of scrimmage and forcing Torbay to punt the ball away from poor field position.

Oxford’s offense looked strong early on under the leadership of quarterback Destin Maulding, with running back #24 Rob Johnson moving the ball well on the ground.

Running back #7 James Walter found a lane looking certain to score, driving a pile forward at the 1 yard line. The Saints however would have to wait for their first points, as the ball came loose and was recovered by the Trojans.

James Walter claims 3 touchdowns on the day
#7 RB James Walter

With Torbay pinned back against their own endzone, the Oxford defense applied pressure with linebacker #51 Sam Stancombe making the tackle behind the line to score a 2 point safety.

Following the defensive score, Oxford’s offense deployed the speed and agility of running back #20 Kev Brooks in the backfield and quickly marched their way into scoring distance.

Rob Johnson punched it into the Torbay endzone from 6 yards out with rookie kicker Sam Fielden adding the extra point. 9-0 Saints.

Torbay took over on their own 20 yard but were unable to crack the Oxford defense. Quickly punting the ball away, the Saints offense were back on the field from Oxford’s 16 yard line.

Toni Athanasiou scores a touchdown

#44 RB Toni Athanasiou

2nd Quarter

Oxford’s momentum continued as they returned to the power run, this time introducing running back #44 Toni Athanasiou who finished the drive with a 13 yard touchdown, on which Fielden’s extra point was good. 16-0 Saints.

Oxford in control with 16 unanswered points at the start of the 2nd quarter.

On their next drive, Torbay’s quarterback Harrison Yeates attempted a pass downfield but talented Oxford free safety Bilal Redd intercepted the ball and returned it back to the Torbay 19 yard line before being stopped.

Destin Maulding handed the ball off to James Walter who outpaced the Trojan defense for 19 yard touchdown run. Another good extra point kick saw the Saints pull away to 23-0.

QB Destin Maulding leads the team to it's 3rd victory

#14 QB Destin Maulding

After another impressive stand from the Saints defense, who were rotating in newer players for experience, the offense took to the field at their 20 yard line with James Walter now in full stride and looking dangerous.

Maulding passed the ball to Walter who gained a quick 38 yards on the play against the Trojan defense. Walter finished off the drive with an 11 yard touchdown run. The extra point was good, 30-0 Saints.

Still in the 2nd quarter, Oxford were on the march again with running from Walter and Athanasiou reacing Torbay’s 21 yard line.

A strong run dive from full back #42 Luke Fry saw him dragging three Trojan players on his back to the 6 yard line before being brought down. Maulding then handed the ball to Walter who continued to out run the opposition and crossed into the endzone. Fielden’s kicking remained consistent, with Oxford moving to 37-0.

13164274_1031763583566705_4641600094988707388_n
#7 RB James Walter

Torbay attempted a long field goal as they looked to get onto the scoreboard, but the 60 yard attempt from Tim Sandercombe went wide to the left.

Due to the score difference, league rules required a running-clock which accelerated the remainder of the game and removed several clock stoppages, which in turn limited the amount of plays that were made.

3rd Quarter

With Oxford receiving the ball to start the second half, the offense set to work and in the first drive Maulding connected with wide receiver #89 Tom Swift on a deep pass. Swift set the afterburners alight and raced away down the sideline before high-stepping out of a last ditch attempt to bring him down.

The 64 yard score marks the young receiver’s first touchdown for Oxford, playing his 2nd season of American Football.

The extra point by Fielden was good, 44-0 Saints.

13198444_1031763966900000_2838552693428908812_o
#89 WR Tom Swift

4th Quarter

In the 4th quarter the Saints offense was on Torbay’s 1 yard line and the ball was handed to offensive lineman #64 Tyson Blackstock, who was lined up to be handed the ball. Blackstock used his power and size to push through, scoring a further touchdown for Oxford.

Using the comfortable scoreline to further refine plays and personnel, the Saints attempted a 2 point conversion after the score and Maulding completed a short pass to Walter, extending the lead 52-0.

The next Trojan drive was ended sharply with Bilal Redd claiming his 2nd interpcetion of day, this time finding room and returning the pass for 37 yards.

13221075_1031718106904586_5671729857843678464_n
#16 FS Bilal Redd

Maulding took over once more and the Saints were soon on the Trojan 10 yard line. Maulding found tight end #83 Richard Bloomer uncovered in the endzone. Torbay’s defense managed to block Fielden’s extra point kick, who had otherwise been perfect, 58-0 Saints.

The Torbay offense finally managed to find a spark and tore open a lane which yielded a 60 yard gain, setting up Harrison Yeats for a 10 yard touchdown pass in the back of the endzone to receiver Simon Jeffries. Kicker Tim Sandercombe added the extra point and closed out the game at 58-7 to Oxford.

Stat Leaders

On offense, James Walter led the day with another strong performance gaining 94 yards and 3 touchdowns on 8 carries. He also made 3 receptions for 57 yards.

Following Walter, Rob Johnson gained 90 yards and a touchdown on 9 carries with Kev Brooks gaining 74 yards on 6 carries.

Receiver Tom Swift caught 3 passes for 73 yards, including a 64 yard touchdown marking his first score with the Saints.

Quarterback Destin Maulding attempted 13 passes and completed 7 for 140 yards and 2 touchdowns, with 1 interception.

On defense, heavy player rotation saw a wide distribution of tackles throughout the day with defensive back Mike Turner and linebacker Eric Mendoza leading the way with 5 and 4 tackles respectively.

Free safety Bilal Redd had another strong performance with 2 interceptions for 39 yards.

Linebacker Sam Stancombe claimed a safety early in the game, giving the Saints their first points.

13173497_1031717273571336_3649503240183314127_o

#51 MLB Sam Stancombe

Summary

A solid, professional performance from Saints controlled the game from the first quarter for Oxford, with big contributions from all around the team.

Defensive MVP was awarded to Bilal Redd for his two interceptions and Offensive MVP to Luke Fry for powerful running, even when losing a boot from his foot. The entire team were awarded Team MVP for maintaining focus throughout the game.

Oxford now claim the top spot in the Southern Football Conference II West, with an undefeated 3-0 record. The Saints now have  another journey south towards Dorset on 22nd May to play league newcomers, the Jurassic Coast Raptors.

Oxford will be planning to solidify their position by going 4-0 against the Raptors,  then all focus will be turned to the highly anticipated fixture against the Swindon Storm on 12th June.

[fb_embed_post href=”https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.1031715666904830.1073742056.390191134390623&type=3/” width=”550″/]

Game 2: Oxford Dominate In Comeback Win Over Bristol

Score

Team1234TotalOutcome
Bristol Apache760215Loss
Oxford Saints00141226Win

Statistics available here


[perfectpullquote align=”full” cite=”Andrew Day – Head Coach” link=”” color=”#FF0000″ class=”” size=”14″]The heart and desire shown by the lads was something else. Not only coming from a 2 score deficit at the half, but to totally dominate the second half scoring 26 points to Bristol’s 2 and in the end running out as comfortable winners.
 
I’m really pleased with this win but we wont rest. We know that only continued hard work on the practice ground will keep us going in the direction we want.” [/perfectpullquote]

 

On Sunday 24th April, the Oxford Saints defeated the Bristol Apache to claim their 2nd win of 2016

Following two thrilling fixtures between Oxford and Bristol in the 2015 season, the re-match last weekend on Bristol’s home turf was no different.

The Saints returned from a 0-13 deficit at half time to claim a 26-15 win, with an exceptional performance from both the offense and the defense, which the Apache were unable to match. The contests from last year proved that both teams had high power offenses who were capable of scoring at any moment.

Oxford VS Bristol – Offense Stats

1st Quarter

Bristol began with the ball and on the first play, quarterback Simon Harris completed a deep pass over the middle for a 19 yard gain, with the receiver being brought down by free safety Bilal Redd.

Linebacker Spencer Duffy asserted his position on the field and made back to back tackles for a loss of yards to end Bristol’s opening drive, including a sack on quarterback Harris.

With Oxford beginning their first drive under the leadership of new quarterback Destin Maulding, the Saints struggled to make progress against the Apache defense, with running back Kev Brooks being stopped for minimal gains.

A fumbled ball (recovered by Oxford) set the Saints back 16 yards and forced them to punt the ball away.

With Bristol back in possession, Oxford made another strong stand with middle linebacker Sam Stancombe leading the defense.

Despite picking up yards on the ground, a penalty against Bristol set them back and tight coverage from defender Misha Brooks prevented Harris from connecting with his targeted receiver.

13041245_10153755624069563_1748239563160377878_o

Strong safety Martin Fitzpatrick goes low on Jon Walters


With both teams probing for weaknesses, the Saints began to move the ball in the form of running back Rob Johnson, who picked up 18 yards and a first down on the drive.

Coming up short on 4th down, Destin Maulding attempted to convert for another first down himself but was tackled for a 2 yard loss.

With Bristol in possession, Harris went to the air and found progress against the Saints defense. Further strong running from Jon Walters saw him charging into the endzone for a 14 yard gain to open the scoring for the day.

Christopher Jones kicked the extra point and the host team took a 7-0 lead.

2nd Quarter

Throughout the 2nd quarter, both teams attempted to find the endzone but defiant defenses by Oxford and Bristol dominated the proceedings. Combinations of runs from Rob Johnson and Antonios Athanasiou picked up yards on the ground but the Apache defense prevented any meaningful gains.

Oxford’s defense remained strong across the board with more tackles from Spencer Duffy and Dean Bryan.

With the Saints offense knocking on the door, Maulding and his crew were in scoring distance and only needed a few more yards to cross into the endzone and find the equalizing score.

Disaster struck and the ball was stripped away from the offense by Bristol defender Dariusz Wiercioch who then raced the length of the field and across the Oxford goal-line.

The extra point kick was no good and the Apache took a 13-0 lead.

13064485_10153755624679563_4602389658599430007_o

Running back James Walter rampages


Late in the 2nd quarter, the Oxford offense found it’s usual fire when James Walter was switched from tight end to running back before being unleashed on the Bristol defense.

Walter picked up 6 yards on his first carry before breaking out for a 30 yard gain the play after. Further running from Walter was accompanied by a 24 yard gain from team-mate Grant Tebb, who eluded several defenders as he charged up the field.

With the endzone in sight again, a pass from Maulding was intercepted by an Apache defender and Bristol once again stopped the Saints from getting onto the scoreboard.

20160427120540

Oxford VS Bristol – Defense Stats


With Bristol looking to add another score before half time, they were moving the ball on the ground well with more tough running from Jon Walters who was supported by an offensive line clearing a path for him.

Although with tackles being made by Bilal Redd, Eric Mendoza and Duffy, Bristol continued to pick up yards with each play.

Duffy fired up the Saints sideline when he landed a big hit on quarterback Simon Harris for a 10 yard sack, which also forced the ball to come loose. Defensive end Adam Baker reacted immediately and dived on the loose ball to to claim possession for Oxford.

Despite an 18 yard carry by Walter, the Saints ran out of time in the first half to add points onto the board.

13076975_10153755623979563_4781149698363204900_n

Defensive end Adam Baker recovers the fumble


3rd Quarter

At the half time interval, Head Coach Andrew Day and Defensive Coordinator Nick Wykes addressed the team and made several adjustments.

Coming into the 2nd half ready to go, Oxford began with possession and it was all James Walter as he charged across the field, picking up 47 yards on 5 carries before crossing the goal-line from 3 yards out to score a touchdown.

Kicker Sam Fielden attempted the extra point kick but it was no good, but the Saints made it a one-score game narrowing the deficit to just 13-6 in favour of Bristol.

With quarterback Mike Hindmarsh taking over duties for the Apache in the 2nd half, Oxford strong safety Chris Fox dealt a blow early on with a 7 yard sack on Hindmarsh as he attempted to scramble and find space.

Hindmarsh and the Bristol offense were able to keep the drive alive and continued to progress up field until Bilal Redd claimed his first interception with the Oxford Saints, leaping high in the air to snatch the pass from Hindmarsh.

13087477_10153755624229563_7597088810622618064_n (1)

Free safety Bilal Redd leaps for his first interception with Oxford


Walter continued to have a break out game as he continued to wreak havoc against the tiring Apache defense, running for 49 yards in a single play before being brought down.

In Bristol territory, Maulding completed a deep 21 yard throw to Grant Tebb in the corner of the endzone, who managed to reel in the touchdown pass despite close coverage by Apache defenders.

Head Coach Andrew Day made the decision to attempt to take the lead instead of kicking the extra point to tie the game. He kept Maulding on the field and the quarterback rolled out, throwing a pass to tight end Richard Bloomer who was uncovered in the corner of the endzone, giving the Saints an additional 2 points. 14-13 Oxford.

Oxford’s defense closed the 3rd quarter on a high note with a further sack on the Bristol quarterback, this time forcing a 7 yard loss at the hands of linebackers Graeme Taylor and Dean Bryan. The defense continued to put pressure on the Apache with further tackles from Baker, Bryan, Mendoza and Stancombe.

13094419_10153755624244563_619178072701233349_n

Tight end Grant Tebb hauls in a touchdown pass


4th Quarter

The relentless James Walter continued to be an unstoppable force and was on track for a record breaking performance, with a run for 26 yards and then a touchdown run for 49 yards into the endzone. The kick was no good but the Saints moved to a more comfortable 20-13 lead.

Oxford’s brutal defense continued to over power the Apache and the next drive saw defensive end Conor Whitehouse land a 7 yard sack on Hindmarsh, followed by a 9 yard sack from Stancombe on the next play, forcing Bristol to punt.

The Saints marched down the field again with running from Walter and Athanasiou, before Maulding handed the ball to full back Luke Fry who charged untouched into the endzone for a 28 yard score, marking his first career touchdown with Oxford.

Fielden attempted the extra point kick but it was deflected and a Bristol defender scooped up the loose ball and returned it to the Oxford endzone, awarding them 2 points. 26-15 Oxford.

As the final whistle was blown, the Saints celebrated their victory over the division favourites in what Oxford considered a must-win game.

13072823_10153755623404563_3672804273591094344_o



Conclusion

A strong win for Oxford which is underlined by the outstanding performance from the defensive unit, which only conceded a single touchdown in the first half and prevented the Apache from scoring any points in the 2nd half.

On offense, Walter ended the game with a remarkable achievement and a personal record of 270 rushing yards, the majority of which were earned in the 2nd half of the game. An average of 10.8 yards per carry. He also contributed two touchdowns and was named Team MVP (most valued player) for his standout performance.

These kind of stats and his ability to create momentum for his team reaffirms the logic behind Walter being called up to the GB Squad, potentially playing his first game against Russia in September if he makes the gameday roster.

The game was also the first for new player David Anthony who filled in occasionally at nose tackle. It was noted by the defensive coaches that he had a very strong first game and his stand out performance was driving the Bristol centre deep into the backfield and taking him to the ground.

Following the game, Oxford chairman Andrew Peart explained how much respect he has for the Bristol Apache organisation and firmly believes that match ups between our two teams are always guaranteed to be exciting displays of American Football, a testament to the game in the UK.

The Saints now have a week of training before travelling to the Torbay Trojans on Sunday 8th May. View the full schedule

Statistics available here

13055847_10153755624464563_3794905493429456300_o

Reactions

[perfectpullquote align=”full” cite=”James Walter – RB/TE” link=”” color=”#000099″ class=”” size=”14″]I’m extremely proud of the team this weekend; for not getting disheartened despite being down by two scores at half time.The decision of the HC to move myself to running back at the start of the second half proved crucial as we managed to drive the majority of the field and score, thus providing the spark to turn the game around.
 
Inspiring players all over the field such as Rich Christian’s sterling performance as part of a revitalised offensive line against a heavy blitzing Bristol defense; combined with some outstanding plays from all over our own defense.
 
It’s always amazing to hit new records, 270 personal rushing yards almost exclusively in the second half is phenomenal. Our offense is going from strength to strength with playmakers all over and I don’t see why both the team and myself cannot go on to set more records this season.” [/perfectpullquote]

 

[perfectpullquote align=”full” cite=”Nick Wykes – Defensive Coordinator” link=”” color=”#000099″ class=”” size=”14″]We had a slow start on Defense, but these players love a challenge and a few minor adjustments allowed us to play with a bit more freedom and importantly get ourselves onto the front foot against a very technically accomplished offense.
 
We have playmakers right across the unit and today was a disciplined, focused and very promising performance. 7 sacks and 2 turnovers while giving up only one score to last years finalists and division favourites tells me we are pointed in the right direction.
 
A lot of things we need to go away and tidy up, but today the Defense showed real character and played their part in a very imposing team performance[/perfectpullquote]

Calories and Macros explained

You may have heard a lot about calories in recent years, especially with the inclusion of nutritional information on the front of most products stating the amount of calories per serving. But what is a calorie?

Although we associate calories specifically with food, a calorie is a unit of energy and therefore applies to anything containing energy.

For example, a litre of petrol contains 7,553 calories. More specifically if you remember physics lessons from school, a calorie is the amount of energy (heat) it takes to raise the temperature of 1 gram of water by 1 degree Celsius.

[pullquote align=”full” cite=”” link=”” color=”#FF0000″ class=”” size=”14″]Calories in relation to food are actually kilocalories (1000 calories = 1 Kcal).[/pullquote]

 

1. Why do calories matter?

The human body requires energy to function and we acquire this energy from the food we consume.

The number of calories we require to function varies from person to person due to a variety of factors such as height, weight, gender, age and activity level. Working out your daily caloric needs is made easy through the use of a BMR (basal metabolic rate) calculator.

For example: http://www.myfitnesspal.com/tools/bmr-calculator

How do calories relate to fat and exercise?

In short 3500 calories equate to 1lb of body fat, which is the body’s mechanism for storing energy for a rainy day. Therefore, if you consume 3500 more calories than you burn over a set period of time you will put on 1lb of body fat.

Consequently, if over the course of a week you burn 3500 more calories than you eat, whether by exercising more, eating less or a combination of both your body converts 1lb of stored fat into energy to make up for the deficit.

Does it matter where your calories come from?

If we talk simply about eating the same number of calories that we burn and only refer to weight then a calorie is a calorie, with a calorie from protein being no different than a calorie from fat.

[pullquote align=”full” cite=”” link=”” color=”#FF0000″ class=”” size=”14″]As long as you burn what you eat you will maintain weight, and as long as you burn more than you eat you will lose weight.[/pullquote]

However, if we talk about the more complex matter of nutrition, health and building muscle then the source of your calories is very important.

The three main sources of calories in our diets are carbohydrates, fats and protein which are known as macro-nutrients (Macros). Each of these macro-nutrients are important for a variety of reasons.

For example, our bodies require a certain amount of fat to function properly as fat allows your body to better absorb many of the vitamins you ingest, yet an excess amount of vitamins can have serious health consequences.

[pullquote align=”full” cite=”” link=”” color=”#FF0000″ class=”” size=”14″]Protein can be very important for individuals who partake in a lot of exercise, as your body requires protein to repair the tissues that are damaged through exercises such as weight training.[/pullquote]

http://www.myfitnesspal.com/tools/bmr-calculator

 


2. Facts – Proteins, Fats, Carbs

Proper nutrition is very important, especially if you want to see the best results from training programme. This is not simply consuming the adequate amount of calories; it involves the proper ratios and proper timing of macro-nutrient (Macros) consumption.

Macro-nutrients are nutrients that we need in large amounts, and mainly consist of Proteins, Carbohydrates and Fats. The body also needs micro-nutrients such as vitamins and minerals in much smaller quantities.

Each nutrient plays a specific role in body functions either individually or in combination with other nutrients.


 

3. Protein

Protein also plays a pivotal role in the body’s ability to build, repair and maintain muscle tissue. The word protein  comes from the Greek word ‘Protos’ meaning ‘of prime importance’. This is due to the fact that after water our bodies are largely made up of protein.

[pullquote align=”full” cite=”” link=”” color=”#FF0000″ class=”” size=”14″]Protein is made up of approximately 20 amino acids, 9 of which are essential as the body is unable to produce them and therefore relies on dietary intake. Amino acids are generally referred to as ‘the building blocks of protein’.[/pullquote]

As stated earlier, protein is essential in the growth and repair of tissues and therefore directly ties into recovery from working out. This is due to the fact that as you work out you are likely to damage muscle fibres, and it is the repair of these fibres that improve performance over time.

 

As additional muscle mass is a luxury to the body, any lack of adequate protein in the diet can cause the body to begin a process of breaking down tissues with a high protein content (I.e. Muscle) in order to meet its daily protein
requirements.

You may have heard of the bro-science term ‘positive nitrogen balance’, which refers to the body being in a state of having more than adequate protein available through the diet for both the daily requirements as well the additional requirements caused by working out.

But what does nitrogen have to do with protein intake?

One of the most important elements of all protein is Nitrogen, and is essential for tissue building. If you are in a positive nitrogen balance your body is likely in an anabolic state (building phase), whereas if you have a negative nitrogen balance you will likely be in a catabolic state (tearing down state).

What does this mean with regards to protein intake for muscle growth?

The consensus for the ideal protein intake level for muscular hypertrophy (muscle growth) is 1.5-2g of protein per lb of body weight. Although this can be achieved through high protein foods such as turkey, chicken and eggs this can be easily aided through the use of protein shakes.

What protein powders should I get?

The general consensus on how to judge the quality of a protein powder is the advertised amount of protein per serving. However, this is a poor indicator to the quality of a protein supplement. This is due to the fact that protein contains 4kcals per gram, so any variance stated on supplement labels comes from using varying scoop and serving size.

So when selecting a protein powder, one should attempt to gain a wider picture of the supplement by comparing serving size, carb and fat content.

Other good sources of protein:

– Lean beef
– Chicken
– Turkey
– Fish

 

4. Carbohydrates

As with most things, there has been a lot of varying advice flung around with regards to carbohydrate intake and bro-science advice such as carbohydrates (carbs) make you put on fat. However, this is quite simply not the case as carbs are the preferred source of energy for both the body and brain.

There are two types of carbohydrates, simple and complex.

The other important fact to remember is that too many calories in general can lead to fat gain as stated previously, which as people tend to eat far too many sugary/simple carbs which generally contain fats; it is easy to exceed your daily calorie requirement and in turn gain fat.

[pullquote align=”full” cite=”” link=”” color=”#FF0000″ class=”” size=”14″]In terms of trying to gain mass, you should aim to consumer 2-3 grams per pound of body weight. If however, you have a high body fat percentage aim for 1.5 grams per pound of body weight.[/pullquote]

You should try to intake mainly complex carbohydrates, as the only real time that it is beneficial to consume simple carbohydrates is with a pre/post workout and morning shakes.

Another time when simple carbohydrates are beneficial is during exercise which requires the body to maintain and produce high energy levels over a prolonged period.

For example during a rugby match, it may be beneficial to intake simple carbs to aid the body in providing adequate energy levels to continue performing to a high level.

Sources of complex carbohydrates:

Complex:

– Whole grains
– Oatmeal
– Brown Rice
– Sweet potatoes
– Beans, lentils and peas

Simple:

– Fruit Juices
– Sugary Sweets such as jelly babies
– Sugars


 

5. Fats

Fats (lipids) are the most energy dense of all the three macros, containing 9 calories per gram of fat. Like proteins fats are composed of a range building blocks, in this case it is fatty acids.

There are three main fatty acids:

Saturated

Saturated fatty acids are mainly found in animal products, such as beef, pork, milk and some oils such as coconut oil. The main use of saturated fats by the human body is to make cholesterol, and despite popular believe cholesterol has a beneficial use in the production of hormones such as testosterone.

Polyunsaturated (PUFAs)

Polyunsaturated fats can be mostly in nuts, seeds, fish and leafy greens, and increasing the intake of PUFAs have been shown to help lower cholesterol. Although lowing cholesterol can aid in reducing the risk of cardiovascular diseases, it is important to limit the intake of PUFAs as it can also lower the levels of good cholesterol as well.

PUFAs can be used to make Trans fats through a process known as hydrogenation, which hardens vegetable oils into
solid foods such as margarine.

Monounsaturated Fats (MUFAs)

Monounsaturated fats are generally considered as good fats, being liquid at room temperature, they turn solid when chilled. Common sources of MUFAs are Olive oil, sesame oil, nuts and avocados. MUFAs are recommended above PUFAs as they can aid in the reduction of LDL (bad cholesterol) without lowering HDL (good cholesterol)


 

6. Conclusion

In conclusion, it is important to maintain an adequate amount of fat in your diet to aid the body in maintaining hormone production. However, one should be aware of the type of fats in their diet as to garner the benefits of fat intake whilst negating any negative effects.

How to Track Your Diet?

The easiest way for an individual to track their diet is by filling out a diet journal.

This is a simple method which allows for an individual to accurately track calorie and macro consumption, which in turn will allow for evaluation of a diet and identification of the areas in which one can make improvements.

Although this may sound like a complicated way to keep an eye on your diet, applications such as MyFitnessPal are very easy to use and even have useful features such as:

– A Barcode scanner: This allows you to scan the barcode on the packet and instantly have the nutritional breakdown in front of you.

– A Large database: If you do not have a barcode to scan, then there is an ever growing database of foods containing most manufacturers. You will be hard pushed to not find the food you are searching for.

– Build your own meals and recipes: If you are consistently having the same meal then you can create your  own meal/recipe for quick and easy addition in the future.

– Varying goals: You are able to tailor your calorie and macro goals to your exact requirements, making tracking even easier.

 


 

References

How things work, “Calories and how they work” 2003

Game 1: Saints Christen New Home With A 36-12 Win

Score

Team1234TotalOutcome
Oxford Saints1577736Win
Cornish Sharks600612Loss

Video Highlights

Statistics available here.

 Game Report

On Sunday 10th April the Oxford Saints opened the 2016 season in front of a decent crowd with a 36-12 home win over the visiting Cornish Sharks.

Following a successful 2015 season in Division II Southern Football Conference West, the Saints made the playoff stage but fell in the quarter finals to the Sussex Thunder, who have since been promoted to Division I.

Competing in the same conference, the Saints will be looking for a deep playoff run and have made many improvements on and off the field in preparation.

12936529_1126266070770804_7787697200069120463_n

Moving to Tilsley Park in Abingdon, the Saints have agreed terms to play all home games at this new venue which has been recently renovated and a 3G field added.

An addition to the squad is American Destin Maulding as quarterback, bringing experience from playing high school football in the USA.

Matt Walsh, site manager for Tilsley Park was named the special guest and selected to perform the pre-game coin toss with the team captains.

Site Manager Matt Walsh tosses the coin - by gareth brown

Tilsley Park site manager Matt Walsh performs the pre-game coin toss, in recognition
of his support in making the move to Tilsley Park possible

1st Quarter

The Saints began with possession of the ball and made good progress with a strong performance from running back #24 Rob Johnson, picking up 25 yards on 3 carries.

On the 6th play of the drive, Oxford quarterback #14 Destin Maulding found the towering tight end #83 Richard Bloomer uncovered in the endzone and completed the pass for the score. This marked the opening touchdown of the season and Bloomer claimed the first score at the Saints new home.

Destin Maulding escapes a defender - by Chris Janes

Oxford’s rookie kicker #80 Sam Fielden lined up for the extra point kick but the ball was not set in place in time and instead holder Ian Hiscock made the call to scramble with the ball and pitched it to Richard Bloomer who attempted to run it in to the left for a 2 point score.

Just as he was being tackled, Bloomer successfully pitched the ball again to Sam Fielden on the outside, who ran it in for the 2 point score. 8-0 Oxford.

13002517_1128419027222175_4096818721756910180_o

#83 Tight end Richard Bloomer scores the first touchdown at Tilsley Park

The Sharks hit back quickly with a deep pass from quarterback #14 Peter Carlin which was hauled in by his receiver, costing the Saints heavily and brought the Sharks within a few yards of the endzone.

The play was reminiscent of when the two teams last met in 2015 and the Sharks went for the deep ball on the first play of the game, catching the Saints defenders off guard.

12973546_1128425650554846_7794152393651366905_o

Sharks quarterback #14 Peter Carlin

With Oxford’s defense attempting to rally and stop the quick Shark attack, Peter Carlin sneaked the ball across the line on only the 3rd play of the drive to score the touchdown. Looking to even the score with a 2 point attempt, Carlin’s pass was incomplete. 8-6 Oxford.

13000153_1128421770555234_8261894232778140796_n

#14 Peter Carlin after scoring on a QB sneak

The Saints continued to look on good form with Destin Maulding showing his talent and speed as he led Oxford’s offense towards the endzone again.

Maulding took off on one play and ran the ball up the sideline for a 9 yard gain and then capped the drive off by running the ball into the endzone himself for a 13 yard touchdown.

QB Destin Maulding - by gareth brown

#14 Quarterback Destin Maulding

Sam Fielden lined up for the extra point kick which was good, extending the lead to 15-6 for Oxford.

The Saints defense held strong on Cornwall’s next drive with tackles from #99 George Wright and #51 Sam Stancombe, bringing the ball carriers to the ground on back to back plays, forcing the visitors to punt the ball.

2nd Quarter

Maulding went to work on the next drive and completed a deep pass to tight end #6 Grant Tebb for a 21 yard gain, followed by a 19 yard pass to #83 Richard Bloomer who charged into the endzone for his second touchdown of the afternoon.

Fielden kicked the extra point and the Saints went up 22-6.

12977199_1128420193888725_8782805037098296793_o

#83 Richard Bloomer catches his 2nd TD pass of the day

Cornwall’s Peter Carlin and his offense were beginning to move the ball on the ground with short but consistent gains.

After picking up a first down, Oxford defender #52 Conor Whitehouse (later awarded Defense MVP) made an outstanding play and charged through Cornwall’s offensive line to deliver a big hit to the ground on the ball carrier, setting them back -5 yards.

The Sharks attempted to recover the lost ground with another run attempt but were stopped by #48 Graeme Taylor, forcing another punt.

Oxford Saints v Cornish Sharks

#52 Defensive end Conor Whitehouse makes a big hit on the ball carrier in the backfield

Oxford’s next drive saw this biggest pass play of the day with quarterback Destin Maulding throwing a perfect ball 42 yards downfield into the talented hands of Grant Tebb, hauling in the reception for a huge gain and to applause of the Saints sideline and spectators.

Running back #7 James Walter, selected for the GB National Team in the offseason, attempted to move the ball on the ground but the Sharks had already identified him as the key threat in the game and worked hard to minimise his impact.

Oxford Saints v Cornish Sharks

Tight end #6 Grant Tebb puts in a strong shift to open the season

A deep pass intended for Walter was contested in the air but fell incomplete, forcing the offense to punt the ball away for the first time.

Closing out the 2nd quarter, Whitehouse delivered another solid tackle for a loss of yards on the Sharks ball carrier, with teammate Sam Stancombe claiming three tackles on the same drive, allowing the Sharks offense minimal or no gains.

12967394_1128424950554916_6027366178666872041_o

#7 Running back James Walter

3rd Quarter

With the Sharks beginning the 2nd half with the ball, the Saints defense began to increase the pressure with #54 Dean Bryan and Stancombe stopping the ball carrier on the first play for no gain.

On the next play, linebacker #68 Calvin Holmes read the quarterback’s movements and intercepted the pass from Carlin, racing it 35 yards into the endzone for a touchdown with thunderous cheers and applause from the fans.

Watch Calvin Holmes’ interception return for a touchdown

Fielden remained on perfect form in his first regular season game and kicked the extra point.

The remainder of the 3rd quarter saw both teams unable to find the endzone but an improving Sharks defense, which managed to sack the nimble Maulding for an 8 yard loss and successfully kept the Oxford offense out of the endzone.

12971054_1128420373888707_448561351903155385_o

Kicker #80 Sam Fielden kicks the extra point

4th Quarter

The Saints defense continued to be formidable with tackles from Graeme Taylor, George Wright and tackles for loss of yards by Calvin Holmes and rookie #55, Eric Mendoza.

In the air, defender #3 Ian Hiscock broke up two pass attempts and prevented Carlin from connecting with his targeted receivers. George Wright delivered a punch with a sack on Carlin to end the drive, delivering the Sharks a -6 yards loss.

Later in the 4th quarter, the Sharks were in scoring distance after a stalled Saints drive turned over possession of the ball deep in their own territory. The ball was handed off to #21 Mark Womble who ran into the endzone from 15 yards out for a touchdown.

12967394_1128422820555129_7082181476896484652_o

Womble attempted to run the ball in again for the 2 point conversion but was unsuccessful.

The final drive for the Saints offense saw Walter and Tebb bearing the load with both players moving the ball well up the field. From 20 yards out, the ball was put in the capable hands of Walter who charged towards the endzone and easily out ran the the Cornish defenders in pursuit, claiming his first touchdown at Tilsley Park.

12977002_1128426123888132_6715172358111253560_o

#7 Running back James Walter after scoring his first touchdown of the season at Tilsley Park

Fielden kicked another successful extra point and the hosts ended the game with a 36-12 victory.

Awards

Team MVP – Grant Tebb

Offense MVP – Richard Bloomer

Defense MVP – Conor Whitehouse

Special Teams MVP – Conor Whitehous

Summary

Division II – Southern Football Conference West

PosTeamWLPFPAStreak
110039490W10
27330995L1
373248109W3
437133275L2
51850246L4
61933352W1

Also in action this weekend in our conference was the Swindon Storm who defeated the Jurassic Coast Raptors. Meanwhile, the Bristol Apache took down the Torbay Trojans.

With lots of rookies and 2nd year players in action, the 2016 Saints performed well in the season opener against their old rivals. Following another very productive offseason, the team has recruited well with approximately 90 registered players.

Before each game, the coaching staff select the 60 players they want for the game squad so competition in training remains intense as veterans are challenged by newer players.

32518 Tilsley-Park-logo-vis03

Off the field, negotiations to move home games to Tilsley Park has seen the Saints sign a great deal so that we can deliver a greater gameday experience for our fans, players and our opponents.

The feedback on our first game at the new venue was very positive and we now have a solid base to build upon. The freshly laid 3G field gives our players an excellent playing surface and the stands give visitors a much improved view of the action.

Cfr0jAVWcAAQryQ

photo by Hayley Cox

The addition of a PA box and sound system means we can create a fun atmosphere with music before, during and after the game, along with commentary and sound effects (any Patriots fans notice the touchdown horn when Calvin Holmes returned the interception?).

The Oxford Saints now have back to back road games as they travel to Bristol, Torbay, Dorset and Swindon.

The next game for Oxford is 24th April against conference favourites, the Bristol Apache. Full schedule  available here http://www.oxfordsaints.com/schedule/.

Photos

Photos courtesy of  Gareth Brown Photography have been uploaded. Check out their excellent work below.

[fb_embed_post href=”https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.1128418833888861.1073741863.219624901434930&type=3/” width=”550″/]

Preview: Saints VS Sharks

This SUNDAY the Oxford Saints host the Cornish Sharks in week 1 of the Southern Football Conference West (SFCW).

The fixture will see the Saints christen their new home venue at Tilsley Park, a sports and athletics club which has recently undergone massive renovations. The game this weekend will be the first official event using the new facilities, with teams taking to a brand new 4G pitch which was completed in recent weeks.

Tilsley Park manager Matt Walsh has been asked to perform the pre-game coin toss as our special guest, in recognition of his efforts and support in getting American Football hosted at this great location.

After months of planning, visits and negotiations, we are ready to show our players and fans the fruit of our labour. The majority of the Saints players and staff will be visiting Tilsley Park for the first time.

10170922_1105976939466384_2757886461448485789_n

Over the years Oxford has played against the Cornish Sharks many times and there is a long-standing rivalry between our clubs, with games always being competitive and hard hitting. This makes the Sharks a perfect opponent to begin our season and we look forward to welcoming them as our first contest of 2016.

Oxford Saints Chairman Andrew Peart has been instrumental in making this change in his first year in the position.

Peart commented:

“We go into our first regular season game of 2016 with a strong sense of excitement, confidence and humility. Excitement, as we play our first game at the fantastic Tilsley Park facility. Confidence, due to an excellent preseason including valuable matches against top quality opponents – and humility, because the first two mean nothing unless we deliver on our potential against Cornwall on Sunday.”

“We’re extremely lucky at the Saints to have a dedicated and passionate fan base. This first game of the season is all about them. The coaching staff, committee and players have worked extremely hard in the offseason to build the sort of organisation that our supporters can be proud of.”

“We firmly believe we have everything in place to achieve this and we intend to start on Sunday. Every point we score, every tackle we make & every yard we gain is a thank you to you & your support”

“Things now get serious – see you at Tilsley!”

With lots of new players on a competitive roster, the Saints coaching staff have confirmed the 60 players they have chosen to represent the team in this opening game. Last weekend the Saints travelled to take on the Birmingham Bulls in a preseason contest and performed well against the higher-division opponent.

Rookie quarterback Destin Maulding led the team to a 24-16 win with a touchdown pass on the opening drive to James Walter marking his first score in a UK game (albeit preseason). Later in the game he ran in a touchdown himself and then handed the ball off to James Walter on the ground for a further score.

12963360_1009986509077746_4245962000787720916_n

Rookie kicker Sam Fielden also had a great start to the year and was successful in all of his first extra point kicks and a field goal, to go alongside strong kicking on kick-off.

With two preseason games in the books against the Bury Saints and the Birmingham Bulls, the team has completed a long preseason which began with rookie sessions in November and weekly training for the whole team from 3rd January.

Starting earlier than many clubs, the Saints are hopeful that the extra preparation and the effort to play against two higher ranked teams for preseason contests will return dividends as the regular season begins.

We hope to see you at Tilsley Park for our season opener, kick-off is 14:30pm and entry is FREE.

If you can’t make this game, be sure to check out our full 2016 schedule for further dates.

You can also follow us on twitter and facebook to receive score updates and other team news.