The Jacksonville Sharks continue their hot-streak of LWOS awards as Head Coach Siaha Burley and Defensive Coordinator James Fuller earn NAL coaching awards. Continuing the LWOS NAL Award series, we are almost done with our personalized awards before we move on to the team awards. Before we wrap up the individual awards, the coaches deserve their recognition as well.
Siaha Burley, James Fuller Earn NAL Coaching Awards
Coach Burley won the Coach of the Year while Fuller earned the Assistant Coach of the Year. Together, the two coaches led the team to an unstoppable 13-1 record in the regular season. To continue their streak to 14 wins in a row, they defeated the Columbus Lions.
Siaha Burley Earns Coach of the Year
After a 10-6 season and a disappointing playoff loss to the Carolina Cobras in 2018, Burley was looking to make a statement to the Sharks organization and fans. After a heafty amount of recruiting, Burley was able to piece together statistically the best team.
The 2019 Sharks weren’t only the best statistical team from 2018, they were able to translate that on the field in 2019 since they were able to make it to their second NAL Championship in three seasons with Burley.
The Sharks were able to find the best quarterback duo in the entire league with Jonathan Bane and Mike Fafaul. Bane, previously with the Maine Mammoths, found success last year as they went on one of the best win-streaks in the league. This season, Bane spent a chunk of the season off the field with an injury. This led him to 160-of-290 (55.17%) for 1,844 yards, 39 touchdowns, and 12 interceptions. Fafaul, on the other hand, was the most efficient quarterback, throwing 123-of-183 (67.23%) for 1,319 yards, 35 touchdowns, and only five interceptions.
For the receivers, Burley took the top three players from the 2018 season and stacked them to the receiving position. Devin Wilson, Jarmon Fortson, and Durron Neal served to be one of the best triple-threat receivers all of 2019. Not one team was able to shut down all three receivers. Teams would pick apart at one or maybe two, but never all three. This is what led Jacksonville to two franchise record games for the most points scored in a single game (83 and 85 respectively).
James Fuller Named LWOS Assistant Coach of the Year
This season, Fuller and Co. did an incredible amount of recruiting on defense on top of what they already had on offense. To start the season, Defensive Lineman Damien Jacobs injured his foot and was out for the majority of the season. He played in less than a handful of games before not seeing the field again for the Sharks. This says a lot because Jacobs is one of the best Sharks defensive linemen and was 2nd Team All-NAL last season. The amount of talent that the Sharks had on the D-Line was incredible. The D-Line totaled 31.5 sacks this season.
The Defensive Backs were also one of the best in Sharks history, as they locked up just about every receiver that came in their way. Seth Ellis and Markus Smith are the only two DB’s who returned from last year’s 10-6 season. Robert Brown and Tony Goodman are new to the team, but are not new to football. Brown won the Arena Bowl with the Philadelphia Soul and Goodman was in the Alliance of Arena Football (AAF) before it folded toward the end of its season.
The Sharks defense has allowed an average of just 33.9 points per game, which is second in the league behind the Carolina Cobras (31.1 points per game).
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