Management and staff of the Lehigh Valley Steelhawks announced today at a special press conference that the team would be leaving the Indoor Football League for the Professional Indoor Football League (PIFL) effective immediately, and will be part of the PIFL's 2013 season. The PIFL, which completed their first season this past June, provided the Steelhawks with more regional rivalries, and new teams to compete against which fans of the Lehigh Valley have yet to see.
is an exciting day for us," stated Steelhawks Executive Vice President
and General Manager Mike Clark. "We cannot give the IFL enough praise
for allowing us to be part of that great league since our inception,
however when the opportunity presented itself to jump on board with the
PIFL, it was something we just could not resist. The PIFL has a high
standard for success, not only on the field, but in promoting their
corporate partners and providing a great show for their fans as well.
This move will allow us to establish new rivalries, improve our travel
arrangements, and increase our national awareness in promoting our
franchise and its players. We are thrilled to be the very first team in
the growth of the PIFL."
PIFL consists of teams in Richmond, Virginia, Knoxville, Tennessee,
Huntsville, Alabama, Albany, Georgia, Columbus, Georgia, and Lake
Charles, Louisiana. Each of the other franchises in the league have been
established for multiple years, and have been successful in their
business practices. The league plays a twelve game schedule with the top
four franchises making the playoffs. The season culminates in the PIFL
Cup Championship which is held at home venue of the team in the game
with the best overall record.
the field, the Steelhawks will have to adjust to some rule differences
then what they are accustomed to playing the last two years in the IFL.
"The PIFL plays more Arena style rules," stated Head Coach Chris
Thompson. "It is very similar to the style of play that teams like the
Philadelphia Soul must abide by. We will only be able to have one man in
motion before the snap, as opposed to two, and there are a few
differences on how and where our linebackers are allowed to line up and
roam and things like that. But there won't be too much of a learning
curve at all. This is the style of play I have been accustomed to as
first an arena player, and then as a Coach in my first few seasons with
the Reading Express. I am excited to get to work, and get the players
here to the Valley to help us bring home a Championship!"
Executive Committee Chairman John Hargrove added, "the addition of the
Lehigh Valley Steelhawks to the Professional Indoor Football League is
more than expansion. Their addition represents strategic growth for the
PIFL. Lehigh Valley brings quality performance and value in regards to
strong leadership on and off the field, their business accomplishments
and the Lehigh Valley community that they serve."
team also announced at they will hold their first open tryouts as
members of the PIFL sometime in mid to late September, and are just
waiting on finalizing a date. In addition, team officials are working
hard towards hosting their first ever Golf Outing scheduled for Friday,
August 17th at Sheppard Hills Golf Course located in Wescosville.
Lastly, tryouts for the PRECIOUS METAL Dance team will be held on
September 15th and 16th at Steel Fitness in Bethlehem from 3-6 p.m. both