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TOP > What’s New > Cameron named MVP, heads 9 Frontiers on All-League team

What’s New

Cameron named MVP, heads 9 Frontiers on All-League team






TOKYO (Jan. 28) — Each time he receives an individual accolade, Fujitsu Frontiers quarterback Colby Cameron quickly disperses credit to his teammates. At the X-League Awards ceremony, many of them got to share the spotlight.


Cameron, who led undefeated Fujitsu to its second league and national titles in three years, was named the most valuable player for the 2016 season, and was one of nine Frontiers selected to the All-League team.


“The MVP in the X-League is more our offensive line, our receivers, our running backs,” Cameron said earlier this month. “I do a little part of that. But I give a lot of credit to them and then our team, the defense and special teams. It’s a great honor, but football is the ultimate team sport.”


Cameron was also named MVP of both the Japan X-Bowl, in which Fujitsu defeated the Obic Seagulls 16-3, and the Rice Bowl, where the Frontiers topped Kwansei Gakuin University 30-13 for the national championship.


Cameron, the Rookie of the Year and an All-League selection in 2015, completed 76 of 123 passes for 845 yards and nine touchdowns with three interceptions in the regular season. In three playoff games, he was 55 for 74 for 547 yards, two touchdowns and an interception.


Obic had the second-most number of players selected to the All-League team with six, while the two losing semifinalists, the IBM BigBlue and Panasonic Impulse, each had four players chosen.


The hard-luck Nojima Sagamihara Rise filled the final two spots on the 25-man squad, while quarterback Devin Gardner was named the Rookie of the Year after throwing for 1,429 yards and rushing for another 349. The Rise missed the playoffs after compiling a 1-5 record in the regular season, with the five losses coming by a combined 24 points.


Joining Cameron on the All-League team from Fujitsu’s high-powered offense were running back Gino Gordon, wide receiver Teruaki Clark Nakamura, guard Shun Mochizuki and tackle Yutaro Kobayashi. Kobayashi made it for a fourth straight time and fifth overall, Mochizuki for a third straight year and Gordon and Nakamura each for a second time.


Named from Fujitsu defense, which allowed a league-low 54 points in the regular season, were the linebacking tandam of Trashaun Nixon and Shuhei Takeuchi and defensive back Al-Rilwan Adeyami.


Nixon, who famously caused and returned a fumble to beat Panasonic in the regular season, and Takeuchi are the only first-time picks from the Fujitsu nine, while Adeyami has now been selected in all four of his years in Japan.


Nojima wide receiver Jeremy Gallon, reunited with Gardner from their days at Michigan University, was the lone first-time selection on offense after catching a league-high 46 passes with six touchdown receptions.


Filling out the offense were IBM running back Tomokazu Sueyoshi and tight end John Stanton, Obic guard Yusuke Yamamoto and tackle Kai Maiava, and Panasonic center Edmond Davis. Sueyoshi and Stanton were both named for the third time in their careers, while the interior linemen all made the team for the second time.


Stanton said at the Awards ceremony that the revised scheduling format, which produced more competitive games in the regular season, raised the performance levels of all players. And that made the season more enjoyable for the players as well as the fans.


“Just looking back on the season, I just think the competitive nature of what the league has become kind of benefits me,” Stanton said. “I feel like when I play the better opponents, it makes me try to find a higher level, and match or overcome [my] opponent. And I think that’s true with all of the teams. I think it brought out the best in each and every player.


“I’ve never had more fun playing football than this year.”


Both IBM and Panasonic missed out on spots in the Japan X Bowl after suffering close losses in the semifinals. IBM was edged by Fujitsu 28-26 on a last-second field goal, while Panasonic fell 9-6 to Obic in overtime.


For Stanton, the disappointment of the loss was tempered by encouragement for the future.


“There’s feelings of both,” Stanton said. “I feel really encouraged to see the amount of good, young players that we’re having and developing. I think it’s setting IBM up for a really successful future.


“For me, I know that we gave our best effort. And just because we didn’t execute at the end of the season, I was disappointed, but at the same time, I had a feeling of some sort of satisfaction that the guys worked their butts off.”


Panasonic’s Davis said he was grateful for the recognition, but was more concerned that the Impulse came up short in defending the league title.


“My team is the reason I’m here,” he said. “So, as I continue to have success, they have success. We feed off of each other. I’ve never been a selfish guy. At the end of the day, I would trade this in for another championship.”


A record 12 foreign players were selected, including the entire front four on defense. IBM defensive end James Brooks was named for the third straight year, and was joined by first-year teammate and defensive tackle Rykeem Yates. Obic defensive end B.J. Beatty returned to the All-League team after a three-year absence. Panasonic’s David Motu, who does not count in the foreign quota because he played at Nihon University, was chosen for the second year in a row.


Joining the Fujitsu pair in the linebacking corps was Nojima’s Yoshiki Tanaka, who was named for the second straight year.


In the secondary, the Obic pair of Keizaburo Isagawa and Masashi Fujimoto and Panasonic’s first-year cornerback Emory Polley joined Adeyami. It was the fourth award for Fujimoto and second for Isagawa.


“It’s a big honor to be here with all of the other guys that won this award,” Polley said. “It’s really great to be recognized.”


Like Stanton, Polley is encouraged heading into next season. “It was a very tough loss [to Fujitsu],” he said. “But we put a lot of effort into the season. I think that it’s reassuring that we had lot of guys coming back, so I’m definitely excited for next year.”


On the special teams, Fujitsu kicker Hidetetsu Nishimura and Panasonic punter Shintaro Saeki were repeat winners—Nishimura for the third year in a row and fifth overall—while Obic speedster Noriaki Kinoshita was selected as the top kick returner for the second time in his career. He has also made the All-League team as a wide receiver three times.



Most Valuable Player

Colby Cameron, QB, Fujitsu Frontiers


Rookie of the Year

Devin Gardner, QB, Nojima Sagamihara Rise


All X-League Class of 2016



Center: Edmond Davis, Panasonic (2)

Guards: Shun Mochizuki, Fujitsu (3); Yusuke Yamamoto, Obic (2);

Tackles: Yutaro Kobayashi, Fujitsu (5); Kai Maiava, Obic (2)

Tight End: John Stanton, IBM (3)

Wide Receivers: Jeremy Gallon, Nojima (1); Teruaki Clark Nakamura, Fujitsu (2)

Running Backs:  Gino Gordon, Fujitsu (2);  Tomokazu Sueyoshi, IBM (3)

Quarterback: Colby Cameron, QB, Fujitsu (2)


Defensive Line: James Brooks, IBM (3); Rykeem Yates, IBM (1); B.J. Beatty, Obic (2); David Motu, Panasonic (2)

Linebackers: Trashaun Nixon, Fujitsu (1); Shohei Takeuchi, Fujitsu (1); Yoshiki Tanaka, Nojima (2)

Defensive Backs: Al-Rilwan Adeyami, Fujitsu (4); Keizaburo Isagawa, Obic (2); Emory Polley, Panasonic (1); Masashi Fujimoto, Obic (4)


Kicker: Hidetetsu Nishimura, Fujitsu (5)

Punter: Shintaro Saeki, Panasonic (2)

Returner: Noriaki Kinoshita, Obic (2)*


Note: Number in parenthese indicates times selected. *–Kinoshita previously selected three times as wide receiver.


Fair Play Award: Keishicho Eagles

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