Four Wisbech men join King's Lynn Patriots American football team
PUBLISHED: 14:43 11 June 2018
Four Wisbech men are making a name for themselves playing American Football.
Linebacker Ben Hopkin and defensive back Brad Lewinton have played before at youth and university levels.
Wide receiver Matt Cooling is a rookie while coach Jake Denzey-Reeve has experience playing and coaching in Peterborough.
All four are part of the King’s Lynn Patriots, who are working towards entering the British American Football Association’s National League in 2019.
Denzey-Reeve, an electrical engineer for Integrated Truck Services based in Wisbech, said: “I feel I can help the team with my experience and even though my playing days are over I can still be involved in the sport I love.”
The Patriots practice at West Lynn Sports and Social Club on Sunday mornings between 10am and 1pm.
Matt Cooling said: “There is a great atmosphere at the team. Everyone is friendly, and everybody is made to feel welcome.”
Ben Hopkin added: “With so many new players we are all growing into a team together.
“We are all gelling really well and there is a great team spirit which will only continue to grow.”
Twenty-five-year-old Brad Lewinton said: “I get to meet fellow American Football fans and relish the physical, and tactical, aspects of the game.
“There is a special bond you have with your team-mates in this sport that you don’t get in any of the other team sports I’ve played and that makes the effort you put in many times more rewarding.”
The Patriots have recently been approved to move onto the next stage of assessment by BAFA.
Head coach Chris Wallis said, “This is a huge step for team and it means we can start to organise and play games this year.
“I’m pleased with how the team has progressed in recent months, and these four lads from Wisbech have contributed towards that.
“But the hard work has only just begun. We need to recruit and register a roster of at least fifty players, and play a minimum of five games before November, as part of the final assessment process.”
“Our practice sessions are structured so that newcomers can experience American Football in a safe environment straight away.
“We have a lot of hard work ahead, but these are exciting times for the Patriots and I can’t wait to start playing games.”
The Patriots practice on Sundays between 10am and 1pm. Players will need to wear the normal clothing for outdoor sport at this time of year, including footwear with studs or cleats and a gum shield if possible. Please also bring your own water
The team can be contacted via their Facebook and Twitter accounts.