Marauders take top USFJ-AFL postseason honors
Running back Jamey Crawford of the league champion Misawa Marauders was named Most Valuable Player and Offensive Player of the Year, while John Hemphill was selected Coach of the Year for the 2005 U.S. Forces Japan-American Football League season.
The Marauders, 30-21 winners on Aug. 27 over Yokota in the USFJ-AFL title game at Marauders Field, Misawa Air Base, grabbed three of four top honors in voting for the 2005 All-League team, announced Friday by league commissioner Kyle Rhodus. The league’s four coaches were involved in the balloting.
“He sets such a good example for everybody on the team,” Hemphill said of Crawford, who scored 13 touchdowns in the 2005 season.
“He’s so unselfish. He was key in the championship game. He’s a vicious runner. He runs with purpose. He sets the tone for the offense, the guys get motivated and rally around him. He really fires the guys up.”
Hemphill seemed surprised at learning he was named Coach of the Year — “Unbelievable,” he said, adding that he firmly expected the honor to go to Daniel Estrada of last-place Atsugi.
The other major honor, Defensive Player of the Year, went to defensive end Thomas Curry of the former five-time champion Yokosuka Seahawks. Curry has played football for 12 years at Yokosuka.
“He’s given me fits," Hemphill said of Curry. “He’s a smart player, a lot smarter than people give him credit for. People just look at his size and quickness and they forget how sound he really is.”
USFJ-AFL 2005 All-League Selections
Offensive Player of the Year: Jamey Crawford, Misawa (Unanimous Selection)
Defensive Player of the Year: Thomas Curry, Yokosuka
Coach of the Year: John Hemphill, Misawa
League MVP: Jamey Crawford, Misawa
Quarterback: Jacob Dowdell, Yokota
Running Backs: James Crawford, Misawa, and JJ Jones, Atsugi
Wide Receivers: Mark Fox, Misawa, and Patrick Mitchell, Yokota
Offensive Line: Corey Hollingsworth, Misawa (Unanimous Selection), and Tim Graves, Yokosuka
Defensive Line: Jonathon Pitts, Yokota, and Virgil Willis, Misawa
Defensive Linebackers: Dayon Banks, Yokosuka, and Greg Powell, Yokota
Defensive Secondary: Clarence Carey, Misawa (Unanimous Selection), and Marty Wilson, Yokota
Special Teams: Matt Sabraw (K), Misawa (Unanimous Selection), and Kelvin Lewis, Atsugi