Top 5 2012 Highlights of the Jacksonville Sharks

-Megan duBois

Jacksonville, Fla.- With the 2013 Arena Football League season starting in just a few short weeks, it’s time to look back on the season that was. The defending South Division Champion, Jacksonville Sharks, had some major highlights that stand out from the 2012 season. Going 10-8 in the regular season, and making their presence known all the way to the Conference Championship game in Philadelphia, the Sharks have a big reputation to maintain for the 2013 season.

This is the top five-highlight countdown of the Jacksonville Sharks 2012 season.

Highlight number five comes from a rookie defensive lineman out of West Virginia. Scooter Berry (DL) was a standout for the Sharks from the first time he stepped foot on SeaBest Field. Berry played in all 18 regular season games, while starting in 15 of the contests in 2012. During the season, Berry had many personal highlights, but none as momentous as breaking a franchise record. Derrick Summers (DL) held the previous sack record of 11.0. Berry broke and set a new record of 13.0, making him second in the league for sacks. Berry also tied for the all-time rookie sack record set by Chris Walls in 1987. Among other records set, Berry led the team in tackles for loss (12.0), two blocked kicks, three quarterback hits, and five forced fumbles. He finished the season with 30 total tackles, 25 of those solo. Berry is now playing with the Montreal Alouettes (CFL).

Highlight number four of 2012 is dedicated to the division rival Tampa Bay Storm. Playing at home, the Sharks knew they had an advantage of the ninth man standing behind them. With a win of 71-61, the Sharks were well into the 2012 season and in the middle of a divisional contest to span three weeks. In the first quarter, Bernard Morris (QB) connected with Bobby Sewall (WR) and Terrance Smith (WR/DB) each for a touchdown. Morris also brought one touchdown into the end zone himself for a 20-0 lead. Continuing the winning streak through the second quarter, the Sharks were up 47-27 at the half. With a 43-yard touchdown during the third quarter, Sewall continued to calm the Storm. With seven catches for three touchdowns and 130 yards, Sewall led the receiving corps for the Sharks. Sewall won the Russell Athletic Offensive Player of the Game.

The third highlight can be summed up in one word- THREE-PEAT! With a score of 64-39, the Sharks turned the Power out in Pittsburg, to bring the South Division Championship crown back to Jacksonville for the third time in franchise history. With the Sharks only in their third season, this feat hadn’t ever been done in AFL history. Along with the crown of champion on their heads, the Sharks had many standout plays of the game and broken records in Pittsburg. It was during this game that Scooter Berry (DL) broke the franchise sack record. With a lead of 48-13 at the half, the Sharks were on their way to another win. Another record was broken when Jerron Harvey (WR) caught his 215th reception, replacing Jomo Wilson’s reception record of 212.

Coming in at number two, is the tale of two brothers. With the largest crowd of the season, 12,403, the Sharks were out for blood. They got it from the Orlando Predators, where the Bouchy brothers would stand off to see who had the better team in the South Division. As the battle of arch rivals went on, Jacksonville would go on to win 48-30. The Sharks held the Predators to only nine points in the first half, and a 20-9 lead at half time. The first major highlight of the game came from Terrance Smith (WR/DB) when he picked off Orlando’s Chris Leak (QB). Because Leak signed with the Sharks at the beginning of the season, fans were anxious to see what he was capable of doing against his former teammates. As the game went on Daylan Walker, (WR/DB) was able to fall on a fumbled football in the end zone for another Sharks touchdown. This touchdown gave the Sharks their final score and 48 total points. Smith won the JLS Iron Man of the Game and the National Guard MVP of the Game. Walker won the Spalding Highlight of the Game for his fumble recovery for a touchdown.

At number one is the play of the season that fans of the Sharks will remember for years to come. This play happened in the semi-final game of the American Conference. With the game winding down the Georgia Force was up 56-55, for the first time during the contest at Jacksonville. With seconds left in the game, the field goal unit was called onto the field. Kicker, Marco Capozzoli, was the last hope the Sharks had to win the game. The whole arena was silent as the ball was being snapped, and held for the kick that would decide if the Sharks would go to Philadelphia or end the season that night. The ball flew through the air and went right down the middle of the uprights, bringing the crowd into pandemonium. With the 51-yard field goal, the final score for the night was 58-56, Jacksonville. This put the sharks into the American Conference Championship game. Capozzoli won the National Guard MVP of the Game.

With so many great football moments in 2012 for the defending South Division Champions, fans are looking forward to what 2013 has in store for the team. Could more records be broken? With the talent that Coach Moss and company are bringing in, possibly. Will old rivals continue to battle for bragging rights? Always! (Here’s looking at you Orlando, Tampa and New Orleans) Is another division championship on the horizon for the Sharks? We will have to wait to see on that one, but it’s possible if the team believes it is. Could a chance to play in the American Conference game come down to one man and a field goal attempt? Yes, seeing as it has for the past two years, it wouldn’t come as a surprise to Sharks fans.

Where will you be when the best plays and player highlights of the season come and go? Will you be at a team’s watch party while the guys are playing with a ton of heart in another city? Will you ride the team-sponsored bus to the division games? Will you be watching with your family from the couch? Or, will you be one of the fin-atics who dress from head-to-toe in blood-red and black, tailgating, and making as much noise as you can to support your team, from the front row of the Jacksonville Veterans Memorial Arena? As for me, the latter is where I fit in.

One thing is certain though, out of all the craziness that is Sharks football, the 2013 season is sure to bring big plays, big hearts, and hopefully even bigger titles back to Jacksonville. 

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Great article! Can't argue against any of those. The kick by Marco to send the Sharks into the Conference Championship was impressive and one of the best kicks I've ever seen in any league.

Here's a link to watch it: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=95fp6CcD85I

That kick really was something special.  Might have been the moment of the year in all of the AFL.

A 51 yard kick is impressive in any league, but to make it through arena posts is on another level.

Slasher said:

That kick really was something special.  Might have been the moment of the year in all of the AFL.

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