The Chicago Wildfire have announced that Pawel Janas will return as Captain for the 2018 season.
Janas’s outstanding play in 2017 earned him the recognition of All-AUDL First Team. He led the league in Assists (85), Completions (933), Completions/Game (66.6), and Usage Rate (22.16%), ranked third for Scores (94) and Assists/Game (6.1), and fifth for Points Played (380). These numbers are staggering, with Completions standing high above even the top passers in the league. Watching any of the 2017 Wildfire highlight reels, it’s tough to find a clip in which Janas was not somehow involved.
Despite his personal accomplishments last season, Janas reflected on improving his leadership abilities in order to give the Wildfire organization a similar taste of success. “I think 2017 overall was a year for me to observe great leaders in action, both in the AUDL and in club on Machine. It’s time for me to contribute on a larger scale.”
Approaching the new season, Janas looks to build on last year. “I think the success of the 2018 Wildfire will be measured on how well we improve the 2017 team’s weaknesses. It’s never fun to lose games, especially the ones that were close in the 4th quarter. Lots of unforced errors and problems with fundamentals led to mental mistakes at crucial junctures of the game.” Janas emphasized a need to follow defensive and offensive game plans while improving the team’s ability to make in-game adjustments.
Looking forward to 2018, Janas is excited to build, compete, and ultimately win more games. Reflecting on last season, Janas had this to say, “I think we have a lot of really talented youth prospects that got their feet ‘Wets’ last year. I can’t wait for them to blossom into beautiful potatoes this year.” The Chicago Wildfire is also excited to see what potatoes will sprout.
The first step in building the 2018 Chicago Wildfire season begins Saturday, November 25, at the 2018 Chicago Wildfire Open Tryout.
To the prospective 2018 Wildfire players about to go through tryouts, Janas has this advice, “You can be the fastest athlete with the best throws but you’ll have a hard time making the team if you can’t make adjustments. The team’s goals are paramount and your game will have to accommodate those. Don’t even try out if you aren’t prepared to work your ass off. The luxury of having a practice squad and playing one game at a time means that competing is a privilege. It’s not like club where you have to carry a bigger roster to give playing time in order to survive a weekend. The sooner you internalize these facts the better.”
While 2018 will only be Janas’s second year in the AUDL, he has already established an impressive Ultimate resume, playing with Boulder High School Hula, University of Colorado Mamabird, Denver Johnny Bravo, and Chicago Machine.
After being asked about his fondest memories with the 2017 Wildfire, Janas simply replied, “The bus. Just… the bus.” When asked to elaborate, he responded with, “What happens on the bus stays on the bus.” While some of us may never know what happens on the bus, we do know that Janas will continue dishing out highlight-reel throws and continue leading the Chicago Wildfire through a bright 2018 season.