Ouse Valley Eagles

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Ouse Valley Eagles
Established 2013
Based in Bedford
Home stadium Bedford International Athletic Stadium
Head coach Will White
League BAFA National Leagues
Division Division One SFC North
Current uniform
OVEUniform2.png

The Ouse Valley Eagles are an American Football team based in Bedford, United Kingdom. They play their home games at the Bedford International Athletic Stadium. They are a member of the Division One SFC North in the BAFA National Leagues.

The Eagles formed in 2013 after a merger of the local rivals, the Bedfordshire Blue Raiders and the Milton Keynes Pathfinders.[1]

History[edit]

Milton Keynes Pathfinders[edit]

The Pathfinders were formed in their first guise as a youth flag football team, but only began participation in senior kitted football in 2006, before joining the BAFL in 2008. They played their home games at the Emerson Valley Sports Pavilion in Milton Keynes.

Their first match was in 2006, away to the Cambridgeshire Cats and was followed by a 0–35 defeat at home to the Bedfordshire Blue Raiders, at the time, another associate team looking to join the league.

In their first season as a league team, they posted a 0-9-1 record, conceding 445 points, the highest total since the 464 points conceded by the Andover Thrashers in 2005.

In 2011, they recorded their first ever winning season, going 7-2-1, which saw them clinch the final Division 2 play off spot, losing to eventual finalists, the West Coast Trojans. They reached the play offs again in the final season in 2012, this time reaching the Southern Final, before losing to the Peterborough Saxons.[2]

Their overall regular season league record at the time of the merger with Bedfordshire was 25-34-2, with a post season record of 1-2.

Bedfordshire Blue Raiders[edit]

The Blue Raiders were formed in 2006 by locals Dave Pankhurst and Steve Guy, and began the BAFL associate process in 2007. They played their first game against Maidstone Pumas, winning 18-8. One month after their first contest with the Pathfinders, they were accepted into the league. The Blue Raiders were placed in the Eastern Conference of Division Two.

By 2013, lack of interest lead to reduced player participation, and the squad size was approximately half of that which started the season, with no healthy quarterbacks. This meant that the Blue Raiders had to forfeit a game against the Kent Exiles, and ruined their chances of appearing in a long-awaited play off game. They only managed to fulfill their final fixture by registering coaches as players.[3]

Merger[edit]

At the end of the Bedfordshire Blue Raiders' final game, an EGM was called to discuss the future of the club going forward. Neale McMaster stepped forward as chairman, and proposed a merger with the Pathfinders.

On 3 November 2013, a joint EGM was called by both clubs, and the constitution and articles of merger were approved by all in attendance.[4]

Recent Years[edit]

The Eagles began their inaugural season in 2014, under the guidance of Head Coach Will White. They lost their first game to the Watford Cheetahs 19-0. However, they easily won their second game to the rookie London Hornets, finishing 37-0. In their first season's penultimate game, the Eagles beat the Kent Exiles in a game that would see the winning team reach the play offs. After finishing the regular season 8-2, they lost to the Solent Thrashers in the first round.

Going into their second season, a league realignment saw them placed in the Division One Southern Football Conference, in the North division.[5]

Logos & Uniforms[edit]

Their "O" logo and uniforms are heavily inspired by that of the Oregon Ducks. Their logo features a bold "O" contained by wing graphics.

Their first jerseys are manufactured by DNA Sports. They are primarily white, with silver wing details on the shoulders and black uniform numbers.[6] Their helmets are white and also feature the chrome wing design.[7]

Bedford International Athletic Stadium[edit]

The Eagles play their home games at Bedford International Athletic Stadium, a multi-use sport facility,[8] that includes a purpose built American Football field.

Players[edit]

Current roster[edit]

Ouse Valley Eagles 2015

Quarterbacks

  • 4 Justin LaRoda
  • 18 Callum Papworth
  • 40 Enrique Alonso

Running Backs & Full Backs

  • 5 Kalaba Chibwe
  • 22 Zak Henry
  • 31 Yomi Okuboyejo
  • 34 Jamahl Watson
  • 37 Matt Duffin
  • 41 Jamie Smith
  • 42 Jake Halliday
  • 48 Alex Cross

Wide Receivers & Tight Ends

  • 8 Ross Hubbard
  • 9 Neil Arthur
  • 11 Martin Day
  • 12 Benjamin Peprah
  • 13 Paul Mountford
  • 14 Chris Cowley
  • 15 Trevor McBride
  • 16 Jack Davis-Fletcher
  • 17 Zach Wodeage
  • 21 Nathaniel Ashby
  • 80 Dale Hawes
  • 84 Chris Gains
  • 88 Nick Chapman
  • 92 Jeremy Withanage

Offensive Linemen

  • 50 John Murphy
  • 55 James Kocherhans
  • 56 Garvin Yarde
  • 59 John Phillips
  • 60 John Rudgard
  • 69 Glenn Willshire
  • 74 James Busby
  • 78 Danny Cousins

Defensive Linemen

  • 58 Fabrizio Ventulo
  • 65 Andy Larwill
  • 71 Bradley Beveridge
  • 76 Mark Gavin
  • 78 Nick Ravagnan
  • 81 Rhian Shirley
  • 82 Oliver Lattimer
  • 93 Duncan Wingfield

Linebackers

  • 3 Darren Gregory
  • 8 Gareth Pullen
  • 10 David Francis
  • 36 Matt Barrett
  • 45 Craig Asling
  • 47 Gergo Simara
  • 51 Byron Chowles
  • 52 Sean Isle

Defensive Backs

  • 1 Chris Parr
  • 7 Vasco Dias
  • 19 Sean Jackson
  • 20 Kevin Kong
  • 24 Jack Rice
  • 25 Darren Jackson
  • 26 Antwan Morrow
  • 27 Nick Mellish
  • 28 Giovanni Fernandes
  • 29 Rocky Layne
  • 38 Conor McCarthy
  • 54 Mark Lusted

Rookies in italics.
60 Active.[9]

Coaches[edit]

Head Coach

  • Head Coach: Will White
  • Assistant Head Coach: Mike Fears

Offensive Coaches

  • Offensive Coordinator: Neale McMaster
  • Wide Receivers Coach: Will White
  • Offensive Line Coach: Nick Benning
  • Running Backs Coach: Neil Duffy

Defensive Coaches

  • Defensive Coordinator: Darren Hill
  • Defensive Line Coach: Lawrence LaMontagne
  • Linebackers Coach: Mike Fears

Special Teams Coaches

  • Special Teams Coordinator: Gary Villiers

Other

  • Performance Analyst: Matt Spavins

Season By Season Record[edit]

Year Division Record
2015 BAFA Division One SFC North 7-3-0*
2014 BAFA Division One South 8–2–0*
* qualified for playoffs

Notes[edit]

External links[edit]