Filton Academy PrideHead coach: Benjamin HerodLast year: 2-4, missed playoffs.Key games: Sept. 15 at Ramstein, Oct. 6 at Vilseck, Oct. 20 at WiesbadenIf size matters, the 2012 edition of the Bristol, England-based Filton Academy Pride will leave its mark on the Division I race.“We’ve done a good job in recruiting some size into our team this year,” emailed Herod, whose offensive front features sophomores Orlando Victor, a 287-pounder, and Connor McPherson, 6-6, 350 pounds, along with juniors Thomas Samonig, another 300-pounder, and Jack Vivian and Guiseppe Paladino. “I am expecting big things from these big guys.”Herod, who will coach the initial Team Europe at January’s Football University all-star games in Texas, is counting on all that bulk to allow his skill players, running backs Ryan Nestor and Denzel Hamitt, and 6-3, 185-pound wide receiver Daniel Vickery, room to operate. Also benefiting will be returning quarterback Nicky Farrell, who according to Herod, is being challenged by promising underclassemen.“…I am hoping to be able to grind out the tough yards,” Herod summarized, “and protect our quarterbacks this year.”Working against the Pride this season is the schedule. Filton is to play D-I contenders and 2011 playoff teams Ramstein, Vilseck and Wiesbaden on the road – a bus journey of 18-23 hours each time. Filton is not scheduled to face the other 2011 D-I Final Four team, Patch.
2012 scheduleSept. 15: at RamsteinSept. 22: LakenheathSept. 29: HeidelbergOct. 6: at VilseckOct. 13; KaiserslauternOct. 20: at Wiesbaden