The AUBG Griffin Spreads its Wings for a 10th Time – Griffin Bowl 2017
With its history of nearly 14 years, the AUBG AFC Griffins will hold its 10th annual Griffin Bowl tournament. The team has gone through a year of training and according to Daniil Butorin, president of the club, the current players are ready to face their opponents. AFC Griffins will go head to head with the Sofia Bears and the Plovdiv Wolves on Apr. 1-2 at Porter baseball field in Bachinovo Park.
During the past academic year the AFC Griffins team held regular practice sessions every Wednesday and Sunday afternoons. Additional sessions were organized on Tuesday and Friday. Despite the increase in the number of opportunities for training compared to last year’s estimates, the participation level has gone down. The current president of the club explains this change with the fewer number of people who show enthusiasm for the sport and with the fear of getting injured during the practice sessions. However, he believes that the current team is performing on a satisfactory level. Among the new members of this year’s team are Simeon Milev, Sergey Litvinenko, and Yanko Radenkov, who show great promise for the upcoming game, according to the president. Butorin has expressed his satisfaction with the progress of the three players in terms of knowledge and understanding of the game, and their performance at the practice sessions. During the semester, the players had meetings on team strategy where they discussed the offense and defense plans for the tournament.
“Compared to the last year [Griffin Bowl 2016], we improved our offense and defense coordination, and made a playbook, which we will improve and add more things later on,” shared Butorin.
Krum Zahariev, vice president of AFC Griffins, shared that he is looking forward to the game against the Plovdiv Wolves and hopes that the few months of working on the team’s weaknesses will be beneficial for the players during the game. He pointed out that the biggest adversary for the AUBG American flag football team is the Sofia Bears. He hopes that the new strategy of the team will give the Blagoevgrad Griffins an advantage.
“If we implement our new tactics successfully, I believe this year the trophy will stay in Blagoevgrad,” said Zahariev.
The vice president also added that the changes to the game strategy will allow the players to adapt to their opponents and “respond adequately in every situation.”
The lineman coordinator of the team, Ian Appling, expressed his concern that a number of the current players don’t have experience playing against the other twо teams. According to him, the first quarter of the first game will be of the highest importance in terms of understanding the opponents’ behavior and adjusting to their strategy.
The starting lineup of the team for this year’s Griffin Bowl comprises the following players:
Offence team: Quarterback (QB) – Krum Zahariev; Wide receivers (WR) – Philip Mishev, Egor Mikheev, Carson Aeberhard; Offensive line (OL) – Yanko Radenkov, Iliyan Mihaylov; Center – Ilya Vorozhtcov; Running back (RB) – Sherzod Shamiev; Tight end (TE) – Ian Appling;
Defense team: Cornerbacks (CB) – Philip Mishev, Carson Aeberhard; Weakside linebacker (WLB) – Simeon Milev; Strongside linebacker (SLB) – Daniil Butorin; Defensive tackle (DT) – Ivan Dimitrov; Defensive end (DE) – Andri Ivanov; Strong safety (SS) – Mario Grachenov; Free safety (FS) – Krum Zahariev;
The tournament will proceed according to the following schedule:
Saturday, April 1
11:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. Blagoevgrad Griffins – Sofia Bears
12:20 p.m. – 1:20 p.m. Plovdiv Wolves – Sofia Bears
1:40 p.m. – 2:40 p.m. Blagoevgrad Griffins – Plovdiv Wolves
3:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m. Blagoevgrad Griffins – Sofia Bears
Sunday, April 2
11:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. Blagoevgrad Griffins – Plovdiv Wolves
12:20 p.m. – 01:20 p.m. Sofia Bears – Plovdiv Wolves
01:40 p.m. – 03:00 p.m. Final Match
Butorin hopes that the team will show what they have learned for the past 10 weeks of practice. The advise he gave to the players, both offence and defense, was to watch the count, keep their eyes on the ball, and to communicate with each other during the entire game.