||This Solent Thrashers's tone or style may not reflect the encyclopedic tone used on Wikipedia. (July 2011)|
|Home ground||Test Park,
|Head coach||Graham Thorpe|
|League||BAFA National Leagues|
|Division||National Division South West|
The Solent Thrashers (formerly the Andover Thrashers and Hampshire Thrashers) are an American football team currently based in Southampton, England. They compete in Division 1 South and Central of the BAFA National Leagues (BAFANL). The club was founded in Andover in 2003, moved to Winchester in 2007 and then to Southampton at the end of 2011.
- 1 History
- 2 Ground
- 3 Senior Team
- 4 Junior Team
- 5 Youth Team
- 6 References
- 7 External links
The club was founded in December 2003 following a meeting in an Andover pub between two local enthusiasts, Dave Scott & Andy Mountain. The following month, an informal training session was held with a number of local players. For the remainder of that year, the Thrashers took part in several flag football tournaments and friendlies, the highlight of which was a home match against Team England which the Thrashers won 16-12. The Thrashers also reached the semi-finals of a tournament held in Fareham which was ultimately won by Team USA.
In December 2004, the club applied to join the BAFL and were accepted to compete in Division Two South West to replace the Nene Valley Hybrids.
Early Years (2005-2008)
The 2005 season was not a good one for the Thrashers. They had a small roster and players with little experience playing both sides of the ball for the whole game. Inevitably this took its toll, they lost every game and recorded a 0-10 season, scoring just 30 points throughout the entire campaign. The main consolation from that year was that Phill Price, the Thrasher's linebacker, won the BAFL Rookie Of The Year Award.
After appointing a new offensive coach, Len Scott, and training hard over the winter the 2006 season proved to be more successful for the Thrashers. They boasted a 5-game winning streak, held second place on the table for a couple of weeks and almost maintained a shut-out against the experienced Plymouth Admirals. The Thrashers also had outside hopes of making the playoffs if they beat league leaders South Wales Warriors in the last game of the season. However, those hopes were crushed when they had a touchdown called back in the last minute of the game for a Lineman down field. Andover eventually finished third in the Division 2 South Conference with a 5-5 record.
The 2007 season started with the promotion of Len Scott from Offensive Coordinator to Head Coach, and the appointment of Bob Turner as Defensive Coordinator. The season proved to be their most successful to date, starting off with a four-game winning streak which included two consecutive shutouts. They ended up with a 7-3 record, finishing third in the division and narrowly missing out on the playoffs for a second successive season due to their inferior positive points difference in their head-to-head record against the division's runners-up Cornish Sharks.
At the end of the 2007 season, the club announced that head coach Len Scott had left the club to join Sussex Thunder. The following month at their AGM they revealed that Bob Turner would be Head Coach and that the Thrashers were to leave Andover and take up residence in Winchester to share with the local rugby club, and that they would therefore be renamed the Hampshire Thrashers.
The 2008 season the Thrashers narrowily missed the playoffs, as they finished with the same record as the 2nd place team, but due to tiebreakers the Thrashers finished 3rd. The highlight of the season was a fumble recovery by Mike Whitson who took the ball 99 yards for a touchdown. This will go down as a Britball record.
Playoffs and Promotion (2008-2011)
After narrowly missing out on the playoffs in 2008, the Thrashers went on the offensive in the offseason signing a number of experienced players following the unfortunate demise of local premiership team the Southern Sundevils. The Thrashers finished the regular season with a total of 8 wins and 1 tie (in the first game of the season against the newly formed Gloucester Banshees, however due to an inability to complete a previously postponed away game with the Cornish Sharks the league awarded a tie resulting in season tally of 8 wins 2 ties 0 losses. This gave the Thrashers their first ever divisional title and playoff berth, where they were seeded second, and hosted a first round playoff game. The first round game saw the Thrashers continue their strong season with a convincing win of 24-6 against the East Kent Mavericks, setting up a Southern Conference Championship game versus the Colchester Gladiators. The Thrashers started out strong but couldn't contain the vaunted Gladiators rushing attack and eventually lost the game 20-49 therefore ending their 2009 season just one game short of the Division 2 championship game.
The season saw the Thrashers put up some impressive numbers, especially on offense. QB Nick Watson finished the year with 142 completions, 2126 yards and 31 touchdowns. Running back Tim Iles rushed for 620 yards and 9 touchdowns, and 5 different receivers put up over 300 yards and multiple touchdowns(Paul Brady - 590 yards, 6 touchdowns, Brennan Peterson - 491 yards, 8 touchdowns, Kyle Latore - 357 yards, 4 touchdowns, Dan McMillan - 350 yards, 6 touchdowns and Rikki Lear - 339 yards, 6 touchdowns).
In 2010 Hampshire felt confident to repeat the previous seasons success, with the return of Head Coach Bob Turner and most of the previous years starting team as well as the additions of offensive coordinator Sumon Hoque and defensive coordinator Mat Clark. However, the loss of the previous seasons offensive mvp, workhorse running back Tim Iles, proved a difficult burden to overcome, as the Thrashers struggled to develop a steady running game to partner their high powered passing attack. The Thrashers managed to go one better than the previous year in the regular season finishing with a record of 9 wins and just 1 loss(to conference newcomers Watford Cheetahs). Hosting another playoff game the Thrashers put away the Essex Spartans 29-15, before falling short of the Division 2 Final a second year in a row, with a loss to the London Olympians 51-7.
The season saw some impressive performances on both sides of the ball. Veteran QB Nick Watson recorded his second straight 2000 yard season, receivers Paul Brady and Kyle Latore finished as numbers 1 and 2 in the national rankings with stats of 70 receptions, 725 yards, 7 touchdowns (Brady) and 68 receptions, 843 yards and 7 touchdowns (Latore). However the most impressive season went to rookie cornerback Josh Amis who recorded a league leading 11 interceptions.
2011 would mark a new chapter for the Thrashers as they gained promotion to Division One. The departure of HC Bob Turner in the offseason saw the appointment of new Head Coach, Tyrone Lindsey. The Thrashers had high hopes for the season as a number of players followed Coach Lindsey from his former teams Farnham Knights and BUAFL side Brunel Burners added to a squad that returned the majority of players from the previous year. The Thrashers started the season well with a 34-14 win at Colchester Gladiators, however the season went downhill as the Thrashers suffered 5 straight defeats including a disappointing loss at East Kent Mavericks and a nail biting 38-34 shootout at local rivals Sussex Thunder. The Thrashers would get their season back on track with wins at home in the return games against Colchester Gladiators and East Kent Mavericks but would end the season with a 3-7 record after finishing the season with two losses to Sussex Thunder and London Olympians.
Despite the Thrashers disappointing record the team still had a lot to celebrate after their first season in Division 1. Offensive MVP Kyle Latore lead the team in all receiving categories with 36 receptions, 537 yards and 8 touchdowns. The running game saw an insurgence of youth with the three headed attack of running backs Orion Modebe and Ayman Abd-Elaziz and Quarterback Dayle Greenfield combing for 1034 yards and 13 touchdowns. Veteran QB Nick Watson passed the 5000 career passing yards mark despite dealing with lingering injuries all season. On defense second year Defensive Back Josh Amis earned the Defensive MVP, playing in his new position of safety, after again leading the team in interceptions with 7 and narrowly missing out on being the team's leading tackler with 74. That honour went to Middle Linebacker and Team MVP Vassili Fedotov who amassed 78 tackles in his first season in a Thrashers jersey after joining the team from Farnham Knights in the preseason.
New Beginnings (2012-Present)
The 2012 season saw the Thrashers at a new home ground after making the move from Winchester to the new multi million pound development Test Park Sports Ground in Southampton after finishing the 2011 season. 2012 also saw the appointment of a number of new coaches. Last years Defensive Coordinator Mat Clark took over the position of Head Coach following the departure of Tyrone Lindsey. Jim Roberson joined the club as Defensive Coordinator having previously coached a number of teams including the now defunct Southern Sundevils to a national championship. In his seven season tenure with the Southampton based team Coach Roberson failed to make the playoffs in only one season and won both a division 2 championship and division 1A championship while posting a 49-27-2 record. Three other appointments were made in the offseason with Simon Pirie, formally of the Southern Sundevils, coaching Offensive Line; former player Pete Bennett returned to coach Defensive Line and Thrashers all time leading Quarterback Nick Watson became Quarterbacks/Assistant Offensive Coordinator following his retirement from playing. The Thrashers remain in Division 1 South but due to a league wide restructure would face a number of new teams with only two of their opponents from the previous year remaining in the same conference (Sussex Thunder and East Kent Mavericks). New opponents for the season included Cambridgeshire Cats, Essex Spartans and Kent Exiles. The Thrashers would also see the renewal of two old rivalries following the promotions of South Wales Warriors and Berkshire Renegades.
2012 was a tough year both on and off the field for the Thrashers as they finished with a 3-7 record with all wins coming at home against Kent Exiles, Essex Spartans and Cambridgeshire Cats. Statistically it was a forgettable season on both sides of the ball, however there were a few bright spots. Brad Sawyers firmly entrenched himself as Starting QB, switching from WR following the retirement of Nick Watson. WR Kyle Latore broke the 2,000 career receiving yard and 20 TD barriers. DE Ed Butcher broke the record for number of sacks in a season with 7 and DB Josh Amis notched up his 20th Career Interception in just his third season. Off the field the club had to deal with mid season coaching departures as new additions Jim Roberson and Simon Pirie left after the team's second game of the season.
MVP's for the season went to QB Brad Sawyers (Team MVP), RB Sam Froggett (Offensive MVP) and DL Ed Butcher (Defensive MVP).
The big news for 2013 was that the Thrashers would change their name to Solent Thrashers which would mark the start of forging closer links with Southampton Solent University. 2013 also saw another league wide restructure with all the teams who finished above the Thrashers in 2012 (Berkshire Renegades, Sussex Thunder, East Kent Mavericks, South Wales Warriors and Cambridgeshire Cats) along with 2012 Division 2 finalist Peterborough Saxons being promoted to the new Premiership South; while the remaining Division 1 and 2 teams would form a new second tier - the National Division.
The Thrashers would join the National South Conference where they would face a number of new teams as well as two old rivals from previous seasons in Division 2. The new look conference included Cornish Sharks, Oxford Saints, Bristol Apache, Gloucester Centurions, Bournemouth Bobcats, league newcomers Swindon Storm and Farnham Knights (following relegation from the Premiership).
2013 saw a few new faces on the team with the signing of a number of players from the local university sides and from other national leagues teams. This season also marks the return of 2011's Leading Tackler Vassili Fedotov after a year off and former WR Dan McMillan who will be switching to LB after his stint with the GB Olympic Handball team. However 2013 also saw the departure of WR Kyle Latore as the Thrashers Career leading WR looked to take his game to the continent, signing with German side Lubeck Cougars.
The year proved to be the teams most successful so far compiling their first unbeaten regular season. The Thrashers finished with the number 1 ranked defense in the national league earning the number 1 seed and home field advantage throughout the playoffs. In the quarter finals they despatched the Kent Exiles 43-8. The would advance the Thrashers to the semi final stage for the third time in the clubs history, once again taking on the Colchester Gladiators. It was a hotly anticipated matchup as the Thrashers #1 Defense took on the Gladiators #1 ranked Offense. Unfortunatley for the Thrashers the season would once again end one stop short of the National Finals, losing 12-0.
There were some notable performances throughout the season. Once again DB Josh Amis was electric with over 1200 return yards, 11 TD's and grabbing 12 interceptions which earned him the Team MVP. LB Ed Butcher dominated opposing offenses with 101 total tackles and a career high 14 sacks. On the offensive side of the ball the tandem of RB Ali Hugo and Sam Froggett gained over 800 yards of total offense each and combined for a total 13 TD's, while TE Rich Bloomer contributed with 5 receiving TD's. At the annual end of seasons awards night it was announced that HC Mat Clark and OC Sumon Hoque would both be leaving the club. The duo both joined the coaching staff as coordianators in 2010 and were responsible for guiding the team to promotion to Division 1 as well as overseeing multiple club record breaking performances.
With the departures of the HC/DC and OC, the 2014 season would see a whole new coaching staff taking the reigns at the Thrashers. During the offseason an all star coaching staff, with links to all three local university sides - Solent Redhawks, Souhampton Stags and Portsmouth Destroyers, was assembled. Graham Thorpe would take over as Head Coach, Alex Phillips as Offensive Coordinator and Russ Hewitt as Defensive Coordinator. All three coaches bring experience from all levels of football in the UK winning titles at Youth, University and Senior as well as part of multiple GB teams. The positional coaches were announced as Mick Hogan (RB) Simon Cutts (WR) Andrew Hill (OL) Kev Stanswood (DL) Rikki Lear (DB) and Gary Moody (DB).
Along with a new coaching staff there were a few key additions to the playing roster. Former Southampton Stags National Championship QB Ted Baynham will command the offense, Thrashers career leading WR Kyle Latore returns after a year in playing in Germany, Junior graduate, GB and All Europe OL Tom Samonig will bolster the Offensive Line, while the Defense gained LB James Irving who is fresh off of winning a National Championship with the London Warriors. These signings combined with the return of the majority of last years squad as well as a good crop of rookies and university signings promise to make 2014 an exciting year for the Black and Gold.
Up until 2008, the Thrashers played their home games at Harrow Way School in Andover. During the 2007 season, two matches (against the South Wales Warriors and Plymouth Admirals) were played at North Walls Park, the home of Winchester Rugby Club, and after the season was completed it was announced that Winchester would be their permanent home. The Club will have a new home ground for the 2012 season, Test Park Sports Ground in Southampton. The newly built ground is operated by Solent University and features a full size 3G pitch, endzone and sideline spectators areas, full size purpose built changing rooms and a large bar area.
Head Coach: Graham Thorpe
Offensive Co-ordinator: Alex Phillips
Defensive Co-ordinator: Russ Hewitt
Running Backs Coach: Mick Hogan
Wide Receivers Coach: Simon Cutts
Offensive Line Coach: Andrew Hill
Defensive Line Coach: Kevan Stanswood
Defensive Backs Coach: Rikki Lear
Asst Defensive Backs Coach: Gary Moody
|Solent Thrashers Roster 2014|
|2005||BAFL Division 2 South West||0||10||0||6/6|
|2006||BAFL Division 2 South West||5||5||0||4/6|
|2007||BAFL Division 2 South West||6||4||0||3/6|
|2008||BAFL Division 2 South West||7||3||0||3/6|
|2009||BAFL Division 2 South West||8||0||2||1/6||QF Beat East Kent Mavericks 25-6
SF Loss Colchester Gladiators 49-20
|2010||BAFACL Division 2 South West||9||1||0||1/6||QF Beat Essex Spartans 29-15
SF Loss London Olympians 51-7
|2011||BAFANL Division 1 South||3||7||0||4/6|
|2012||BAFANL Division 1 South||3||7||0||6/8|
|2013||BAFANL National Division South||10||0||0||1/8||QF Beat Kent Exiles 43-8
SF Loss Colchester Gladiators 12-0
|2014||BAFANL National Division South West||10||0||0||1/9|
The Solent Thrashers also have a Junior team, who play under the same name and cater for ages 16–19. The Juniors were formed in 2009 under Head Coach Jason Walker. The Juniors trained throughout the spring/summer and played scrimmages with London Warriors, Reading Rebels and Wiltshire Royals before joining the league in 2010. Current Head Coach Rob Lowe took over the team following the 2010 season.
The Junior team currently plays in the BAFANL Junior South division, playing against the London Blitz, London Warriors, South London Renegades, Colchester Gladiators, Marlow Wolves, Watford Cheetahs and Cambridgeshire Cats.
Head Coach/Offensive Co-ordinator: Rob Lowe
Defensive Co-ordinator: Marc White
Running Backs Coach: Paul Verling
Wide Receivers Coach:
Offensive Line Coach:
Defensive Line Coach:
Defensive Backs Coach: Nic Jones
|Solent Thrashers Junior Roster 2013|
|2010||BAFACL Junior South||0||8||0||5/5|
|2011||BAFANL Junior South||0||8||0||5/5|
|2012||BAFANL Junior South||2||6||0||4/5|
|2013||BAFANL Junior South||3||5||0||6/8|
|2014||BAFANL Junior South||-||-||-||-/8|
They play a scaled down version of the full game with just five players on the field instead of the usual eleven as found in the higher age groups. The regular season follows a tournament format where four teams come together and play each other at one venue. All teams host one tournament and travel to three away tournaments so play a total of twelve games in a season.
The team entered league play in the 2012 season, playing in the National South West Division against Cornish Sharks, Farnham Knights, Sussex Thunder, Berkshire Renegades, London Blitz and Marlow Wolves.
Head Coach: Marc White
Offensive Co-ordinator: Tom Samonig
Defensive Co-ordinator: Ash Sarreshteh
|Solent Thrashers Youth Roster 2013|
|2012||BAFANL Youth South West||0||12||0||0/7|
|2013||BAFANL Youth South West||0||11||1||7/7|
|2014||BAFANL Youth South West||-||-||-||-/7|
- "Andover Thrashers v Team England 9man Challenge Match Review". English Senior Flag League. 12 September 2004. Retrieved 27 February 2008.
- "ESFL Review of 2004". ESFL (English Senior Flag League). 1 January 2005. Retrieved 27 February 2008.
- "Scott takes up the Thrasher challenge". This is Hampshire. 3 January 2007. Retrieved 27 February 2008.
- "Thunder Appoint Scott to Top Job". Sussex Thunder. Retrieved 8 October 2010.
- "Farewell Andover Thrashers". Andover Advertiser. 6 November 2007. Retrieved 27 February 2008.