May 8, 2023
By Evan Lepler
Throughout the 2023 season, the AUDL’s weekly honor roll will be revealed each Monday, honoring seven players whose individual exploits merit recognition. The players are listed alphabetically by last name.
Ryan Drost, New York Empire
Friday night against Toronto marked the 15th time in Ryan Drost’s incredible career that he recorded at least four blocks in a game, though it was just his first time doing it against the Rush. He began the season second all-time in AUDL blocks, eight behind his twin-brother, Mike, but Ryan has sliced that gap in half over the last two weeks. The top priority for the 33-year-old brothers is certainly helping the Empire maintain their winning streak and pursue another championship, but an interesting subplot has emerged with their all-time totals, 192 and 188, creeping closer to one another. One thing’s for sure: it’s hard to fathom another pair of brothers combining for more AUDL blocks for at least a couple decades, if not way longer. As a familial defensive duo, the Drosts are in a league of their own.
Jacob Fairfax, Carolina Flyers
Despite the Flyers’ Friday night defeat at the hands of the Hustle, Atlanta struggled to stymy Carolina’s top cutter. “[Jacob] Fairfax doesn’t get enough credit for how good he is,” said Atlanta Head Coach Tuba Benson-Jaja. “He kept finding every seam possible in our defense and kept us having to make adjustments all through the game.” Fairfax finished the night with five assists, no turnovers, and three completed hucks. Furthermore, his 494 receiving yards were more than any other AUDL player has produced in a single game through the season’s first two weeks.
Liam Haberfield, Atlanta Hustle
What a story Liam Haberfield has been so far for the Hustle! The native New Zealander has brilliantly found a home on Atlanta’s O-line as a key stabilizing presence and, this week especially, as a dynamic playmaker. He was involved in a third of the Hustle’s scores in their 24-19 win over the Flyers, throwing five goals and catching three more while also accumulating 522 total yards. In fact, on Atlanta’s opening O-point, Haberfield ripped a perfect 65-yard missile for Brett Hulsmeyer, setting the tone for a Hustle offense that’s only been broken three times in the team’s first two games. There’s a ton of season left, obviously, but the 29-year-old import has to be considered an early contender for AUDL Rookie of the Year.
Brendan McCann, Boston Glory
The veteran AUDL D-line grinder enjoyed his finest offensive performance ever on Saturday against Toronto, as Brendan McCann produced five assists, two goals, and one block in the Glory’s 25-14 rout over the Rush. Of course, he did not play a single O-point all game long; rather, he helped Boston orchestrate 11 breaks—tying the franchise single-game record—in their impressive season-opening victory. The 26-year-old also went 2-for-2 on his hucks, with no throwaways on 24 total completions. “Compared to Glory of years passed, we have added a ton of depth,” said McCann. “We are missing a couple big names from last year, but we greatly bolstered the bottom of our roster [...] I think with that depth added, my game has been able to flourish.”
Jacob Miller, Salt Lake Shred
Among the AUDL’s top 55 players in total completions through two weeks, Jacob Miller is the only one with a perfect 100 percent completion rate. He’s also seventh in the completion category, going 85-for-85 in the Shred’s three straight victories. This past weekend, across a pair of wins in the Pacific Northwest, Miller produced seven goals, five assists, and finished 55-for-55 with 791 total yards, seizing the spotlight on Salt Lake’s spectacular O-line. “Miller is someone who consistently does all the right things,” said teammate Sean Connole. “He’s not flashy, but he creates good space, has great timing on his cuts, and makes good decisions with the disc.”
Jonathan Nethercutt, Colorado Summit
There were surely a few too many turnovers for his liking, but Jonathan Nethercutt’s 15-assist, two-win weekend still earns him a spot amongst the latest scintillating seven. During the Summit’s season-opening jaunt through Southern California, the 31-year-old gunslinger completed 7-of-10 hucks and tossed for over 1,000 yards, while anchoring a new-look Colorado offense. He was particularly dominant in the third quarter of Friday night’s win over San Diego, throwing five assists in that period alone. “Anytime you play Nethercutt with no wind, it’s tough,” said Growlers Co-Head Coach Kaela Helton.
Max Trifillis, Philadelphia Phoenix
The second-year Phoenix erupted for four blocks, four assists, and one goal on Sunday afternoon in DC, willing Philly back into the game before the Breeze ultimately prevailed by one. But despite the defeat, creating four blocks against the Breeze offense is no easy feat. No individual recorded that many Ds against DC all of last year, and only one other player has done that against the Breeze since the start of the 2019 season (Atlanta’s Hulsmeyer had four vs. DC on July 10, 2021). Beyond the blocks, Max Trifillis also set a career-high with 280 receiving yards and finished the game plus-nine, best in his career and tops among all AUDL players for a single-game so far this season.
2023 Weekly Honor Roll