As the season draws to a close and we must congratulate the winners and overachievers before we move on to Season 7. Let’s look back on the highlights and shine a spot light on the best of Season 6 and what to look forward to for Season 7.
Firstly, ultimately, we must congratulate our ultimate champions. The Bilbali Panthers are the cream of the crop for Season 6 coming though the Play Offs to defeat both the Kislev White Wolferines and the Broekwater Merchants on their way to the Lucky Strike Championship where they turned out a wonderful defensive performance to overmatch the Merchants and take home the title.
A Season where the Panthers snuck into the play offs by way of their second place finish in the Scheduled Games saw them play 19 games, going 14/4/1 scoring 49 touchdowns, conceding 19 and racking up 10 bonus points along the way. Their ability to consistently play defense has wowed fans and kept their turnover differential up. What a year for the Panthers, who were only a new team in Season 5 and already are champions. My expectation I that we’ll continue to see them turn out big in all formats of the game and contribute exciting players to the DLE draft.
Now for our first award of the evening!
Butkiks Award – First up, the award for the best Blitzer in the league. This one as always is extremely hotly contested and came down to a close finish. The committee awarded it to the player that most impressed them over an average season length and so our winner is:
Antoni Cedrum – Wow. That’s all I really need to say but Cedrum deserves more said about him to just simply demonstrate his greatness at this level. He matched talent with performance all season and scored 25 touchdowns, caused 17 casualties, completely dominating most every game he played in. As a Blitzer he even scored 4 touchdowns in one outing against the Dorfmark Defenders. His entire physical presence intimidates teams and most will be sighing in relief when he graduates the College system for the pros! He’ll go out with a ring and probably help any team he gets drafted to, to get one too!
Back to the season and recap a few Bowl Games
Luftnorsca Bowl– This Bowl game is usually played to host a travelling team against the odd man out if there are odd numbers of teams in the league. This year saw the Travelling Students match up vs Grey Mountain Griffins. Aggressive risky play from the Travellers saw them win this one as the Griffins gave up a few turn overs in a tough fought battle that ended up 3-1 in favour of the tourists. The tourists, whilst not a regular DLE7s team, have now racked up their second bowl win in as many appearances and unfortunately the Griffins slumped to their second defeat in two years at this stage. Season 7 is a fresh opportunity for these guys to start again and build towards their first win.
Nurgle King Bowl – This particularly unfortunately sponsored bowl game exists simply to celebrate the teams who have had a stinker of a year. This is not an opportunity to mock the game’ competitors but actually simply a chance for one of the bottom of the league to redeem themselves. This was indeed the case for the eventual winners – the Diamanterra WolfClaws running out on the right side of a 3-2 shoot out with the Norden Nauticals to not only secure Diamanterra’s first bowl win but literally their first DLE7s win after joining late in the season. The underdog wisely picked up a few magic items pre game that helped him secure some key casualties and sent the Nauticals home empty handed!
Let’s look at another positional award to showcase.
Bilenticatch Award – Catchers aren’t just expected to run up the field untouched, catch a well thrown ball and walk into the EndZone in College. There’s gritty special teams work, marking, assisting and even the courageous ballhawking. No bit part player will ever earn this award in one phase of the game and this was more than true for
Peter Bokor – Second place on the season with failure at the final hurdle but the Merchants do have gold to show off and maybe its because they sent Bokor to the pros early. Bokor was the most efficient offensive catcher the league had this year even while the Merchants didn’t prioritise winning every scheduled game as they made the play offs from the first DLE7s Blitz, Bokor continued to shine until his eventual leaving of the program. His touchdown total and contribution against time on the field were the things that barely set him apart from his competitors as the gaggle of talented catchers at the top of this award crowded out the top 5. Bokor brought a next level speed and matched it with ability to carry the ball long distances, running in 15 touchdowns racking up 308 yards in his 13 games this year!
Back to reviewing Bowl Games as we build up to the Heizmenz Award…
Painasonic Bowl – This Bowl game is historically played out between the two most unfortunate colleges that have suffered the most injuries during the season and this year was fought out between the Muckenhof Minotaurs and the Middenheim Mountain Wolves. Playing exactly to form, this game was somewhat determined by casualties! The Mountain Wolves edged this one against the underdog by taking out a few Minos early via Kos and then brutally injuring two later on. Middenheim went on to score through Kalashnikov and Weatherby taking a 2-1 win, adding to Middenheim’s impressive list of Bowl games they have won, including back to back Air Jordell Bowl wins in season 3 and 4.
Ded Bull Bowl – This Bowl game gets played out between the most dedicated to the league, the teams who played the most games! This season saw the Grunberg Bobcats face up against the newcomers, the Wurtbad Wyverns. Both teams saw a lot of players leave the pitch over the full 16 turns but with very little actual blood spilt, the two high stamina teams fought out a close one, only decided by an early first half trip by a Wyvern, allowing the Bobcats to swoop in and turnover the ball, setting the table for a 2-1 victory. Both teams played so many games this season, perhaps the tiredness set in as the Wyverns succeeded on less than 50% of their blocks, paving the way for the pressure they suffered. With all players walking away relatively healthy, season 7 should see a ton of games from these teams all over again.
We all know that the core to every team is how the linemen hold up and perform, so lets put the Bowl games to one side for one second as we recognise the meat and potatoes of any DLE7s roster with the…
Nagitski Award – When we talk about all rounders being important well there was only one potential winner here and it was a Hilltopper!
Chase Beck – Unfortunately this is being awarded posthumously to former Hilltopper, now just a Graveyard Topper, Chase Beck. Chase set the standard for Linemen before his demise, his physical attributes serving to back up his skills he learned through coach, working hard and on field experience. 11 passes, 4 touchdowns and carrying the ball for over 150 yards only speaks half the story for Chase. He really shone in breakdown plays where he can swoop in, around and beside to not only recover the ball but also shield fumbles, mark players and put the exclamation point on any mistake by the opponent. His career was cut short in a game against the Wharf Rats. Fans were sad to see when the apothecary failed to work at all and the favourite bit the dust on an unlikely successful hit. His memory will live on and this award will only serve to help recruit the next Chase Beck to the Hilltoppers academy.
Moving on from such a sorrowful celebration of a player’s season, we can look at another two bowl games as we move to those that really start to celebrate the teams that excelled throughout the season:
Block and Decker Bowl – This Bowl game was even attended by our own commissioner and he was proud of what he saw from the stands. Balls Out Blood Bowl 7s from whistle to whistle. Even after the end of regular time, you could not separate the Talabheim Teenage Sensations and the Marienburg Mountebanks and anyone would agree that whoever came out the loser after Overtime would be a very unfortunate team. Tyrone Disco of the Mountebanks brought home the win in an absolute ding dong battle that was waged over two and a half halves! The amount of almost plays and great defensive recoveries doesn’t show up in the scoreline which honestly could have been 8-7. Mountebanks came out on top though and they will take home the bragging rights in what was in my opinion, the Bowl game of the year.
Heinorken Bowl – This bowl annually matches up top teams with top defences and lets them go to town on each other in order to be top of the pops in terms of turnovers and clean sheets. Ironically, this one was a score fest and the Universite d’Artois ran out 3-2 victors against the Los Cabos Swabbies. This captivating spectacle made it to overtime before the Artois team from across the Grey Mountains walked home with the Golden Touchdown on the 20th turn after they lost the toss! The Estalia based Swabbies will admit to having a down season after sweeping awards and making it to the play offs only a season ago but they will be back with a vengeance next term. The Universite turn a season where the coach has had some time away from the game into one the fans will remember, putting them back into contention as one of the most storied schools in the league (while not the most prestigious).
We are quickly approaching the closing stages of our ceremony and we’d like to now recognise another player type, the lowly Thrower.
Spewnitas Golden Arm Award – The Thrower is an oft maligned position in DLE7s, the traditional 11 a side water carrier role is usually set aside for the faster but weaker Catchers in the more open version of the 7s game but we still get occasional brilliance from the athletes that choose the path of the Thrower and this guy was the best this year.
Tom Horn Jr – THJ flat out balled this season for the Teenage Sensations. His natural ability and speed mixed with his veteran leadership allowed his team to be play fast and flashy. 28 passes in just over 140 turns on the pitch? Flat out ridiculous numbers. As outlined in the preview he topped his position for rushing yards, passing yards and completions while also running in a rare touchdown of his own against Wurtbad. He’s already moved on and unfortunately wasn’t around to chip in for their Bowl game we talked about earlier but he definitely lit up their season in a way no one else did.
Two more Bowl games to recap before we get to our last positional award:
Air Jordell Bowl – This one pits the two teams that have the highest average touchdown per game score over the season against each other. A showcase for explosive offensive talent that will hopefully have fans thrilled with the skill and agility on display and this one didn’t disappoint. The St. Agnes College Kilted Saints ran out 4 – 1 winners against the Fort Solace Winged Pride in probably the most lopsided bowl game this season but the fans loved it as the comically nicknamed “Nuns” funnelled most of their play through game MVP Elena Ambrosino. The Winged Pride struggled to get into the game but did get on the scoresheet in garbage time through Tight End, Anthony Gonzalez, a Butkiks award nominee but rarely had any semblance of control on the outcome in a sloppy performance from a usually top notch offense. They’ll be looking to put that right but there are rumours that their coach may want to return to his roots in Remas.
Reeborc Bowl – Annually contested between the two teams that have the best TD and Casualty differential, showcasing the most efficient teams that just have the ability to take over games on all fronts. This year the Würzen Rams faced off against the Monte Castello Wharf Rats. In a result stereotypical of how these teams earned their way to the Bowl, this was a very close and measured affair with neither team edging it on player advantage but eventually the Wharf Rats were able to score very late to secure the 2-1 victory and the Reeborc Bowl. Unheralded Catcher, Jacob Walton was able to close out the game but the performance of Jay Teague caught the eye the most as this accurate Thrower also ran one in on the ground in the first half. The Rams will be disappointed as they narrowly missed out on the play offs and ended up being edged out in this contest but coach Sharkrudi will no doubt be brewing yet another plan for Season 7. Coach Oly1987 instead, will have time to enjoy the spoils of victory before he is back to moulding the next generation of Wharf Rat talent.
Outland Award – While we close out the categories, we seem to have all but overlooked last season’s Lucky Strike College Champions, the Kislev White Wolferines, in these awards. Well look no further than the Outland award to find their sole representative in the winners circle individually this year.
Jean-Amour Fazer – Jean-Amour is now a two time Outland winner with this award. He absolutely destroyed his competition two years in a row. How about that for impressive? In the metric that calculates the performance of all players he outstripped his nearest competitor by 60%! Never a scoring threat but the burly guy from Kislev boasted one of the best casualty conversion rates with 21 confirmed injuries off 179 blocks. Impressive stats and he managed to drive his team once again to the play offs, where unfortunately they lost to the eventual winners, the Panthers. Fazer now moves on to the pros as literally the most honoured Ogre in DLE7s history and should make a splash when a team picks this guy up!
Our last Bowl game now before we announce the winner of the best player in college, we’ll keep our players in suspense for 5 minutes more as we discuss…
The Chanelf Bowl – The Bowl game of choice for anyone who wants to watch the two most prestigious teams NOT in the play offs duke it out. The Rotenbach Piggybackers met newcomers the Dorfmark Defenders in a game to determine who might win their first Bowl game. The oft unfortunate Piggybackers strode home in imperious fashion on this outing however, breaking their duck of Bowl Wins, even being involved since the inception of the League. The Defenders, bereft of the superstar, Leopold Berger, who mostly got them to this game, had little answer and the Piggybackers shared around the touchdowns in a game where the team effort won out. Will the backers use this as a stepping stone to more wins next year? Dorfmark will definitely be back and I’ll be looking forward to seeing more of coach Yishwaagh in season 7.
Before we announce the final winner of the Heizmenz Trophy, Season 6, let’s look in on who the most prestigious Schools are in DLE7s:
The Merchants lead the way with the White Wolferines in tow. The Panthers, while winning it all this season, didn’t make up any ground as the Merchants and Wolferines made their names achieving other feats as well. Everyone else is waiting for the seasons that the Merchants have a down year as currently they are all losing ground on the behemoths at the top.
And now for the biggest award of the night! The best college player of the year, regardless of position….
the Heizmenz Trophy goes to…. Antoni Cedrum the Star Blitzer from the Championship winning Bilbali Panthers! His star performances outshone anyone else this season and he wowed all audiences with his skill and tenacity. More to come from this genius and hopefully we’ll see him grace the green of 11 a side Blood Bowl soon!
Thanks everyone for coming to this Awards Ceremony and being a fan of DLE7s. Hopefully Season 7 can be all the more special.