The Raptors are on a roll! The University of Liverpool American Football team picked up their second win on the bounce on Sunday, to take their record to 2-1-0 in the 2018/2019 BUCS season.
Following their 41-0 win against the Bangor Mud Dogs last week, the Raptors went on to defeat the Edge Hill Vikings by a final score of 27-6, another strong performance on the defensive side of the ball!
To finish this years series of ‘Meet the Players’, we’re catching up with two kickers from the Special Teams, Callum Smith and Elliot Davey!
How long have you been playing American football and how did you originally start?
Callum: I’d always loved watching the sport, but I never had the opportunity to play prior to moving to University. When I saw the chance of playing, I couldn’t let the opportunity pass. I’m currently in my 3rd year with the Raptors now.
Elliot: Like most of the guys on the team, I started in my first year of Uni and I’ve been playing ever since.
What attracted you to playing in your current position?
Callum: I normally play as a running back, but this year I had the opportunity to try out as a kicker. It’s a position I’d always wanted to try out as I used to kick when I played rugby, and also took set pieces when I played football, so I thought I’d give it a go!
Elliot: Normally I play as a quarterback. It’s so demanding both physically and mentally and really high risk or reward. I’ve been dealing with a shoulder injury at the minute though, so I’m currently training as a kicker. The fact that there is still a role for me is a great representation of how inclusive football is; there really is a position for everyone.
What’s been your best moment playing football?
Callum: My best moment individually would have to be scoring my first touchdown last year. It took a while to get there so it felt great finally getting on the scoreboard. As a team though, winning Varsity and the Christie Cup last year within the space of a few weeks was a fantastic moment for everyone at the Raptors.
Elliot: Like Callum, I’d probably say winning both Varsity and Christie last season. Either that or getting to the playoffs for the first time last season.
What’s been the worst moment of your football career?
Callum: My worst moment was going out early in the playoffs last year as we’d worked so hard to get there. However, the team who beat us were the eventual champions, so that’s what we’re aiming for this year.
Elliot: Simple, playing on Bangor’s shocking excuse for a pitch.
Who’s one player in the NFL you really admire?
Callum: The player who I mainly look to for inspiration would be Stephen Gostkowski, kicker for the New England Patriots. He is the embodiment of consistency and coolness under pressure and has been pivotal in the Patriot’s success over the last decade.
Elliot: Drew Brees. He is arguably one of the best quarterbacks ever in the NFL and has been the heart of the New Orleans Saints’ offence for the last 13 years. His throwing style is flawless and combined with his ability to read the game, it’s such a deadly combination against any defence.
What’s one thing you really want to achieve in a Raptors jersey this year?
Callum: I think winning the conference is a realistic goal that everyone in the team can get behind and it would mark a great end to my playing career if we achieve that.
Elliot: The goal for this season is to be top of our division as it is every season. We’ve been getting closer every year and we definitely have the talent to manage it this year.
With three games in the books for the Raptors season, we’ve now completed this year’s ‘Meet the Players’ series.
The coverage of the Raptors doesn’t end here though, as we’ll be following the team on their journey throughout the rest of the season, hopefully culminating in the side picking up some silverware!