May 22, 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.
Jeff Babbitt, New York Empire
Are we really heading toward a world where the New York Empire have three different AUDL MVPs in a three-season span and none of them are Jack Williams? That proposition is feeling more and more possible after Jeff Babbitt again looked unstoppable on Saturday against Philadelphia. He scored exactly half of his team’s goals in the Empire’s 18-16 overtime victory, while adding two blocks and 382 receiving yards to a sterling 38-for-38 possession-oriented throwing display. He had never produced more catches or completions in his previous 85 career games, and his plus-11 also matched his top plus/minus ever.
Bret Bergmeier, Minnesota Wind Chill
If you include hockey assists amongst total scores, Bret Bergmeier was directly involved in seven of Minnesota’s 11 breaks on Saturday against Pittsburgh, as the Wind Chill steamrolled the previously undefeated Thunderbirds 26-12. While playing almost exclusively for the D-line, Bergmeier tallied two goals, three assists, two hockey assists, and three blocks, totaling a career-best plus-seven. He and Dylan DeClerck each collected their own first-half Callahan, becoming the first teammates to record Callahans in the same game since Ottawa’s David Colic and Matt O’Brien both registered defensive scores against Montreal on June 15, 2019.
Travis Carpenter, Indianapolis AlleyCats
In a game where every possession was precious, Travis Carpenter completed all 63 of his throws to anchor the AlleyCats attack on Saturday against Madison. His final three tosses of the night helped Indy deliver the game-winning goal, as Carter Rae’s perfect put for Cameron Brock capped the 11-throw, 34-second sequence that lifted the ‘Cats to their second straight win. Carpenter missed all of 2022 with an injury, but the 30-year-old veteran has seamlessly reintegrated back into the lineup, completing 181-of-182 passes so far this season. Furthermore, his 514 throwing yards against the Radicals were the most for any victorious player across the dozen games in the AUDL this past weekend.
Walker Frankenberg, Oakland Spiders (Pictured)
Many members of the Spiders merited Honor Roll consideration following the team’s tremendous two-win weekend on the road through the Pacific Northwest, but the nod goes to Walker Frankenberg for his relentless and mistake-free effectiveness. The 2022 Middlebury College alum collected eight goals, three assists, and four hockey assists across 45 points played for the Oakland O-line, churning for 768 total yards with no turns. Through four weeks of the season, only New York’s Babbitt, Austin’s Evan Swiatek, and Salt Lake’s Jace Duennebeil have scored more goals than Frankenberg.
Cole Jurek, DC Breeze
Behind a career-high six assists along with two goals, over 500 total yards, and no turns, Cole Jurek enjoyed his best game as a member of the DC Breeze on Saturday in Toronto, helping his squad bounce back from the tough OT loss against New York with a 20-13 triumph on the road over the Rush. Jurek collected season-bests in both throwing yards and receiving yards, suggesting that his comfort and confidence in the DC system continues to grow. Through three games, his plus/minus sat at an underwhelming plus-three, but he produced a career-best plus-eight this past weekend, helping to keep the Breeze solidly ahead of the Rush in the East Division standings.
James Pollard, Philadelphia Phoenix
Four goals, four assists, four hucks, over 400 receiving yards, and yet James Pollard could not prevent the Philadelphia Phoenix from suffering their fourth straight setback to start the 2023 season. Despite another heartbreaking result, Pollard’s production against New York was too much to ignore. His 682 total yards were second-most in the league in Week 4, trailing only Portland’s Eli Friedman, and the Phoenix’s twitter astutely pointed out the prestige of Pollard’s performance against the Empire.
Sol Yanuck, Carolina Flyers
Playing on his 27th birthday, Sol Yanuck celebrated by completing all 39 of his throws, helping to lead the Flyers to a huge victory over rival Atlanta. Inauspiciously, Carolina’s O-line was abruptly broken 30 seconds into the game, but then just once more over the next 47 and a half minutes, as the Flyers closed both halves strong in a 21-15 win. Yanuck, along with Anders Juengst, Trevor Lynch, and Liam Searles-Bohs, found an offensive rhythm that Carolina had been lacking through their first three games, handing the Hustle their first loss of the season and tightening the race in the competitive South Division.
2023 Weekly Honor Roll