All XLeague Team 2017
Panasonic, Fujitsu Lead A Top Sides Dominated Selection
The 2017 All XLeague Team has been announced
Leading the way with seven selections apiece are Panasonic Impulse, who won their first seven games before falling at the semi final stage to IBM Big Blue, and Fujitsu Frontiers, who have reached the JXB for an unprecedented fifth straight year.
All four of Panasonic’s American imports made the team and Fujitsu’s Al-Rilwan Adeyemi was selected for the fifth straight season since joining the league.
Devin Gardener was chosen as QB despite Benjamin Anderson getting the MVP award. Both were outstanding all year but Anderson, while perhaps slightly less spectacular, didn’t throw an interception until the semifinal.
Team success seemed to figure heavily into what are ostensibly individual awards. Players that performed at a high level on squads that weren’t as successful didn’t get considered. In fact there wasn’t a single player picked from outside the top six teams. Whether you agree with that policy or not it’s harsh on sides like Minerva, Lions and Finies who had candidates arguably worthy of inclusion. Maybe not in pure stat terms but certainly in impact on the field.
Metropolitan Police Eagles retained the fair play award that they won last season and Rookie of the Year went to Obic’s dynamic young RB Taku Lee.
The XLeague awards started in 2000 and three players including Obic Seagull’s DL Kevin Jackson lead the way with nine selections. Jackson had another impact year and he can consider himself unlucky not to have become the first player into double figures.
Unlike last season when the team was announced and unveiled in a press conference after the season was over, this year the full team will be presented to the public on the field at the Japan X Bowl on December 18th.
Tackle: Yutaro Kobayashi – Fujitsu Frontiers (6th)
Guard: Shun Mochizuki - Fujitsu Frontiers (4th)
Center: Edmond Toby Davis III - Panasonic Impulse (3rd)
Guard: Tomoaki Sakaguchi – Panasonic Impulse (1st)
Tackle: Kai Maiava – Obic Seagulls (3rd)
Tight End: John Stanton – IBM Big Blue (4th)
Wide Receiver: Teruaki Clark Nakamura – Fujitsu Frontiers (3rd)
Wide Receiver: Yuhei Yagi – Nojima Sagamihara Rise (1st)
Running Back: Gino Gordon – Fujitsu Frontiers (3rd)
Running Back: Yuki Shirakami – Lixil Deers (1st)
Quarterback: Devin Gardner – Nojima Sagamihara Rise
Defensive Line: David Motu - Panasonic Impulse (3rd)
Defensive Line: Hiroaki Nakazato – Obic Seagulls (1st)
Defensive Line: James Brooks – IBM Big Blue (4th)
Defensive Line: Carlton Jones - Panasonic Impulse (1st)
Linebacker: Trashaun Nixon – Fujitsu Frontiers (2nd)
Linebacker: Kensuke Amaya – Lixil Deers (2nd)
Linebacker: Takuya Iwamoto – Obic Seagulls (1st)
Defensive Back: Al Rilwan Adeyemi – Fujitsu Frontiers (5th)
Defensive Back: Masashi Fujimoto – Obic Seagulls (5th)
Defensive Back: Emory Polley - Panasonic Impulse (2nd)
Defensive Back: Atsushi Tsuji - Panasonic Impulse (3rd)
Kicker: Hidetetsu Nishimura – Fujitsu Frontiers (6th)
Punter: Shintaro Saeki - Panasonic Impulse (3rd)
Returner: Noriaki Kinoshita – Obic Seagulls (6th) – (three as WR)
MVP: Benjamin Anderson (QB) – Panasonic Impulse
ROOKIE OF THE YEAR: Taku Lee (RB) – Obic Seagulls
FAIR PLAY AWARD: Metropolitan Police Eagles