Japan: 2017 All Xleague Team Dominated by Panasonic, Fujitsu & Top Sides

The 2017 All XLeague Team has been announced

Leading the way with seven selections apiece are Panasonic Impulse, who won their first seven games before falling at the semi final stage to IBM Big Blue, and Fujitsu Frontiers, who have reached the JXB for an unprecedented fifth straight year.

Shun Mochizuki (G) of Fujitsu Frontiers – Inside Sport: Japan

All four of Panasonics American imports made the team. Fujitsu’s Al-Rilwan Adeyemi has now been selected for five straight seasons since joining the league.

Devin Gardener was chosen as QB despite Benjamin Anderson getting the MVP award. Both were outstanding all year but Anderson while perhaps slightly less spectacular, didn’t throw an interception until the semifinal.

Yutaro Kobayashi (72) blocks Carlton Jones as Gino Gordon goes past. All three were named to the team – Inside Sport: Japan

Team success seemed to figure heavily into what are ostensibly individual awards. Players that performed at a high level on squads that weren’t as successful didn’t get considered. In fact there wasn’t a single player picked from outside the top six teams. Whether you agree with that policy or not it’s harsh on sides like Minerva, Lions and Finies who had candidates certainly worthy of inclusion. Maybe not in pure stat terms but certainly in impact on the field.

Hidetetsu Nishimura was chosen as Kicker for the sixth time – Inside Sport: Japan

Metropolitan Police Eagles retained the fair play award that they won last season and Rookie of the Year went to Obic’s dynamic young RB Taku Lee.

The XLeague awards started in 2000 and three players including Obic Seagull’s DL Kevin Jackson lead the way with nine selections. Jackson had another impact year and he can consider himself unlucky not to have become the first player into double figures.

Noriaki Kinoshita added a third selection as a returner to his three as a receiver – Inside Sport: Japan

Unlike last season when the team was announced and unveiled in a press conference after the season was over, this year the full team will be presented to the public on the field at the Japan X Bowl on December 18th.

Benjamin Anderson got the MVP award & Carlton Jones and Edmond Davis also made the team – Inside Sport: Japan

OFFENSE:

Tackle: Yutaro Kobayashi – Fujitsu Frontiers (6th)

Guard: Shun Mochizuki – Fujitsu Frontiers (4th)

Center: Edmond Toby Davis III – Panasonic Impulse (3rd)

Guard: Tomoaki Sakaguchi – Panasonic Impulse (1st)

Tackle: Kai Maiava – Obic Seagulls (3rd)

Tight End: John Stanton – IBM Big Blue (4th)

Wide Receiver: Teruaki Clark Nakamura – Fujitsu Frontiers (3rd)

Wide Receiver: Yuhei Yagi – Nojima Sagamihara Rise (1st)

Running Back: Gino Gordon – Fujitsu Frontiers (3rd)

Running Back: Yuki Shirakami – Lixil Deers (1st)

Quarterback: Devin Gardner – Nojima Sagamihara Rise

 

DEFENSE:

Defensive Line: David Motu – Panasonic Impulse (3rd)

Defensive Line: Hiroaki Nakazato – Obic Seagulls (1st)

Defensive Line: James Brooks – IBM Big Blue (4th)

Defensive Line: Carlton Jones – Panasonic Impulse (1st)

Linebacker: Trashaun Nixon – Fujitsu Frontiers (2nd)

Linebacker: Kensuke Amaya – Lixil Deers (2nd)

Linebacker: Takuya Iwamoto – Obic Seagulls (1st)

Defensive Back: Al Rilwan Adeyemi – Fujitsu Frontiers (5th)

Defensive Back: Masashi Fujimoto – Obic Seagulls (5th)

Defensive Back: Emory Polley – Panasonic Impulse (2nd)

Defensive Back: Atsushi Tsuji – Panasonic Impulse (3rd)

SPECIAL TEAMS

Kicker: Hidetetsu Nishimura – Fujitsu Frontiers (6th)

Punter: Shintaro Saeki – Panasonic Impulse (3rd)

Returner: Noriaki Kinoshita – Obic Seagulls (6th) – (three as WR)

 

FAIR PLAY AWARD: Metropolitan Police Eagles

 

Inside Sport: Japan
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