Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Collin County's IFL Team Announces Former NFL Star & State Representative As Part Of New Ownership

In a press conference at Dick's Sporting Goods in Allen today, Championship Sports Group announced the formation of a new partnership group that will own and operate the Indoor Football League team that plays at the Allen Event Center. Lead by former IFL commissioner and 21 year professional sports management veteran Tommy Benizio, he and Chairman/CFO Paul Williams have recruited the top staff in the league and are in the processes of filling out the team’s new ownership group with the likes of former NFL star Tim Brown, and State Representative Ken Paxton. In addition, officials announced a "Name YOUR Team" contest in which fans are encouraged to submit suggestions as to what the team's new name and colors should be. Finally, the teams first step towards filling out a championship caliber roster was unveiled in the signing of Wranglers star defensive back Frankie Solomon Jr. from Dallas, who lead the Wranglers defense during the 2012 season and earned a spot on the 1st Team All-IFL.
Through efforts spearheaded by team Chairman and CFO, Paul Williams, the Texas corporation, Championship Sports Group, Inc. was formed over recent months. Williams serves as the CEO of both Bison Financial Group of Frisco, and Halo Companies of Allen and earned the honor of Dallas Business Journal's CEO of the year in 2010. "I quickly recognized the quality of this project and wanted to be involved", explained Williams, "The football product at the Allen Event Center is amazing and I am looking forward to helping our team grow roots for many seasons to come". He and Benizio, along with partners Barney Welch, and Charlie Hildbold have since added Dallas native Tim Brown as the team’s General Manager and as a partner in the business. Brown performed to great acclaim as a member of the Notre Dame Fighting Irish football team earning himself the 1987 Heisman Trophy before entering the NFL where he played 17 seasons, primarily in an Oakland Raiders uniform. Tim was a runner up for the NFL Hall of Fame in both 2011 and 2012. His duties as GM will include assisting in building partnerships with local businesses and in management of the team’s football operations. "I am thrilled to be involved with this team and to be serving the football fans of Collin County", stated Brown, "Keeping my hand in professional football has been a goal of mine for some time and I am excited to be doing so with this team." Additionally, area attorney and State Representative Ken Paxton has joined the ownership group in addition to his duties in serving as the team's general council. Paxton is a hopeful in the upcoming election for State Senator. Meetings are on-going with several interested local business people in efforts to fill out the ownership team. Paxton is in Austin today at the Governors office and Brown is participating in the NFL's season kick-off game in New York but both plan to participate in the teams next press conference on Wednesday, September 19th.
"Name YOUR Team" Contest: In partnership with both Dick's Sporting Goods in Allen and Frisco, and Star Media Local Papers, CSG is seeking a new team name. "We exist to contribute something special to the community. It truly is their team so we felt strongly that it should be named by the community.", explained Benizio. Group Publisher Roger Will of Star Local Media has the papers in Allen, McKinney, Plano, Frisco, Little Elm, and Salina all running team ads this week that feature entry ballots where fans and members of the community can write their suggestions for the new team name and colors and can bring these into the Dick's Sporting Goods in Allen or Frisco where 8-foot tall team displays are located and serving as entry boxes. Entries will be accepted between today and Sunday, September 16th. Officials are planning to unveil the team name on Wednesday, September 19th at a location to be determined and announced. One lucky fan who makes a suggestion that the team utilizes for the name will win $5,000 cash! Name suggestions can also be submitted at
Frankie Solomon Jr.: The final announcement of the day focuses on star defensive back Frankie Solomon Jr. joining the team after a remarkable year as an Allen Wrangler in 2012. With Benizio still leading the charge to select a new Head Coach, the team is relying on Tim Brown to gain momentum in the signing of players. Brown noted, "Frankie was a natural choice to start the building of our roster. He has remarkable talent, great character, and strong local ties. We look forward to continue building a roster around him over the coming months". In 2012, Solomon recorded 115 total tackles and earned the Wranglers 123 yards on his 7 interceptions including bringing two of them back for touchdowns. "Dallas is my home and I am very proud to be part of such exciting times for the city's indoor football team", stated Solomon, "While I remain inspired to seek out a job at the next level of professional football, I am eager to continue my career in Allen if I remain in the IFL." Frankie's photograph is featured on all elements of the "Name YOUR Team" contest.

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