Skills Clinic Success

Clinic - Tackling Safety50 potential players for HACL and the 2014 Junior Wildcats were at the Highland Football Academy in preparation for next season.

Head Coach, Robbie Paulin, commented, ” It was fantastic to see all of the Community League teams represented today and the Junior Highland Wildcats too.  The staff did a fantastic job and what impressed me most was the willingness of more experience players to help out new comers…Even when they weren’t in their own school team!”

The linemen split into their own individual group and were put through their paces by coaches Davie Grant and John Scott.  They went through some athletic tests and footwork drills while the Wide Receivers and Quarterbacks worked on basic skills, followed with some Defensive Back basics. The session finished with some fast paced and competitive one on ones.

“I feel this is one of the most competitive groups we’ve had at this really early stage,” Paulin continued.  “It’s looking really positive for the Community League next season but also for when these teams join together to form the Youth Highland Wildcats and – in some players cases – boost the Junior Highland Wildcats.”

“I would like to say a massive thanks to all the staff and helpers today: James Hudson, John Scott, Davie Grant, Mark Paulin, Liam MacKenzie, Nicola Muir, Jack Ghez, Scott Maclennan, Marion MacLeod, David Paulin and Alasdair MacLennan and all the players coming and putting in so much effort.  The effort from the parents in transporting the guys through should also be recognised!  Well done to the MVPs for today as well: Corin Robinson, Conor MacPhee, Marvin Skinner and Mattie Reffin.  From a group that were so competitive and put in so much effort, they did a fantastic job to stand out!”

More media from the clinic, including pictures and videos, will follow in the next few days.

League Press Launch

Players from the new Highland Academy Community League put on the full team uniforms for the first time today in a photo shoot for the Inverness Courier for the launch article next week.

HACL Photo Shoot

Charleston Academy Knights – Nathan Ross and Euan Crawford ; Jordan Anderson and Cameron Payne – Culloden Academy Raptors; Haris Ryalls and Ally Gibson – Millburn Academy Eagles; Colin Hamilton and Stephen McMeechan – Inverness High School Predators; Taylor Love and Johnathan MacLeod – Inverness Royal Academy Sharks.

The Highland Academy Community League is supported by The Carpet Emporium, Foundation Scotland, PJC Entertainment, sportsmatch and osteocentra.

Skills Clinic Update

Skills ClinicThe Skills Clinic is getting closer!  Sunday, 8 December will see potential players from the Junior Highland Wildcats and players from the Highland Academy Community League teams working out at the Highland Football Academy in Dingwall.

The event kicks off at 1pm on the indoor astroturf field with tackling skills.  Offensive Lineman, Wide Receivers and Quarterbacks will then be taken through individual drills.  Players will then get the opportunity to split into Defensive Backs and Defensive Linemen groups to work on skills for those specific positions.

The Skills Clinic will finish with a bit of competition in the form of one on ones where the players will get a chance to show what they’ve learnt as they go head to head against each other.  The event raps up at 4pm.

There is no sign up process for this event.  You just have to go to the Facebook event page: https://www.facebook.com/events/394596540671106/ and click “going”.  Arrange your transport and make sure you’ve got the appropriate footwear and attire (details on the Facebook event page).  Anybody struggling for transport should try to arrange with teammates or as a last resort email robbie@highlandwildcats.co.uk to see if you can get a place on the event minibus.

The event costs £5 and is payable on arrival at the venue.

This is an important event for the upcoming Wildcats season and vital for the players in Community League teams!  Here’s some clips for the 2011 Skills Clinic.

 

Recruitment Continues

After a successful opening promotion day at Culloden Academy, recruitment for the Community League has continued in Inverness schools over the last 6 days.

Last Thursday and Friday saw pupils from the Inverness Royal Academy being given the chance to sign up for the Sharks to play in the 2014 Highland Academy Community League season.  Over 35 people put their name down to be involved.  This enthusiasm was carried through to the Inverness High School yesterday with over 25 pupils signing up to play for the Predators.  Earlier today it was Millburn Academy’s turn and once again around 30 people showed interest in the Eagles side for 2014.

On all of the promotion days many of the current Highland Wildcats players were on hand to help with recruitment.  Youth Development Officer, Robbie Paulin said, “The Wildcats guys were really helpful in the promotion days.  Jordan Anderson at Culloden did a great job at pulling in a lot of the older pupils in the school.  There was a lot of enthusiasm from Loudon Wheeler at the IRA and Colin Hamilton, Mark Pyper, Ewan Sime, Stephen McMeechan and Joshua Fox at the Inverness High School.  Today at Millburn Stig McArthur, Haris Ryalls and Alasdair Howie brought in a lot of great athletes to the team too.  It wouldn’t have been so successful if it wasn’t for these guys helping out.”

Tomorrow is the last promotion day and this time the recruitment takes place in Charleston Academy for the Knights.

Culloden Kick Start

Culloden Academy

The Culloden Academy Raptors got a kick start today in the first of the Highland Academy Community League promotion days. Wildcats captain Jordan Anderson was involved in actively recruiting over 20 players for the HACL side for the 2014 season.

The Highland Academy Community League promotion days continue tomorrow with the Inverness Royal Academy Sharks.  Followed by the Inverness High School on Monday, Millburn Academy on Tuesday and then Charleston Academy on Wednesday.

Anderson commented, “Was great to see such a great turn out today. Some unexpected people signing up and a surprising amount of good athletes. Culloden is looking like a really strong team for 2014.”

Check out the Highland Academy Community League Facebook page at www.facebook.com/highlandacademycommunityleague

Promotion Days for HACL

The Highland Academy Community League practices kick off in January 2014 with games starting in Mid February.  Now is the time to join your team and League staff will be out in the schools recruiting over the next week.  The dates for each school are as follows:

Wednesday, 13 Nov – Culloden Academy – 12:40 – 1:30

Thurs&Fri, 14&15 Nov – Inverness Royal Academy – 12:15 – 1:45

Monday, 18 Nov – Inverness High School – 1:15 – 2:00

Tuesday, 19 Nov – Millburn Academy – 12:20 – 1:05

Wednesday, 20 Nov – Charleston Academy – 12:45 – 1:40

The information stalls will be located in reception areas and other public areas in the schools.  Come along and ask any questions you might have, get to try on some a helmet and other equipment and meet some of your new team!

BLITZ AWARDS 2013

1463358_480877205360046_1381318452_nThe Highland Wildcats celebrated their achievements in 2013 yesterday at the BLITZ AWARDS 2013 in the Ironworks, Inverness.  This was the ninth BLITZ AWARDS and always the show was full of action, emotional moments and lots of comedy.

The show opened with a prophecy, monk sketch with Wildcats player Colin Hamilton and host Robbie Paulin….You have to see it really for it to make sense!  Then it was onto the awards. Gemma Crawford from the Ironworks kicked things off handing our Best Youth Running Back to Mark Pyper and the Junior prize went to Cameron Davies.

Robert Taylor, Editor of the Inverness Courier, took over the next lot of prize giving and presented the Youth and Junior Rookie of the Season to Stephen McMeechan and Luke Crant respectively.

Kyle Robertson received Best Quarterback from author of the Twelve Hidden Laws of Performance, Donald MacNaughton.  Also picking up prizes from the top Sports Psychologist was Loudon Wheeler and Jamie Anderson for Most Versatile Player Youth and Junior.

Marc Hindley from Canary Dwarf (the creators of this very website) handed over the Most Improved Player.  Jordan Anderson scooped the award for the Youth Wildcats and Mark Betts took it for the Juniors.  Five futher awards for improvement during the season were awarded to Haris Ryalls, Euan Crawford, Ewan Sime, Alex MacDonald and Craig Findlay.

Director of the BLITZ AWARDS 2013 Alan Hoseason presented the Dedication and Commitment Awards which included Mark Pyper, Luke Crant, Colin Hamilton, Lewis Meeks and Steven Oag.  He remained on stage to surprise Daniel Woodley who picked up Volunteer of the Year for his work with the Highland Wildcats and continuing commitment to the team.

The second half kicked off with the Lineman and saw Stephen McMeechan pick up his Second BLITZ AWARD of the night and his coach and mentor Davie Grant being awarded the Best Lineman for Junior presented by Susan Standish-White from HighLife Highland.

Two of the clubs sponsors took to the stage next to give out the Best Wide Receiver and Best Defense Skilled Player.  Phill Coe from PJC Entertainment handed our Best Defensive Skilled player to Chris Shaw and Kyle Robertson.  Then Donnie Chisholm from the Carpet Emporium presented Erem Demirel and Shaun Matheson with the Best Wide Receiver prize.

It was then up to Richard Gilbert from the Inverness Area Sports Council to reveal the results of the Players vote for the Players Choice Awards. Coming out on top for the Youth team was Mark Pyper, Stephen McMeechan and Euan Crawford.  For the Junior team it was Luke Crant, Cameron Davies and Lewis Meeks that got the most votes from their fellow players.

The show ended with the Blitz Achievement Award which is presented to a player that has show long term dedication to the Wildcats over multiple seasons.  This year saw the 2012 winner, Kyle Roberston, hand the award over to his fellow team mate Davie Grant. Davie went on to make the “tear jerker” speech.

Robbie Paulin who hosted the show commented: “Davie really does sum up what the Blitz Achievement Award is all about.  He’s been involved for several years and in that time has improved immensely.  We’ve never had a player that’s created such a big impact on the field and attracted so much attention from all over the UK and even all over the world.  And to top it off he’s given back to the team by coming back and coaching the Youth Highland Wildcats.

I want to say well done to all the winners but also to those nominated as it’s genuinely tough to win a BLITZ AWARDS especially in particular categories.  But that’s also what makes winning one so special!

The volunteers involved in the show on the day were fantastic and the Ironworks crew were outstanding.”

Pictures and videos from the awards will be released over the next few days!

Keeping it in the Clan

Wildcats players are seeing success on the field with Scotland’s most winning University side.

“The University of Stirling has a long and proud tradition of welcoming student athletes from the Highland Wildcats, ” said Rob Orr, Head coach of the University of Stirling Clansmen.

Mats Kraft“Starting all the way back in 2008 with Mats Kraft up to the present time, with Craig Findlay, Jamie Anderson and of course Kenny Mackay, who represented both of our organisations on the 2012 FBU Europe team, we are grateful for the legacy provided to our championship winning programme by Robbie Paulin and his entire team.” Orr Continued.

The Stirling Clansmen are currently sitting on 2 wins and no losses.  Both wins saw them rack up more than 70 points against their opponents and not letting in a single point.  Out of the Wildcats players on the Stirling roster this season, Craig Findlay has seen the most action so far.  In his second year with the Clansmen he’s picked up numerous tackles and one sack in the opening games of the season.  Jamie Anderson, a current Wildcats player, saw some action on the field last weekend against the Paisley Pyro’s with veteran Kenny Mackay currently unable to play due to injury.

Highland Wildcats Youth Development Officer, Robbie Paulin commented, “It’s great to see our guys go on to be part of a great set up like Stirling University.  Not only continuing to play American football but at the same time getting their education.  Coach Rob Orr has established a great programme with results that speak for themselves but also what many probably won’t realise is the work that goes on behind the scenes and the team ethos that he has developed!”

In finishing, Coach Rob Orr said, “We look forward to continuing our academic pathway for all student athletes from Inverness into 2014 and beyond.”

(Feature Photo by Jimmy Thomson)

Countdown to the Blitz Awards

With only a few days until the BLITZ AWARDS 2013 we thought it would be a great time to look back on past events.

The BLITZ AWARDS 2013 will be hitting the Ironworks on Sunday.  The show is known for its player highlight videos, emotional look backs and a the odd surprise along the way.  “Odd” being the key word in that sentence.  Some of the random events to happen in the past have included blowing up the Crazy Frog, a visit from Borat, Captain Jack Sparrow being hunted down on a Harley Davidson by our mascot Rocky…Oh and the Harley made a return in 2011 when presenter Darcy Ida burst into the Ironworks on one.  We’ve also been known for our dance sketches.  The first being this little number by Alan Hoseason (now the director of the BLITZ AWARDS) and his backing dancers from the Senior Highland Wildcats:

Then in 2012 the Youth Highland Wildcats carried on the tradition (yeah…it’s become a tradition…) along with  presenter Robbie Paulin with their take on Gangnam Style:

We can reveal right here that there WILL be another dance this year…God help us all!

So as well as the random comedy parts in the BLITZ AWARDS it’s also known for it’s emotional look backs and this year is no different. 2013 sees a lot of the original development players from 2006 now moving on from the squad and there is a video dedicated especially to them that looks back on their years with the Highland Wildcats; set to Coldplay’s Fix You… you so can kind of see where that video is going! The Blitz Achievement Award is a big one this year and looks back on an amazing journey of one of our star players.

If you feel like getting into the BLITZ AWARDS spirit you can have a look back at parts from the last two years of the show right here:

BLITZ AWARDS 2011

BLITZ AWARDS 2012

The doors open at 5:30pm on Sunday but check out highlandwildcats.co.uk in the run up to the event to see some behind the scenes photos and videos on our Instagram feed #highlandwildcats as the BLITZ AWARDS stage is built and during rehearsals.  You can add to the stream whenever you take an Instagram relating to the BLITZ AWARDS or the Highland Wildcats in general by using #highlandwildcats.

Help Raise Funds for FREE

The Highland Wildcats have teamed up with EasyFundraising which allows you to earn money for causes when you do your online shopping.  The best bit is it doesn’t cost you a penny!

Sign up at EasyFundraising and select the Highland Wildcats as your cause then whenever you visit certain retailers through the EasyFundraising website you’ll earn money for the club.

The easiest way to do this, and the most effective, is to install the EasyFundraising toolbar into your web browser.  Whenever you are on a retailer that is involved with EasyFundraising or whenever you click the icon it will ask if you’d like to claim a donation.  You can also search for retailers in the toolbar.

Get the toolbar here: http://www.easyfundraising.org.uk/raise-more/find-and-remind/

Visit the Highland Wildcats cause page: http://www.easyfundraising.org.uk/highlandwildcats/

#highlandwildcats on Instagram

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