Pulling The Flag

Power Rankings – Youth

Earlier in the week Pulling the Flag brought you a preview of both the Under 17 and Under 12 flag football season. Both age groups will play their first games this weekend, before they do, here’s a top 6 for each age group:

U17s

1. Northants Titans

This team has speed, experience, and is ready to make the jump to the top. You can expect big things from them even in a tough conference. They are a good quality set up and the high standards in coaching is clear to see from the play on the field.

They will relish the challenge of the busy Northern Conference. Playing a consistently high standard of opposition should act in their favour, forcing them to improve as the season goes on.

2. Chorley Buccaneers Cutlasses

Many of this team were key members of the national championship winning U12 Chorley team of 2014. In the tight Northern Conference their edge will come from their considerable years playing experience and therefore the team’s ability to force a win in close games.

The teams Head Coach, Arron Taylor, is also gaining in experience and will see taking his team to another national finals as a realistic goal for the year.

3. Buckinghamshire Wolves

Buckinghamshire will put up some big scores this year. They will miss the competition provided by Northants Titans. Although the Southern conference features some very well set up teams, most are younger or rookie teams.

The Bucks therefore have a very favourable chance at making the finals but may lack the experience of tough tests a long the way.

4. Coventry Panthers

They are in the mix in the competitive Northern Conference and have the advantage of age on their side. The Panthers are a relatively new set up and this could be the year they make a run at the finals.

In the past they have been somewhat unpredictable, lacking consistency in coaching personnel. If they can level out the peaks and troughs in their performances then watch out.

5. Coventry Cougars

The current national champions have lost their QB and main receiving threats from the 2016 championship team. An uncharacteristic showing at the Huntsmen Bowl may be a sign of a rebuilding year.

They do have talent to come through, the rebuild will have to be swift given the quality of opposition they will face at every tournament.

6. London Blitz

The only other southern team to make the rankings. Blitz tend to have personnel changes each year and as such are somewhat of a wild card at this point. At present the clubs experience in a division of younger or less experienced teams is what edges them into the top 6 of the power rankings.

U12s

1. Waveney Wolves.

In their rookie year Waveney turned heads by putting up big scores through the regular season. They won the Southern Title and finished one win away from playing for the UK title in the main event.

They have kept many of their star players in tact from their impressive rookie year and have all ready won silverware this year at the Huntsmen Bowl. They are a well drilled team and will be tough to beat.

2. Chorley Buccaneers Redbeards

The National Champions from last year are in good shape but have lost half of their 2016 team to the Under 17s. They do have players to step up however with several veterans among the redbeards for 2017.

3. Leicester Huntsmen

They have kept their 2016 national finals team intact. They have players all round, who can win one on one match ups.

They have an experienced coaching set up and reaching the finals for the third year in their three year existence is certainly realistic.

They have key members missing this weekend so may start their year on the back foot, but there is plenty of time to come back.

4. London Blitz

The Blitz will have also lost many of their team who competed at national finals to the Under 17s, but are another set up with the strength in depth to cover these loses.

They have been the number 1 and number 2 ranked team respectively for the past 2 years but this year face a tough challenge within their division from both Waveney teams.

5. Waveney Timberwolves

Waveney could well be the first club to send two teams to the national finals. The Timberwolves lost out at the Huntsmen Bowl to only one team – Waveney Wolves.

Even though they are a development team they have age and size on their side and will be a difficult team to beat. They will push London Blitz close and could even edge them out.

6. Coventry Cougars

The team may have lost its star player to age, but they’ve recruited well in the off season.

Some blistering pace additions will surely give teams a headache. So this new looking Cougars could well be knocking on the door for a finals place once more.

That’s how we see the teams lining up on the starting grid for week one of the 2017 season. If you think we’ve got it wrong then we’d love to hear how you line up the top 6 in each division. Watch this site for updated rankings as the season goes on.

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