Welcome to the 2023 American Football Ireland All Star Awards! This is the first All Star event in Irish American football history and recognises the best players in the country for the season just gone. Our awards are unique in that they are completely fan vote based, giving the American football community in Ireland the chance to recognise their peers. And what a response we got this year! Over 200 votes were received across 5 categories, showing great engagement and enthusiasm. Those categories were: All Star Offense, All Star Defense, All Star Special Teams, All Star Rookie and All Star Coach. Unsurprisingly there is a strong representation of the recently crowned national champions, but that was to be expected given the fantastic season they had. So without further ado, please let us introduce the 2023 Gaelic Gridiron American Football Ireland All Stars!
All Star Offense: Ty Henry
The Shamrock Bowl and consensus League MVP was an absolute rockstar in 2023. Henry accounted for an astounding 44 touchdowns throughout the regular season; 31 through the air and 13 on the ground, and in doing so led the Rebels to their 10th national championship title. Ty and Co. are here to stay and if this level of production and success continues, expect to see his name on the All Star list for many years to come! Your 2023 All Star Quarterback, Ty Henry!
All Star Defense: Kenny McCarty
This one was a bit closer to call, with the likes of Eamon Ward & Henry Foxton receiving a large portion of the voting. But ultimately it is the Rebels Linebacker that gets the honours! Originally hailing from California, McCarty’s football journey began in Pop Warner where he unsurprisingly played on Defense. Kenny moved to Dublin in 2015 and was part of the Shamrock Bowl XXX champion Rebels team. Now in his third season with the Rebels, McCarty had 2 sacks, 2 interceptions and a touchdown during the regular season! Congratulations Kenny, our 2023 Defensive All Star!
All Star Special Teams: Brendan Simms
In true Irish American Football origin story fashion, Brendan Simms played GAA growing up and bought a second hand copy of Madden 2005 for 99 cents. That was back in 2010, and 13 years later he is one of the Louth Mavericks most instrumental players .He joined the club as soon as he turned 18, and has been with them ever since. Fun fact: he’s played every position bar QB – even on the line! Simms was an absolute force on the field for the Mavs in 2023 scoring on both Offense and Special Teams! He finished the campaign with 6 receiving TD’s, 1 rushing TD, 4 INT’s and 2 Kick Return TD’s. A true all rounder, Simms is more than deserving of this Special Teams All Star Award. Congratulations Brendan!
All Star Rookie: Jonathan Carroll
You’re never too old to try something new, and Jonathan Carrol is living proof! Jono only took up American football last November and is already a national champion! Coming from a rugby background, Jonathan wanted to try a new sport and contacted the Rebels after hearing his future QB on a podcast (not ours sadly) He went to a Rookie tryout and became a Guard on the Offensive Line. The rest is history!. Congratulations Jono on an amazing first season – Shamrock Bowl and an All Star award!
All Star Coach: Ross McCooey
With all the success that his team has had in recent years, it’s very fitting that our All Star Coach is also a Rebel! Ross McCooey has been involved in American football for 18 years, both as a player and Coach with the Dublin Rebels and indeed the Berlin Rebels. Ross has won 6 Shamrock Bowls in total, including an MVP award in Shamrock Bowl XX, but assures us that the latest was “different” and “extra special” as he wasn’t on the field/. Congratulations Ross on your well earned All Star Award!
Well done to all of our All Stars!!! A special mention to the wonderful Lyndsey McVeigh as well for the amazing graphics!
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