The Halftime Show

HALFTIMESHOW

 

Camp as a row of pink tents… The BLITZ AWARDS 2014, the tenth anniversary of the show, saw the “Better than the Superbowl Halftime Show” Halftime Show, take place at – believe it or not – halftime on Sunday 16 November. It saw the Staff perform their take on Queen – I Want to Break Free; some of the coaches took on Beyonce – Single Ladies; the youth did Thriller and the Junior smashed High School Musical … they all had to learn the words specially for the show … Honestly, they didn’t know them before… And the halftime show finished with coaches James Hudson and Robbie Paulin showing us their Dirty Dancing!

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Robbie speaks about the intro to the tenth anniversary show…

“The last few intros to the blitz awards have been a bit nuts. In 2012 Colin pranked me on the way to the show and, from his control room, commanded the team in an effort to pretty much ruin my day… Then in 2013 we were given a prophecy… Yeah it’s complicated but check them out below.

This year, for the tenth show, we’ve got experts working on a really special look back at the blitz awards to intro the 10th birthday celebrations. I just need to brush up on my time travelling laws and etiquette… Don’t want to mess up the timeline or anything.

Just before the show, make sure you keep an eye on the big screen because I’ll be sending you guys some video messages from a secret location…”

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There’s more dancing this year … We can’t figure out if that’s a good thing, or a bad thing!

Because it’s the tenth blitz awards there needed to be something more, so we’ve got the “Better than the Superbowl Halftime Show” halftime show. This is when the the staff, youth and junior team dance in, what we think isn’t an exaggeration if it’s described as, a spectacular seven minutes of breathtaking talent … Then it’s down to you to decide which is the best. You’ll be able to vote for which act you think deserves to win the BLITZ AWARDS 2014 dance off! There will be four buckets, each representing one of the acts and the one with the most cash at the end will win. This will be announced later on the Wildcats facebook page.

The staff have done their take on Queen – I Want to Break Free…

The coaches, Davie, Dave Ronald and Robbie will be paying homage to the first ever dance performed at the BLITZ AWARDS, Beyonce – Single Ladies…

After all of the jersey rips making the squad look like a bunch of zombies, the youth Wildcats are doing Thriller…

And ’cause they say Wildcats a lot, the junior Wildcats are doing High School Musical…

And to top it all off there’s a Dirty Dancing inspired ended and a few other music videos. What could possibly go wrong… Choreographer Jeni might kill us all…

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Dave Paulin talks about the up coming tenth anniversary celebration of the blitz awards…

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“Wow! 10th Blitz awards! Each year it gets bigger and better!

I am lucky I get to preview it all, but there is a downside; I miss a lot of the show as I am working the video presentation.

This is also the first year that we don’t have the “Bette test.” Bette would watch every video and if she got goose bumps when watching it, then it was a go’er!

There have been some crazy ideas, some mad story lines and some great road trips in making the blitz awards over the years. However, this year we have time travel! Why? Why not?! You’ll see on the night…

Then there’s the halftime show…which hopes to clear up some of the mysteries of this season. How did the Blitz always look so clean and tidy, why did all our game tops rip and many more strange phenomena! All these are explained but in the weird and wonderful blitz awards style. Looking forward to seeing how it all fits together on the night.”

Remember to grab your tickets! They will be available at The Blitz from 2pm – 3pm tomorrow and also on Sunday. You can also buy them at the Ironworks Box Office or on Ticketmaster.

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IMG_0098-7-2Robbie Paulin speaks about his tenth year hosting the BLITZ AWARDS…

“It’s hard to believe that it’s been ten years since I first said ‘Hello and welcome to the blitz awards 2005!’ Well actually it was only nine years ago because this is the tenth show … with me? You’ll work it out!

So yeah, this is the big one – the tenth show – and we’ve got some special bits lined up to celebrate the fantastic round number that is, the number ten!

We’re hopefully going to be kicking off the event with a special look back at the previous nine shows, it’s not quite ready yet though but we’ve still got experts working on it 24/7. Fingers crossed it’s ready in time! I’ll update you when you arrive at the Ironworks on the day so watch out for my messages on the big screen.

There’s also a round up video telling the story of the blitz awards themselves. Plus, the all singing all dancing half time show … it actually is all singing all dancing. We filmed a particular scene for it today and I doubt I’ll be forgetting it any time soon!

The voice of the blitz awards will of course be keeping us right throughout the show by shouting people’s names, stating the obvious and making us sound a lot slicker than we actually are. But this year, for the first time ever, he’ll also be using his face … his actual real life face! We’ll see words coming out of his mouth as he introduces the half time show.

There’s so many extra bits going on this year and surprises that I tend to forget about the actual awards themselves. They were really tough for the coaches to decide on this season and we had several rather long meetings about it. Even after that, we were still changing our minds up until about a week ago. The winners are bang on but there are a lot of people that will be missing out but we felt that it makes winning one a lot more special this year. I’d go as far as saying that getting nominated is almost the equivalent of winning an award in previous years … it is that tight!

I’m going to try to post a short blog every so often over the next few weeks so if you’re peeing yourself with excitement for the blitz awards it will hopefully keep you occupied for a while … and you should probably get that peeing thing checked out … ”

 

Britbowl: The Full Story

Article by Tom Green…

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Last weekend the Highland Wildcats traveled down to Doncaster and won BritBowl XXVIII, achieving the ambitious goal set by head coach Robbie Paulin at the start of the season. They also managed to achieve a perfect season by not losing any of their 15 games throughout the campaign. Here is the story of the tournament.

Quarter Final

Highland Wildcats 25-13 Pennine Panthers

Grass Pitch 3, Keepmoat Stadium, Doncaster

Box Score:

1ST HALF 2ND HALF FINAL SCORE
HIGHLAND WILDCATS 19 6 25
PENNINE PANTHERS 6 7 13

Scoring Summary:

1st Half

HW 6-0 PP – Seumas Ross (Wildcats) 11 Yard Rushing Touchdown

HW 12-0 PP – Seumas Ross (Wildcats) 12 Yard Rushing Touchdown

HW 13-0 PP – Mark Pyper (Wildcats) 1 Extra Point

HW 19-0 PP – Stig McArthur (Wildcats) Defensive Touchdown

HW 19-6 PP – Victor Oderinde (Panthers) Rushing Touchdown

2nd Half

HW 19-12 PP – Daniel Wester (Panthers) Receiving Touchdown

HW 19-13 PP – Tyler Broad (Panthers) 1 Extra Point

HW 25-13 PP – Seumas Ross (Wildcats) 38 Yard Receiving Touchdown

The Wildcats went into the first game of Britbowl not knowing what to expect as the Panthers managed to knock out the Woodham Warriors in the playoffs during their qualification.

1150941_754373911265695_7518108449337407917_nThe Panthers had possession of the ball during the first drive of the game but they couldn’t get out of their half of the field due to the pressure put on them by Stephen McMeechan and both Wildcats corner backs. When the Scottish Champions turned the ball over on downs they immediately put the Panthers under pressure and it resulted in Seumas Ross rushing the ball in for a 12 yard touchdown. This put the score at 6-0.

The Panthers then managed to get the ball into the Wildcats half and started to earn field position with a strong rushing game. However Jordan Anderson at linebacker didn’t relent and managed to stop the Panthers running backs from getting close to the end-zone which eventually led to the ball being turned over. When the Highlanders got the ball back, Euan Crawford threw the ball 33 yards to Mark Pyper on 3rd down to put the team in a healthy field position. From here Ross rushed 12 yards to score his second touchdown of  the day. Pyper then received added an extra point onto the board and put the Wildcats 13-0 ahead.

On the very next play after the touchdown Stig McArthur intercepted a loose pass from the Panthers Quarterback to score only his second defensive touchdown of the campaign. Unfortunately the conversion attempt was no good but the score was now 19-0 and it looked bleak for the Pennine Panthers. The Panthers however were not going to give up that easily and on the following drive they scored there first points of the game with a huge rush by Victor Oderinde before the end of the half to leave the score at 19-6. The Panthers then stopped the Invernessians on the following set of downs to end the half 19-6 to the Wildcats.

The Momentum stayed with the team from Yorkshire in the second half as they managed to get back possession of the ball by intercepting Crawford. They then followed up the interception with a touchdown 3 plays later as Daniel Lester managed to receive the ball in the endzone for a touchdown. The extra point was complete as Tyler Broad caught a difficult catch for the Panthers in the Wildcats endzone. This put the score at 19-13 and meant the game was going to have a tight ending.

TheHighland Wildcats offense however didn’t panic and scored one of the touchdowns of the day when Crawford launched the ball up field into the hands of Seumas Ross to score a 38 yard receiving touchdown. The conversion attempt was unsuccessful but as the score was now 25-13 the Panthers would have to score twice without reply in able to win the game.

The Wildcats defense was not going to allow that to happen and the squad stepped up their game. On the following set of downs Pyper and Anderson shut down the Panthers running game giving the Wildcats possession of the ball with not much time remaining on the clock.

The last drives of the game were shut out by the Wildcats defense and the game ended 25-13 to the Wildcats. This meant that they had to play the Cornish Sharks in the semi finals to earn a spot in the final.

Scores in the other Quarter Finals

East Kilbride Pirates 12-6 Marlow Wolves

Kent Exiles 19-12 Leicester Falcons

Cornish Sharks 27-21 Chorley Buccaneers

Semi Final

Highland Wildcats 40-27 Cornish Sharks

Grass Pitch 2, Keepmoat Stadium, Doncaster

Box Score:

1ST HALF 2ND HALF FINAL SCORE
HIGHLAND WILDCATS 22 18 40
CORNISH PIRATES 6 21 27

Score Summary:

1st Half

HW 6-0 CS – Seumas Ross (Wildcats) 23 Yard Receiving Touchdown

HW 8-0 CS – Mark Pyper (Wildcats) 2 Extra Points

HW 8-6 CS – Ben Tyler-Guy (Sharks) Touchdown

HW 14-6 CS – Seumas Ross (Wildcats) 45 Yard Rushing Touchdown

HW 20-6 CS – Seumas Ross (Wildcats) 45 Yard Rushing Touchdown

HW 22-6 CS – Mark Pyper (Wildcats) 2 Extra  Points

2nd Half

HW 28-6 CS – Mark Pyper (Wildcats) 2 Yard Receiving Touchdown

HW 34-6 CS – Seumas Ross (Wildcats) 45 Yard Rushing Touchdown

HW 34-12 CS – Ben Tyler-Guy (Sharks) Touchdown

HW 40-12 CS – Mark Pyper (Wildcats) 19 Yard Rushing Touchdown

HW 40-18 CS – Ben Tyler-Guy (Sharks) Touchdown

HW 40-20 CS – Richard Scorse (Sharks) 2 Extra Points

HW 40-26 CS – Ben Tyler-Guy (Sharks) Touchdown

HW 40-27 CS – SHARKS 2 Extra Points

After the quarter final victory the Wildcats went on to face the Cornish Sharks in the semi finals of Britbowl. This game, as well as being for a place in the championship game, was also between the most northern team in Britain and the most Southern team in the BAFANL (Newquay – home of the Sharks – and Inverness are separated by 486 miles of British mainland).

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The Wildcats, on a high from their victory over the Panthers, started off the game well with Seumas Ross receiving a 23 yard pass from Euan Crawford to open the scoring. Mark Pyper then scored two extra points and the score became 8-0 to the Highlanders.

On the next drive the sharks responded quickly with a touchdown from Ben Tyler-Guy despite the Wildcats nose tackle Stephen McMeechan forcing a fumble  on 3rd down of the drive. The Cornishmen were unable to convert the extra point attempt which meant the Highland Wildcats still had the lead in the game.

Seumas Ross on the play after the cornish touchdown rushed the full length of the field to score his 5th touchdown of the tournament. The conversion attempt may have been incomplete but the touchdown meant that the Sharks would have to score two touchdowns to stay in spitting distance of the Scottish champions.

The Sharks and Wildcats then cancelled each other out in the next two drives and it left the Wildcats on the ball with little time remaining till the half time interval. Ross then rushed the full length of the field for yet another touchdown. This time the two point conversion attempt was successful (Mark Pyper was the scorer) and it left the score at half time at 22-6 to the Wildcats.

The Highland side then continued to show their dominance in the game by two touchdowns without reply. The first of which was scored by Mark Pyper who received a 2 yard pass from Crawford. The second of the touchdowns was another 45 yard rush by Seumas Ross who was on top form throughout the tournament.

The Sharks did eventually score a second touchdown due to a well executed pass from the Sharks quarterback but this touchdown did not swing the game back in there favor.

Mark Pyper ended up scoring his second touchdown of the game when he rushed 12 yards past the tired Cornish defense. Unfortunately the conversion attempt was no good but it didn’t really matter as they were leading 40-12 late into the second half.

The Sharks were not however going to give up and Ben Tyler-Guy got into the right positions at the right time to score two more touchdowns. One touchdown was converted for two extra points and the second was converted for just the one. This changed the momentum of the game in the Sharks favor.

Unfortunately for the Sharks it was too little, too late and by the time the final whistle has blown the score was 40-27 to the Highland Wildcats. The Wildcats would then go on to play the Kent Exiles in the championship game.

The Score in the other Semi Final

Kent Exiles 12-6 East Kilbride Pirates (The game went to sudden death)

BRITBOWL XXVIII

Highland Wildcats 22-13 Kent Exiles

The Arena, Keepmoat Stadium, Doncaster

1ST HALF 2ND HALF FINAL SCORE
HIGHLAND WILDCATS 6 16 22
KENT EXILES 7 6 13

Score Summary:

1st Half

HW 6-0 KE – Seumas Ross (Wildcats) 12 Yard Rushing Touchdown

HW 6-6 KE – Jay Vijayshankar (Exiles) Touchdown

HW 6-7 KE – Exiles Extra Point

2nd Half

HW 12-7 KE – Jordan Anderson (Wildcats) Defensive Touchdown

HW 14-7 KE – Stephen McMeechan (WIldcats) Safety

HW 20-7 KE – Seumas Ross (Wildcats) 4 Yard Rushing Touchdown

HW 22-7 KE – Mark Pyper (Wildcats) 2 Extra Points

HW 22-13 KE – Jay Vijayshankar (Exiles) Touchdown

After a long and entertaining day of youth football it all came down to the final game in which a year of hard work and sacrifice would be tested. For many of the young Wildcats squad this would be the first time they have played in a stadium but the rookie players were not unnerved by the daunting experience.

The first three drives of the game were nervous affairs for both teams with the Wildcats defensive unit holding their own thanks to top class performances from Haris Ryalls and Jordan Anderson who delivered unrelenting hits onto the opposition. The game remained scoreless as both teams went into the two minute warning.

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The Highland Wildcats managed to open the scoring just after the two minute warning when Seumas Ross scored a 17 yard rushing touchdown to lift the spirits of the tiring team. However the Invernessians decided to go for a two point conversion and it was unsuccessful but the score was now 6-0 to the Scottish champions.

10426789_754387521264334_686674686572366148_nThe Exiles then made the Wildcats pay for the conversion attempt when Jay Vijashankar scored a touchdown which was then converted for a one extra point. For the first time in the playoffs the Wildcats were behind. The score remained 7-6 to the Exiles as the teams went into the half time break.

The Highland defense then went onto the field to attempt to stop the Exiles from gaining positive yardage and Stephen McMeechan produced a vital sack which changed the momentum of the game.

On the following drive the Wildcats were turned over on downs but the defense had sparked into life. Two plays after the turnover, Jordan Anderson recovered a loose ball from the Exiles and scored a spectacular defensive touchdown to put the Highlanders back in the lead. They may have failed to score the conversion attempt which followed but more importantly than that they had a lead.

Two drives later on the first play of the 12th drive of the game Stephen McMeechan tackled the Exiles in the endzone for a safety. As well as getting the two points for the safety the Highland offense now had an opportunity to use the ball. This resulted in a 5 play drive resulting in Seumas Ross scoring a touchdown from the Exiles 4 yard line. Mark Pyper then converted the touchdown for 2 points and the score was 22-7 as the teams went into the two minute warning.

The Exiles then pushed the defense to the limits and Jay Vijashankar ended up scoring another touchdown for the Exiles. The conversion attempt was unsuccessful but the score was 22-13 and the game was out of reach for the South East division champions.

On the next drive the Wildcats took a knee for the remaining plays of the game to run the clock down.

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The Wildcats were crowned UK champions and returned home 24 hours later with the Britbowl in hand to a fantastic welcome from family and friends!

 

Article by Tom Green…

The Story So Far…

Article by Tom Green…

Photo by Andrew Smith / Inverness Courier

The Highland Wildcats successfully managed to defend their Scottish division title this season. The team will be looking to emulate the success of the 2011 squad who won Britbowl XXV. The team has had many changes from previous seasons including the introduction of the Highland Academy Community League (HACL) which has increased participation in the Highland area. The number of coaches has had to increase to accommodate the influx of new players. All of these changes have had a dramatic effect on the team’s performance from last season.


The Moray Tournament

Wildcats 38-0 Pirates
Wildcats 64-12 Buccaneers
Wildcats 40-0 Tide

The opening tournament of the season in Lossiemouth proved a good test of the new look Wildcats with the uncertainty of having a new team in the division. The Inverness based team however were un-phased and won all three games comfortably due to the quality of the running game and a solid defensive unit. One good example of this fast flowing football was used against the greatly improved Hamilton Buccaneers who were wearing out towards the end of the game. This set the foundations for the rest of the season.


WolvesThe Inverclyde Tournament

Wildcats 69-13 Buccaneers
Wildcats 42-6 Wolves
Wildcats 56-0 Phoenix

The second tournament of the campaign saw the Wildcats play in Inverclyde. The Inverclyde Phoenix have been the Highland Wildcats strongest rivals in recent years but the depth of the Highlanders proved too much for the exhausted Phoenix by the last game of the tournament. This allowed them to go through the tournament with relative ease.

The Highland Tournament
Wildcats 1-0 Wolves
Wildcats 1-0 Phoenix
Wildcats 40-6 Tide

Unfortunately the Phoenix and the Wolves were unable to raise teams for the Highland Tournament but it didn’t stop the Wildcats having a great game against local rivals the Moray Tide. The score would suggest that the game was a walk over but it certainly wasn’t. The Tide had greatly improved by the time of the Highland Tournament and could have scored on multiple situations if it wasn’t for solid performances by the Wildcats cornerbacks and linebackers.

smIMG_5562The East Kilbride Tournament
Wildcats 65-2 Buccaneers
Wildcats 56-0 Wolves
Wildcats 28-25 Pirates

The final tournament of the regular season saw the youth Wildcats have two strong games against the Buccaneers and Wolves where they scored 121 points. However this tournament was anything but a walk over as the Pirates held their own to provide one of the closest games in the Scottish division. As a result of this tournament the Highland Wildcats achieved a perfect regular season and a place in Britbowl XXVIII.

 

Article by Tom Green…

Cover photo by Andrew Smith

Tickets on Sale Now

Tickets are now on sale for the BLITZ AWARDS 2014!

This will be the tenth BLITZ AWARDS and will take place in the Ironworks on Sunday, 16 November. Tickets are available from The Blitz and on TicketMaster.

As well as the usual look backs of the season, this year there will be a special look back at all ten years of the BLITZ AWARDS along with a butt-clenching, cring-worthy halftime show celebrating the best (and worst) “dance” sketches the event has given us since 2005…

This year will also see the renaming of the Volunteer of the Year Award to Bette’s Award in tribute to one of our founding members, Bette Paulin, who passed away earlier this year from Ovarian Cancer.

 

Road to Britbowl

Article by Tom Green…

Three years ago the youth Wildcats defeated the Woodham Warriors 38-34 in the youth final of BritBowl XXV. Three years since the dramatic victory the Highland Wildcats look to repeat their success same down in Doncaster three weeks from now. In order to achieve this goal, set at the start of the season, the young team have had to increase the intensity and frequency of their training to put them in with a shot at the UK title.

I attended one of their most recent practices which occurred on Saturday to assist with the tasks of filling up water bottles to keep the players hydrated as well as taking notes for this report.

A lot of emphasis has been put on tackling techniques to ensure that all the players in the team are able to make the crucial stops on defense which could be the difference between victory and defeat.

The players have also been going through the playbook regularly and making adjustments for the teams South of the border who will provide a different sort of challenge to the teams in the Scottish division.

The first thing that will strike you when you attend these sessions is the amount of time all the coaches have put into the cause. The prior knowledge of all of them is outstanding and you can get the impression that everyone in the organisation wants the team to succeed. You can see this throughout the season and the enthusiasm from the opening training session in March is still evident from all involved in the organisation.

IMG_7876The second thing that always amazes me is the amount of players who have been injured throughout the season for long periods of time returning to them team as if they were never gone.

One good example of them is Linebacker Steven Shaw who has attended nearly every single practice whilst injured to learn the plays and provide support for his team mates. He recently returned to training after recovering from a spate of injuries and has shown the maturity of someone who is 20 years older.

Another fantastic example of players returning from injury is Linebacker Jordan Anderson who received a nasty injury during the HACL and has returned to the team to provide his services. It is great to see that he hasn’t given up on the sport after such a long injury which would have led to many people retiring from any contact sport.

The final example I am going to provide is that of Corin Robinson (who is also a Linebacker) who received a injury just before the last regular season game. He has made good recovery in recent months and is already back at training. He has been one of the most dedicated players in the team and a crucial component of the Wildcats success in the regular season with 28 individual tackles.

The volunteers of the club have also been doing a huge amount of work to ensure that the welfare of the players is kept in check. A great example of this is Daniel Woodley who might as well call the Blitz his second home with the amount of odd jobs he has been doing there. He can often be overlooked in the grand scheme of things but when there is something to do with the Wildcats you are bound to find Daniel doing something in the shadows to keep things running smoothly.

It is only three weeks now until BritBowl XXVIII and the opportunity to repeat the success of 2011 and go all the way.

Head Coach Robbie Paulin commented, “The work the staff has put in has been fantastic. Daniel Woodley, Nicola Muir and Anita Crant work hard to keep the practices running behind the scenes and the entire coaching staff has been going beyond what is normally expected of them with extra meetings and of course the added practices. Now that we have selected our squad of 24 things have really stepped up in the last few practices. There is a general feeling similar to the drive we felt in 2011.”

 

Article by Tom Green…

Wildcats 50, Pirates 0

 

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The Wildcats continue to dominate in the Scottish Junior conference of the BAFA National League as they storm to a 50 – 0 victory over the East Kilbride Pirates.

“It was a strange day with there being a much later kick off than we’re used to, ” commented Head Coach, Robbie Paulin. “We were down a lot of players due to illness, injuries and holidays which also threw off our usual routine. I understand that the Pirates were also lacking some players too.”

smIMG_5991The Highland side dominated from the start with the defensive line – made up of Jordan Coia, Luke Crant, Edan Gardner, Erem Demirel and Andrew Ednie – taking control and keeping up that pressure throughout the whole game.

On offense the Wildcats went to the air with completions and passing touchdowns to Demirel, Niall Martin and Ewan Sime.

Running Backs Cameron Davies and Ciaran Docherty also put points on the board with some rushing touchdowns with Chris Shaw picking up an extra point conversion and Jamie Anderson scoring defensive touchdown.

Declan Maclennan also found the endzone with a burst of speed for a 51 yard rushing touchdown from slot receiver.

“It was unfortunate that the Pirates had to withdraw just before half time but we understand and respect their reasons as continuing on with the game would have put their already depleted squad at risk. This is no reflection on the organisation of East Kilbride, which is a fantastic and professional set up!” Paulin added. “We achieved what we set out to do today, which was to make sure we held them to zero as it is points against that is going to affect our playoff chances.”

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