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Head Coach Steve Lewis: U16s Home Tournament Review

Our home tournament this year was in jeopardy when our pre-arranged medical cover withdrew at short notice due to Covid-19. A special thanks goes to Martin Jefkins who, after considerable effort and stress, successfully managed to arrange replacement cover at around 5pm the day before, to ensure our squad of 23 could take to the field. Unfortunately, the week before, London Blitz pulled out of the tournament due to a lack of available players.

Our first opponents were the Hellingly Phoenix. On the second play of the game, a long touchdown (TD) run from Joey Williams opened the scoring for the Exiles. A comparatively low scoring first half provided only one more Exiles TD from Joe Clare. Meanwhile, two safeties from our defense, including one from Michael “Gametime” Alade, led to a 16-0 half time score.

In the second half, three more offensive TDs followed, including the first TD of the season for Kacper Frydrych and two more from Terron (TJ) Thompson. The defense also contributed an interception return for a TD plus another safety from Brandon Tennant and Rowan Shacklock recovered a fumble to extinguish another opposition drive. On the final play of the game, a hail mary pass resulted in a consolation TD for Hellingly and a final score of 43-6.

The Wembley Stallions were our second and final opponents of the day. A narrow 12-0 half time lead was provided by two of our previous TD scorers. However, getting into the opposition end zone was once again more abundant in the second half for the Exiles. Samuel Crabbe, playing in his first tournament as an Exile, ran in a score which was one of three for the team after the break sealing a 30-0 win. After the game, the Wembley Stalllions’ Head Coach stated: “It is tough playing you”.

Overall, our squad rotation saw promising young QB Damian Sparks running the offense which also gave debuts to Rohan Hurley, Jayden Smith and Myles Hule. On defense, Caleb Ehrim and Dillan Kader played in their first ever games. Logan Alexis and Aaditya Sharma continued to provide valuable rotation for the defense

Thank you to all our players for their efforts, the coaches for their input and hard work (including marking out the field) and the parents and supporters who attended and contributed to the success of our home tournament. As always, we are grateful to our opponents for coming down and fielding impressive teams.

We continue to seek friendly matches for the team, as the proposed fixture on 8th August unfortunately fell through. Our next fixture will now be on Saturday 21st August for the Hellingly Phoenix’s home tournament.