Jacksonville Sports Day

SHARKS: Hills Named AFL Wide Receiver of the Year

The Jacksonville Sharks and the Arena Football League announced Friday that Sharks wide receiver Joe Hills has been named the 2016 Cutters Wide Receiver of the Year.

Following an outstanding 2015 season in Jacksonville, Hills took his game to further heights in 2016 as he led the League in every major receiving category, racking up 161 receptions for 2,020 yards and 58 touchdowns.

Hills finished the regular season with 16 more catches, 353 more yards and 10 more touchdowns than any other player in the League. In the process, Hills shattered the previous single-season franchise record for touchdown receptions, passing Jomo Wilson’s total of 44 in 2011. Hills also bested his own single-season franchise mark of 150 receptions set in 2015, and became just the second player (Tiger Jones, 2015) in franchise history to record 2,000 or more receiving yards in a single season.

A model of consistency, Hills caught at least one touchdown pass in every game in which he played, extending his own personal streak to 72 consecutive games with at least one score, six short of the league record of 78 set by Damian Harrell. Hills scored multiple touchdowns in all but one game, racked up three or more scores on 12 separate occasions and crossed the 100-yard mark 11 times.

To take nothing away from his other 15 games, the high-water mark of Hills’ campaign came in Week 9. In the Sharks’ 59-56 victory over the Orlando Predators, Hills racked up 15 receptions for 173 yards and eight touchdowns. On that day, he became the first player in the Sharks’ seven-year history to score more than six touchdowns in a single game and came just one touchdown shy of tying the all-time single-game AFL record.

Hills continued to torch opposing secondaries during the Sharks’ two-game postseason run. In the playoffs, Hills led the Sharks with 24 catches for 269 yards and seven touchdowns. It should come as no surprise that Hills’ phenomenal performance earned him a spot on the All-Arena First Team.

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