Honor Roll: Divisional Championships

August 14, 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.

Will Brandt, Minnesota Wind Chill

Ever since his 2021 AUDL debut as a 19-year-old prospect, Will Brandt’s poise, size, and skills were evident. On Saturday night against Indianapolis, the now 21-year-old 6’4” handler showcased his immense value by completing 51 passes and tossing a career-high seven assists, orchestrating the Wind Chill attack to help Minnesota punch its Championship Weekend ticket. Though Brandt’s O-line got broken just 55 seconds into the game, the AlleyCats only produced one additional break over the final 47 minutes, as Minnesota finished with a hold percentage of 85 percent (17-for-20). If the Wind Chill are going to surprise in the semifinals, they will need Brandt to replicate this performance as a high-usage, but also highly efficient, goal-throwing threat. 

Elliott Chartock, New York Empire

Get ready to read lots of praise about the Empire offense. With apologies to everyone else around the league, New York reminded everyone that they are on a different level by preserving possession at a higher rate than any team in AUDL history. The Empire completed 290-of-294 throws on a windier-than-you-would-think night against the respected DC defense. And no one completed more passes than Elliott Chartock, who went 62-for-62 as a backfield rock, the most completions he’s had without a turn since joining the Empire in 2021. Add in his brother Oliver’s underrated contributions, and the Chartocks combined to complete 82 passes with no throwaways, along with four goals, four assists, and over 600 total yards. 

Kyle Henke, Austin Sol

Can you imagine having a debate about the best play of Kyle Henke’s career? The kid is just 25 years old, but he’s already created so many unforgettable highlights, including so many clutch game-defining moments, that it’s unfathomable to contemplate what else he could do as he—gulp—moves into his prime. The Sol probably don’t beat Carolina two weeks ago without Henke’s outrageous third quarter buzzer-beating layout, and they DEFINITELY lose to Atlanta on Saturday without Henke’s heroics in double OT, when he recorded a layout block on the goal line that immediately ranks among the biggest in AUDL history. That’s not hyperbole, folks. It’s Seattle’s Donnie Clark in 2016 against Madison, and… I’m not sure what else is even in the conversation. He finished the game with four assists, three goals, and 585 total yards, but it’s the block that gave Austin life when it looked like the Sol’s season was over. It’s that type of clutch herculean athleticism that makes you think that maybe, just maybe, the Sol might have a puncher’s chance against New York. 

Ben Jagt, New York Empire (Pictured)

When Jeff Babbitt was ruled out for Saturday’s East Division final due to lingering concussion symptoms, the Empire coaching staff immediately shifted Ben Jagt back to the O-line. Once the game began, it did not take long to be reminded why the big man won back-to-back MVPs as New York’s virtually unstoppable scorer in 2019 and 2021. Jagt delivered the 17th double-digit plus/minus performance of his remarkable career on Saturday night against the Breeze, churning for eight goals, three assists, and a ridiculous 687 receiving yards in the Empire’s 24-19 win. That’s the most receiving yards that any player has recorded in an AUDL game all season, a staggering 132 more than the next highest total (Carolina’s Jacob Fairfax at Atlanta on May 5). On a night when New York completed 12-of-13 hucks as a team, Jagt was on the receiving end of nine different hucks! Quite simply, the Breeze just had no answer for Jagt going deep. 

Jordan Kerr, Salt Lake Shred

The best individual plus/minus on the weekend belonged to Salt Lake’s biggest star, as Jordan Kerr dished a season-high eight assists, caught three goals, and finished a turnover-free 27-for-27 passing in the Shred’s superb Friday night effort against Los Angeles. If not for New York’s otherworldly performance, we’d definitely be spending more time saluting Salt Lake’s overall efficiency, as the Aviators created only three break chances all game long against Kerr and his Utah comrades. In his first game since turning 26 last Tuesday, Kerr went over 200 yards throwing and receiving for just the second time this season, finishing second on the Shred in each category and accumulating 530 total yards overall. 

Ryan Osgar, New York Empire

He only had three assists and one goal, but don’t let the modest scoring stats fool you; Ryan Osgar dazzled on Saturday against DC, throwing for a game-high 489 yards, 223 yards more than anyone else on his team and the highest single-game total of his career (since yardage stats began being tracked in 2021). He completed 54-of-55 passes, including 4-of-5 hucks, consistently pushing the disc downfield and keeping the all-time Empire offense fluid. For good measure, he also tallied five hockey assists, another good indicator of how important his contributions were on a night when the Empire notched their biggest win over the Breeze since June 21, 2015. 

Jack Williams, New York Empire

As if there was any doubt, Playoff Jack is back. The Breeze knew that they had to make New York throw deep to try and increase the variance, but a laser-focused Jack Williams rendered DC’s efforts mostly futile. Williams went 5-for-5 on his hucks, 32-for-32 overall, and finished the historic night with six assists, two goals, and 475 total yards. Ho-hum, just another night at the office for the 28-year-old who’s regarded by all his teammates as the best player in the world. Whereas Henke’s clutch theatrics often manifest themselves in the form of jaw-dropping highlights, Williams’ style is similarly super clutch, but often in a way that makes excellence feel routine. There’s no doubt that the Sol, Shred, and Wind Chill will spend the next couple weeks game-planning, but unfortunately for them, it’s not clear that there’s much, if anything, that can slow down an ultra-determined Jack Williams. 

2023 Weekly Honor Roll