Raiders announce return of Antwon Young for 2013
“Thanks to the Richmond Raiders for having me back for another year,” Young said. “I am very grateful and happy to be a part of this organization.” The quarterback minced no words when stating his goals for the 2013 season. “My number one goal is getting back to the championship game and changing the results this year. Anything less than a championship this upcoming season would be a big disappointment, especially with the group of players we have coming back.”
Raiders head coach James Fuller expressed his pleasure on Young’s return. “Having Young back is a huge boost for our organization, as he was such a big part of our offensive productivity in 2012. It’s always good to have a starter at QB return to your team let alone the league’s MVP,” he said.
Young started every game for the Raiders in 2012, completing 53% of his passes for 2866 yards and 60 touchdowns. He also ran 103 times for 452 yards and 19 TDs. The dual threat QB was named PIFL Most Valuable Player, selected to the All-PIFL 1st Team, and named PIFL Offensive Player of the Week twice. Perhaps most importantly, Young took care of the football. He led all of professional indoor and arena football with a 60-5 touchdown-to-interception ratio.
Despite his success in 2012, Young expects to be even better in 2013. “Last season’s achievements are in the past for me because at the end of the day I still feel like I can get better. This upcoming season I expect myself to play a lot better than I did last year because of the playing experience I have gained. One thing I am really looking to improve this upcoming season is my completion percentage and the amount of touchdowns thrown. I know that I have a lot of things to work on but those two really stood out to me.”
In a sport that is often dominated by prototypical drop-back passers, Young’s versatility made defending the Raiders’ offense a “pick your poison” proposition for opponents, as he threw and ran for at least one touchdown in 11 of the team’s 14 games in 2012. “He does things that you cannot teach, he makes it hard for defenses to prepare because he can do both, run and pass, so well,” Fuller said. “He can beat you with his feet as well as in the air, and we plan on expanding on that in 2013.”
After starting the last three games of 2011, having joined the team at midseason, Young emerged as a team leader on and off the field. He led the Raiders to a 10-2 regular season record and the team’s first ever playoff win. That put the Raiders in the league championship game, where Young threw for three touchdowns but was harassed and frustrated by Albany’s defense. “Just the way that things went down last year left a bad taste in my mouth all off season. I really felt that after all the things me and my teammates went through all season I let everyone down in the championship game and as a captain of the team I didn’t lead by example, no matter what the situation was,” he said.
Young engineered game-winning drives within the last minute twice. He had career highs in completions (24), yards (291), and touchdowns (7) May 11 at Alabama, with the seven touchdowns tying the franchise single game record. He also tied the team record with three rushing TDs in a game twice. He led the league in yards per rush and finished second in passing yards per game, passing TDs, passing yards, and total offense.
While gaudy stats are impressive, Young understands that his role on the team is about more than mere numbers. “The more you play the better you should get and I know that next season everyone is expecting me to come out and be the leader on this team again, but with better results. So I feel that anything less than winning this award again would be letting myself, the organization, and the fans down because that would mean I didn’t get better,” he stated.
The Raiders’ 2013 season will start March 16 when the Raiders take on the Charlotte Speed at the Richmond Coliseum, and Antwon Young can’t wait to get back on the field.
“This upcoming season I am most looking forward to the home games at the coliseum. The fan base in Richmond is constantly growing and the passion that the Richmond fans bring make that place a wonderful place to play. I only hope we can continue to build our brand of football here in Richmond and continue to improve the attendance at every game.”
To order season or group tickets, visit www.RichmondRaidersProFootball.comor call the Raider office at (804) 780-0430.