Dayon Banks, linebacker and leader of the defense that helped the Yokosuka Seahawks secure their sixth league title in seven seasons, has been voted most valuable player of the 2006 U.S. Forces Japan-American Football League season.
Banks averaged nine tackles per game as the Seahawks went 4-2 to earn the regular-season championship and home-field advantage throughout the playoffs. They then blanked the Atsugi Falcons 18-0 on Aug. 26 in the semifinals and dethroned the defending champion Misawa Marauders 12-0 in the championship game on Sept. 8 at Yokosuka Naval Base’s Berkey Field.
Voting was conducted by the league’s four coaches. Results were announced Friday by league commissioner Kyle Rhodus.
The 2005 MVP, running back Jamey Crawford of Misawa, earned Offensive Player of the Year honors after rushing for more than 1,100 yards and 12 touchdowns. Atsugi’s Dan Estrada was voted Coach of the Year and Falcons lineman Charles Wright was tabbed as Defensive Player of the Year.
Winner of the inaugural “Big Joe Howell Award” for the league’s top defensive lineman was Howell’s former longtime Yokota Warriors teammate Greg Powell. He was the lone selectee to be chosen unanimously for any of the league’s awards. Howell played for Yokota for parts of five seasons and served as league commissioner in 2003.
Other award winners were: