Pirates crown young stars at youth and junior awards night

November 5th, 2017

Friday evening saw over 150 players, coaches, family and friends gather together at the Ballerup Hall in East Kilbride to celebrate the successes of the three under 19s teams that are part of the East Kilbride Pirates American Football Club – East Kilbride Pirates Youth, Hamilton Buccaneers Youth, and East Kilbride Pirates Junior.

Junior Head Coach and long-standing club committee member Matthew Davies was MC for the event, which was also attended by special guests Linda Fabiani, MSP for East Kilbride and Martin Cockerill, Chairman of the British American Football Association.

22 awards were handed out by the coaching staff from across the three teams, recognising players on both sides of the ball and culminating in player of the year awards for each team to recognise the MVPs – the most valuable players.

The Buccaneers also handed out their ‘heart’ award’ – an award designed to recognise a player who tried the hardest and gives his all for the team.

The Hamilton Buccaneers youth winners were:

  • Rookie of the year – Michael Kearney
  • Most improved player – Steven Murdoch
  • Offensive player of the year – Lewis Smith
  • Defensive player of the year – Lucas Blair
  • Players’ player of the year – Jack Anderson
  • Heart award – Taylor Haddow
  • Player of the Year – Christian Rubuga

The Pirates youth winners were:

  • Rookie of the year – Michael Girvan
  • Most improved player – Sandy Lever and Ewan Kelly
  • Offensive player of the year – Scott McKigen
  • Defensive player of the year – Declan Kelly
  • Players’ player of the year – Paul Ravey
  • Player of the year – Jack Cochrane

The Pirates junior winners were:

  • Lineman of the year – Mark Alexander
  • Special teams player of the – Jack Cochrane
  • Rookie of the year – Fraser McDonald
  • Most improved player – Steven Murdoch
  • Offensive player of the year – Struan Bailey
  • Defensive player of the year – Ryan Miller
  • Players’ player of the year – Ryan Miller
  • Player of the Year – Mark Stewart

As part of the evening a new member was also inducted in the East Kilbride Pirates Hall of Fame. The club introduced the Hall of Fame club hall of fame in 2015, as part of their 30th anniversary celebrations. It’s designed to recognise the contribution of people who’ve had a considerable impact on the club over the years – either on the field or behind the scenes.

The latest inductee is Gavin Reid, who was active in the club from 1985 – 1995. A strong safety and ferocious hitter, he was a team captain, had a spell as club chairman and was player of the year in 1993 and 1994 and defensive MVP in 1991, 1992 and 1995.

Pirates chairman Amanda McDonald commented: “Each of our three teams for young players is an equal and important member of the Pirates family, and we’re hugely proud of their achievements over what’s been another fantastic year.”

“Our Hamilton Buccaneers had another strong season, finishing third in the Scottish youth conference, gained additional coaches and began to offer flag for under 13s. Our Pirates youth team beat the Highland Wildcats on their home turf for the very first time, became Scottish champions, went on their fourth consecutive trip to youth Britbowl, and made their second back-to-back finals appearance. And our East Kilbride Pirates junior team also became Scottish and Northern champions and were junior Britbowl finalists for the second year running – in a nail-biting game that will be remembered for a long time to come.”

“Congratulations to all our winners. Their awards are a great reflection of their hard work, great attitude and coachability. And, of course, we couldn’t do any of this without the support of our wonderful Pirates parents and family members and it was fantastic to see so many of them along to celebrate with the players. It was also a pleasure to welcome Linda and Martin along to celebrate with us too. Linda has supported the efforts of our club for a long time now, and we were also delighted to be able to let the chairman of our national governing body see our strong, stable and successful youth and junior programme.”

“Congratulations also go to our latest hall of Fame inductee Gavin Reid. We were delighted to welcome him along, and recognise the role he’s played within the club.”

All three teams return to pre-season practice for the 2017 season on Sunday 7 January, and new players are very welcome. Contact info@piratesfootball.co.uk to find out how to get involved.


Share this article