June 12, 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
Shortly after New York’s 22nd consecutive victory, Jeff Babbitt was somewhat content, but also noticeably frustrated about his one turnover, a poor reset throw that was blocked by Atlanta’s Justin Burnett late in the third quarter. Since it’s surely still eating at him a couple days later, it felt appropriate to lead with it here in the Honor Roll. But that lone mistake could not overshadow the rest of his spectacular, often jaw-dropping contributions. He produced a team-high 355 receiving yards and delivered multiple highlight-reel grabs for the Empire, finishing with four goals and one assist. It’s Babbitt’s fourth time in seven weeks getting a nod among the AUDL’s sensational seven.
Alex Davis, Carolina Flyers
One of the league’s premier goal-scorers in 2022, Alex Davis had produced just nine goals in his first six games this season before erupting for nine more on Saturday against the Sol. Showcasing his unique blend of top-notch speed and playmaking instinct, Davis churned for a career-best 422 receiving yards on the second night of a back-to-back in the Texas heat, helping the Flyers sweep their Texas trip for the first time ever. In Carolina’s two wins over Dallas and Austin, Davis totaled 11 goals, four assists, six hockey assists, and almost 900 total yards.
Pawel Janas, Los Angeles Aviators
In a pair of wire-to-wire road wins, Pawel Janas was virtually perfect; he also made some history. He threw the disc 133 times, and every toss was complete. He dished 14 assists while accumulating over 1,000 throwing yards. It was also just the second time in his 76-game career where he went consecutive games without a throwaway. As for the history, the AUDL’s all-time assist king became the league’s prime minister of hockey assists, surpassing former Toronto handler Thomson McKnight with eight hockey helpers on the weekend, giving him 258 all-time to complement his 431 assists.
Suraj Madiraju, Carolina Flyers
To call Friday’s plus-13 performance against Dallas a career-high barely does justice to Suraj Madiraju’s offensive explosion. Prior to this past weekend, in 24 AUDL contests, he had never finished a game better than plus-4. Given an O-line opportunity against the Legion, Madiraju cashed in for 37 completions, eight assists, four goals, one block, 495 total yards, and no turns in the Flyers’ eight-goal win. If you had asked all AUDL fans to guess who would have the highest single-game plus/minus in the first half of the 2023 season, I cannot fathom anyone would have thought it would a guy who played only four O-points in his first two pro seasons, but here we are, set to enter Week 8, and Madiraju’s plus-13 stands alone at the top of the chart.
Sean McDougall, Los Angeles Aviators
The cheese to Pawel’s macaroni during LA’s two-win weekend, Sean McDougall was certifiably unstoppable as a cutter across a pair of Aviators’ victories in Portland and Seattle. With 16 goals, five assists, two blocks, and no turns, McDougall was relentless, finishing plus-23 on the weekend and moving to plus-50 for the season, taking over the league lead in the category. Shout-out also to Aviators D-line dynamo Lukas Ambrose, who tallied five goals, three assists, and four blocks across the 2-0 slate, moving himself further into All-Defense and All-Rookie conversations.
Ryan Osgar, New York Empire (Pictured)
In the two biggest games of the season so far, at DC and home against Atlanta, Ryan Osgar has gone 67-for-68 with 15 assists, including 7-for-7 on hucks. Six of those long throws came on Saturday against the Hustle, when Osgar dissected the opposing defense with pinpoint precision. Over and over, it simply felt like the Hustle had no answer as John Lithio cooly hammered away from sideline double teams and Osgar often orchestrated the ensuing scoring sequence. While his overall stats have dipped slightly from 2022, that’s almost completely weather-related; make no mistake, he’s been just as good as he was a year ago when he won the MVP.
Xavier Payne, Indianapolis AlleyCats
The AlleyCats improved to 2-0 against the Chicago Union this year with their 26-17 rout on Saturday, and Xavier Payne’s underrated presence was a key reason why. He finished with a modest two goals, two assists, and one block, but he completed 42 throws without a single turn, including a pair of hucks. The sixth-year pro has never before won an AUDL playoff game, but that feels like it certainly could change in 2023. Aside from 7-0 New York and 7-0 Salt Lake, no team in the league has a longer active winning streak than the 4-2 Indy AlleyCats, who will carry a five-game winning streak into their Week 9 Friday night showdown at Madison. (Yes, I’ve already chiseled Indy’s Week 8 victory in stone.)
2023 Weekly Honor Roll