Friday, February 15, 2013

2013 IFL Season Begins Tonight

It's finally here. After seven long months, the 2013 IFL Regular Season begins tonight.
The IFL Kickoff Classic features two highly anticipated contests between United Conference rivals. The Kickoff Classic begins tonight as the Green Bay Blizzard host the Sioux Falls Storm in a rematch of last year's United Conference Championship game. Kickoff Classic weekend resumes tomorrow night when the Chicago Slaughter travel to face off against the Cedar Rapids Titans.
Sioux Falls Storm at Green Bay Blizzard
February 15th 7:30pm , Resch Center
The Two-Time defending United Bowl Champion Storm, begin their quest for the "Three-Peat" tonight. The traditionally veteran squad returns some familiar faces, but the 2013 team will rely on a number of newcomers to continue the winning tradition.
Gone is 3-Time IFL MVP QB Chris Dixon. Insert Martevious Young, (6'2, 190) QB from Southern Mississippi. During his Junior season, Young threw for 16 touchdowns vs. only 3 interceptions. He has some experience in the indoor game as well after spending the 2012 season with the Omaha Beef. "We're excited about him," stated Storm Head Coach Kurtiss Riggs. "He's the guy we singled out as having the youth and energy but still enough indoor experience that he won't be awestruck with the indoor game." There is no doubt that Young has some big shoes to fill as he looks to achieve the high expectations of Storm Nation.
Through the many changes to the Storm roster, one thing remains constant. The most dominating unit in all of indoor football, the Storm offensive line, all return for the 2013 campaign. All-IFL OL Myniya Smith, All-IFL Center Charlie Sanders, and Gerald Davis pave the way for this explosive offensive unit.
The Green Bay Blizzard were one win away from reaching the United Bowl last season and are looking for revenge against the team that sent them home. Head Coach Robert Fuller and his staff have assembled a team that they feel can truly compete this season.
Similarly to Sioux Falls, Green Bay will rely on a newcomer to replace an All-IFL performer. RB Laron Council moved on to the Cedar Rapids Titans this offseason, but, if last week's preseason game against the Titans is an indication, the Blizzard have found their new leading man. RB Joshua Murray (5'10, 210, University of Mary/Minnesota Vikings) led the way for the Blizzard rushing for 3 touchdowns in the 67-47 victory. Murray and veteran signal caller Donovan Porterie should prove to be a lethal combination for Green Bay in 2013.
Dangerous kick returner B.J. Hill is back for the Blizzard as well. Hill lead the IFL in kick return average (23.2, minimum 20 returns) and found the end zone 4 times. His combination of speed and ability has the potential to take over any game.
Chicago Slaughter at Cedar Rapids Titans
February 16th 7:05pm, Cedar Rapids Ice Arena
The Chicago Slaughter enter 2013 looking to improve upon last season's 6-8 campaign. The Slaughter missed the playoffs by the skin of their teeth, falling in the final regular season game to the Lehigh Valley Steelhawks. Steve "Mongo" McMichael returns to the sidelines with a talented roster of players.
University of Illinois alums QB Juice Williams and RB Daniel DuFrene provide veteran leadership in the offensive backfield. DuFrene finished 4th in rushing last season (657 yards) and tied for 3rd in rushing touchdowns (23).
Perhaps the biggest addition to the Slaughter comes on the defensive side with the signing of 2012 Co-Defensive Player of the Year LB Ameer Ismail. Ismail's 167 tackles were tops in the IFL a season ago. He also accounted for 5.5 sacks, 3 interceptions, and 2 forced fumbles.
The Cedar Rapids Titans return for their sophomore year after finishing with a 4-10 record in their inaugural season. Head Coach Mark Stoute begins his first season with the team and will look to bring a new culture to the program. The Titans were perhaps the most active IFL team during the offseason, adding many experienced players to both sides of the football.
The biggest splash during the IFL free agency period occurred when the Titans signed All-IFL RB Laron Council (5'10, 205, Northwest Missouri State) from the Blizzard. Council accomplish a rare feat in indoor football by rushing for over 1,000 yards (1,040) last season, adding 32 touchdowns on the ground. QB Charles McCullum joins the Titans after a stellar 2011 season in Everett. McCullum spent much of last season on injured reserve with an ankle injury. Rounding out the "Big-3" on offense is All-IFL WR Carl Sims. Sims joins the Titans after spending last season with the champion Sioux Falls Storm. In 2012, Sims led the IFL with 1,180 receiving yards in addition to reaching the end zone 20 times.
Don't miss out on any of the action! All IFL games can be seen on America One at The Kickoff Classic is sure to set the stage for another exciting Indoor Football League Season.

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