When people mention American Football in the United Kingdom, they don’t always think the Midlands would be a hotspot for it. The Warwick Wolves are certainly trying to change this. With eight regular season games planned for this year including opponents such as Loughborough, Nottingham Trent, Leicester and (our fierce rivals) Coventry, we plan on putting the Midlands on the map for American Football excellence.
So far this season, we have completed a grueling preseason training camp which took place at the end of September. This got our team up to speed and conditioned for the tough season ahead. Next came our scrimmage (a situational/practice game) against Derby University. As a team, we were looking forward to this one – Derby had knocked us out of the playoffs in the 2019/20 season aided by having several American scholars. The scrimmage was extremely beneficial for us – it proved that we could compete with the very best teams in the country, as well as giving freshers a taste of an American Football field. From here, we played our first official game of the season – away at Loughborough University on 31 October 2021. The offence was clicking with Quarterback Alex James throwing for 276 yards and two touchdowns (rushing for another). Unfortunately, this was not enough for the win as we narrowly lost with a score line of 26-24. Notably, a champagne moment came in the fourth quarter of this game when second year wide receiver – Deepinder Dyal – reached back for a one-handed catch that evoked images of Odell Beckham Jr’s infamous grab in 2014 against the Dallas Cowboys.
Against Coventry, the Warwick defence stole the show.
Despite that difficult loss, we had to shake it off quickly, the week after we had a serious derby game – Coventry University came to the Cryfield 4G pitch expecting an easy win after they won both of their games against us in the 2018/19 season. This time it was the Warwick defense who stole the show. Second-year safety Kwasi Kufour put on a particularly impressive display with an interception and forced fumble. The offence was crippled by quarterback Alex James leaving the game at half time with a knee injury. Luckily, third-year Luka Jojic stepped up and led the Wolves to a narrow 7-0 win over bitter rivals Coventry.
We aspire to win this division and that is something that is certainly attainable
In terms of the league table at the moment, the Wolves are in third place behind Loughborough and Nottingham Trent. We aspire to win this division and that is something that is certainly attainable. Ostensibly, while Loughborough came out with the win on the opening weekend of the season, they were extremely beatable and I’m sure we will prove that in the return fixture on 12 December. The same goes for Nottingham Trent, a team we beat twice last season (prior to Covid). However, it is very hard to predict what is going to happen this year. Typically, we get game footage of each team (either from prior games or seasons) but due to Covid-19, the film that we do have is somewhat outdated. Also, the majority of players this year have very little playing experience when it comes to American Football, so everyone is kind of on the same playing field, as it were. It will certainly be an interesting season so if you can, I would urge you to get down to as many of our games as possible this season!