Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Lehigh Valley Steelhawks Make Move to PIFL

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.
"This 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."
The 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.
On 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!"
PIFL 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."
The 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 days.

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