New England Football League WEST MVP'S | New England Football League
New England Football League

WEST MVP'S

MERIDEN, CT – 2013 was clearly the year of the Panthers in the AAA West Division. The team allowed less than 10 points per contest and topped the 30 point mark 5 times. &ldquot;This team had it all&rdquot; said an opposing player. Depth was this team's strength with multiple All Star performers scattered throughout their roster and sidelines. However there were a few standouts this year that earned MVP honors for their respected division:

OFFENSIVE MOST VALUABLE PLAYER: Jamie &ldquot;Rocket&rdquot; Bryant (CT Panthers) – Rocket collected 20 touchdowns throughout the regular season. His league topping 8 special team scores are amazing considering that he rarely was kicked to more than once per game. His performance in the post season may have secured this award for him. His 90 yard punt return against the Militia in the Southern Conference finals turned the game around for his Panthers. However that was trumped by his 301 total offense yard performance against the then undefeated Maine Sabers in the NEFL Championship game. &ldquot;He was easily the best player on the field that night&rdquot; said Western Mass Warriors Junior Williams, &ldquot;he's a special player.&rdquot; With a championship in hand, Rocket has clearly defined himself as one of the best ever to play in the NEFL.

DEFENSIVE MOST VALUABLE PLAYER: David Reese (CT Panthers)-On a defense stacked with playmakers, Reese separated himself with both his impressive play and overall intensity. &ldquot;With Reese you just know you have a player that can change the game with one play&rdquot; said teammate Sir Snowden. Winning his second consecutive MVP award, Reese did it in differently than is stat-filled 2012 season. &ldquot;This year he got double and triple teamed nearly every play, he freed things up more for us to make plays; but when we needed something big he was there.&rdquot; Reese's fourth quarter sack of Kevin Oberg in the Southern Conference final basically sealed their win and moved the Panthers into the Championship round. &ldquot;He's the guy that everyone has to game plan for.&rdquot;

COACHING STAFF: CT Panthers– After two consecutive years of falling short in the Conference Finals, head coach Derek Bortz took the offseason to see what his team needed to take the next step. &ldquot;We always had a good team; I realized I needed more support on the sidelines to get over the hump.&rdquot; To handle his sometime erratic offense, Bortz sought quarterback guru Mark Welch to work with restoring Rich Snowden to his former Championship status. He responded by throwing a division best 14 touchdown passes in only 7 games. He also gave more rope to coordinator Warren Pollard to direct the top defense in the NEFL  which scored a league-high 9 touchdowns during the regular season.  Assistant head coach Aaron Barksdale took care of any details to allow Bortz to lead his one loss Panthers to their first AAA Championship. &ldquot;I owe everything to my staff&rdquot; said Bortz, &ldquot;without them we would be just another team, these guys help put us over the top.&rdquot;

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