Arena Football League
Utah Blaze Announce Final Roster
As the days of training camp continued to pass and the final week neared its conclusion, the Utah Blaze grinded through practice with a sense of urgency. Players clashed throughout the week, scratching and clawing with every ounce of energy to gain position on the depth chart. With only 24 roster spots available and an overflow of talent on the field, the process left a slim margin for error.
The week of practice reached its peak on Friday night with the team's annual Fan Fest, which featured a live intra-squad scrimmage in front of a crowd of faithful fans. While both sides of the ball enjoyed moments of success, it is evident the team has significantly upgraded its physical talent across the board with a new wave of strong, explosive athletes.
Utah added another quarterback midway through week one, landing former Canadian Football League and Spokane Shock signal caller Jason Boltus. Boltus showed a live arm throughout the second week of practice, taking a majority of the snaps while Tommy Grady recovered on the Physically Unable to Perform list.
Grady and Boltus will have the luxury of throwing to a receiving corps that includes three wideouts measuring in at 6-4 and above. The Blaze brought back All-Arena performer Aaron Lesu é and added AFL veterans L.J. Castile and Brandon Thompkins, as well as rookies Chase Deadder and Mario Urrutia. In addition, fullback Ben Stallings returns to the backfield as Utah's all-time leading rusher.
The quarterbacks will be protected by an utterly massive offensive line. In fact, none of the five players Utah kept up front weighs less than 320 pounds. Antonio Narcisse and Neal Tivis return from last year's squad, while the rest of the group includes veteran Shannon Tevaga and rookies Jermarcus "Yoshi" Hardrick and Bryce Tennison.
On the opposite side of the ball, linebacker Joe Mortensen, defensive end Caesar Rayford and nose guard Keenan Mace return to lead the 2013 version of "Sack Lake City." Joining the group this season is explosive veteran pass rusher Mike Alston and rookie standout Luke Black.
The defensive secondary will be composed of returning starters David Hyland and Al Phillips, as well as rookies Maurice Leggett and Marcus Brown. Antwan Marsh appears to be in the best shape of his career and will return to the Blaze as the Jack linebacker.
With its opening day roster set, Utah will immediately begin preparations to kick off the season on the road against the Pittsburgh Power on Saturday, March 23rd.
CAMP STAR | OFFENSE
Wide Receiver Brandon Thompkins has been nearly impossible to defend due to his physical talent and veteran instincts. Now entering his third season in the Arena Football League, Thompkins understands how to use the angles of the AFL to create separation and beat an opponent. Combine that with superb quickness and the ability to cut on a dime, Thompkins can scorch any defensive back with his route running skills. Thompkins is a natural playmaker and is also a strong candidate to handle return duties for the Blaze in 2013.
CAMP STAR | DEFENSE
A full offseason of rest and recovery has brought Jack linebacker Antwan Marsh back to full strength after he battled injuries throughout much of the 2012 season. In fact, the time off appears to have done wonders for Marsh, who enters his fourth AFL season and looks better than ever. Marsh flies to the football and routinely punishes his opponent upon arrival. He's a fearless defender and displays vicious striking ability. Marsh's veteran knowledge allows him to play the game at a high speed due to his ability to read and react.
ROOKIE STANDOUT | OFFENSE
Jermarcus "Yoshi" Hardrick hails from the University of Nebraska - a school known for producing top-tier offensive linemen. In his first two weeks with the Blaze, Hardrick has displayed the athletic ability needed to neutralize opposing edge rushers, using his long arms and upper body strength to keep defenders out of the backfield. Hardrick constantly hustles on every down and possesses a truly aggressive playing style.
ROOKIE STANDOUT | DEFENSE
Defensive back Maurice Leggett has made a quick transition to Arena Football after playing four seasons in the National Football League. With outstanding size and athleticism, Leggett has the ability to lock down both the high motion man and stationary receivers. Leggett is an instant impact defender and should play a significant role in the secondary from day one.
OPENING DAY ROSTER
NAME POS HT WT COLLEGE EXP
Alston, Mike DL 6-2 250 Toledo 4
Black, Luke DL 6-5 275 Fairmont St R
Boltus, Jason QB 6-3 215 Hartwick 2
Brown, Marcus DB 6-1 195 Arkansas St R
Castile, LJ WR 6-4 220 Delta St 3
Deadder, Chase WR 6-5 225 Sacramento St R
Grady, Tommy QB 6-7 240 Utah 4
Hardrick, Jermarcus OL 6-5 320 Nebraska R
Hyland, David DB 6-0 203 Morehead St 3
Leggett, Maurice DB 6-0 195 Valdosta St R
Lesue, Aaron WR 5-10 200 Utah St 4
Mace, Keenan DL 6-3 305 Lindenwood 2
Marsh, Antwan LB 6-3 210 Pikeville 4
Mortensen, Joe MLB 6-0 270 Kansas 2
Narcisse, Antonio OL 6-2 340 Portland St 6
Phillips, Al DB 5-11 190 Wagner 4
Rayford, Caesar DL 6-7 270 Washington 4
Stallings, Ben FB 5-11 265 Lambuth 3
Tennison, Bryce OL 6-3 320 SMU R
Tevaga, Shannon OL 6-3 320 UCLA 3
Thompkins, Brandon WR 5-10 185 Arkansas St 3
Tivis, Neal OL 6-5 320 Abilene Christian 2
Trevino, Adrian K 5-11 190 Missouri Valley R
Urrutia, Mario WR 6-5 230 Louisville R
Barnstormers Release 24 Man Roster
The Barnstormers broke training camp on Saturday afternoon, saying goodbye to the town of Oskaloosa and William Penn University, the teams home for the past two weeks. The camp culminated with a series of final cuts by Head Coach and Director of Football Operations Mike Hohensee which take the roster down to the AFL's 24 man limit. Those players who were reassigned included DL Jeffrey Fitzgerald, DB Drew Gardner, DB Davion Mitchell-EL and WR Shawn Stephens. In addition, DL Mario Ambrose was placed on Injured Reserve and K Chris Gould was placed on league suspension as he has left the organization and accepted a coaching position at a major University.
The 24 man opening day roster includes 14 returning players from last year's team, along with 10 newcomers. Of the 10 new additions, 8 are rookies to the AFL. Two big additions occur on the Defensive side of the ball as the Barnstormers welcome DL Mike Lewis and DB Erick McIntosh. Lewis was an all-AFL first team player last season with the Utah Blaze, while McIntosh was a three year starter with the Tampa Bay.
Of the 14 returning players, several joined the Barnstormers during the second half of last season, including three players with local ties. These players include former Iowa Hawkeye OL Dace Richardson, and two former Iowa State Cyclones, DB Ter'Ran Benton and WR Darius Reynolds. Key veterans returning include QB J.J. Raterink who set numerous franchise records last season, and WR Marco Thomas, who finished the year with at least one touchdown in the team's final 12 games. A complete 2013 Barnstormers roster is attached.
The Barnstormers kickoff the 2013 season with a pair of road contests at Chicago (March 23) and at New Orleans (March 30), before returning to Des Moines for their home opener against the Spokane Shock on Friday, April 5th. 2013 Season tickets, 5 game mini-packs, group ticket s and individual tickets are all on sale now! For more information, call the Barnstormers at (515) 633-2255 or log onto www.theiowabarnstormers.com.
2013 Iowa Barnstormers Roster Numerical (3/17/13)
# Name Pos Height Weight DOB College AFL Exp.
1 McIntosh, Errick DB 5'11" 175 5/27/1987 Florida Atlantic 3
2 Taylor, Collin WR 6'1" 197 2/28/1987 Indiana 1
3 Thomas, Marco WR 6'0" 190 11/27/1983 Western Illinois 2
4 Harris, Marcus WR 6'2 190 3/1/1989 Murray State R
5 Mohring, John LB 6'0" 220 8/31/1984 Georgia Southern 3
6 Simpson, Jason DB 6'1" 198 4/6/1983 Missouri 3
7 Reynolds, Darius WR 6'2" 215 4/4/1989 Iowa State 1
8 Glanton, De'Mon DB 6'1" 205 7/22/1986 Mississippi State 1
10 Reader, Brian QB 6'3" 220 5/24/1989 Idaho R
11 Raterink, J.J. QB 6'2" 210 8/4/1981 Wyoming 3
12 Williams, Mike DB 6'2" 190 2/15/1988 Bethune Cookman R
17 Tonga, Matangi DL 6'2" 290 1/6/1988 University of Houston 1
21 Benton, Ter'Ran DB 6'0" 203 12/29/1989 Iowa State 1
23 Gnat, Rodney DL 6'3" 253 3/16/1987 Louisville 1
41 Brown, Kai FB 6'3" 250 2/12/2986 Brown University R
50 Ambrose, Mario*
* DL 6'4" 270 9/9/1989 Arkansas R
53 Lewis, Mike DL 6'2" 250 8/15/1984 Adrian College 3
55 Ray, Odrick DL 6'4" 280 5.24.1989 Tulsa R
57 Carter, Darnell LB 6'3" 245 11/27/1987 Virginia 1
70 Palmgren, Jayson OL 6'3" 295 4/11/1989 Missouri 1
72 Richardson, Dace OL 6'6" 310 9/1/1986 Iowa 1
77 Garrity, Michael OL 6'6" 315 5/27/1989 Eastern Illinois 1
79 Breckner, Jack OL 6'9" 315 5/13/1988 Gustavus Adolphus R
99 Stokes, William DL 6'5" 295 10/22/1983 Waldorf R
** = Injured Reserve
Head Coach / Director of Football Operations: Mike Hohensee
Assistant Coach / Defensive Coordinator: Ernesto Purnsley
Assistant Coach / Special Teams: Trever Whiting
Assistant Coach / Offensive Line / Defensive Line Kyle Moore-Brown
Shock Announce Opening Day Roster
The Shock have announced the opening day roster after making final cuts at the conclusion of their 2013 Training Camp.
"This year's camp was probably the most competitive we've had in my seven years with the team. We have excellent veterans that will be able to provide leadership to the younger guys, who we also expect big things from. Fans will continue to see some of their favorite Shock players from previous seasons, but will also find new players to cheer for as they become household names in Spokane," said Shock General Manager Ryan Rigmaiden.
The Shock's 2013 roster features a strong mix of veterans along with a number of AFL newcomers. The defensive secondary is comprised of three Shock returners in Paul Stephens, Terrance Sanders, and Patrick Stoudamire. Cameron McGlenn will join the Shock for his third AFL season after spending 2011 and 2012 with the Iowa Barnstormers.
The defensive front will comprise of returning Shock defensive lineman James Ruffin with the addition of AFL rookie Chase Vaughn and four-year AFL veteran Terrance Taylor who spent last season with the Pittsburgh Power. Terence Moore returns to the jack-linebacker position and will be complimented by mac-linebacker Beau Bell and Marc Schiechl whom each possess the versatility to play on the defensive line.
2012 AFL Kicker of the Year Kenny Spencer returns for his second season with the Shock. Last year, Spencer set a new AFL record with 138 converted PATs on the season (94.5 percent conversion percentage) and was 4 of 4 on field goals within 39 yards.
The offensive unit will be led by the passing attack of quarterbacks Erik Meyer and Arvell Nelson. Last season, Meyer suffered a season ending injury in the home opener and returns to the Shock with plans to lead the offense into 2013. Nelson joins the Shock for his first AFL season and plans to contend for the starting role having indoor experience through the PIFL. The wide receiver core, which was arguably the most competitive position battles in training camp, showcases 2012 Shock returners Adron Tennell, Steven Black, and Jeffery Solomon. They will be joined by AFL rookie Kamar Jorden and former IFL Tri-Cities Fever receiver Oliver "Tre" Young.
The offensive line unit will open the 2013 season with Shock returners Ryan Cave, Samuel Tupua, and Palauni Ma Sun. Will Falakiseni joins the Shock after spending 2012 with the IFL's Tri-Cities Fever along with AFL rookie Tyrone Novikoff. The Shock have placed B.J. Cabbell, Andrew Nierman, and Chris Pino on the injured reserve list which as a part of the new CBA renders them inactive for the 2013 season.
"Training Camp was very competitive; some guys began to separate themselves towards the end of camp. I feel we have a very good mix of veterans and rookies. The character and attitude on this team is exactly what we want. I'm excited to see what this team can accomplish," said Shock Head Coach Andy Olson.
See below the opening day roster:
NAME POS. HT. WT. SCHOOL
Paul Stephens DB 5-9 170 Central Missouri State
Terrance Sanders DB 5-11 195 Eastern Illinois
Cameron McGlenn DB 6-0 200 Elon University
Patrick Stoudamire DB 5-11 205 Western Illinois
Chase Vaughn DL 6-2 240 SMU
James Ruffin DL 6-4 265 Northern Iowa
Terrance Taylor DL 6-0 320 Michigan
Beau Bell LB 6-1 245 UNLV
Terence Moore LB 6-2 225 Troy
Marc Schiechl LB 6-3 270 Col. School of Mines
Kenny Spencer K 6-1 220 North Alabama
Samuel Tupua OL 6-2 315 Idaho
Will Falakiseni OL 6-2 320 Norfolk State
Tyrone Novikoff OL 6-7 320 Idaho
Ryan Cave OL 6-5 320 Hampton
Palauni Ma Sun OL 6-5 320 Oregon
Erik Meyer QB 6-2 210 Eastern Washington
Arvell Nelson QB 6-5 230 Texas Southern
Adron Tennell WR 6-5 205 Oklahoma
Oliver "Tre" Young WR 6-4 210 South Carolina State
Jeffrey Solomon WR 6-0 200 Washington State
Steven Black WR 6-3 210 Memphis
Kamar Jorden WR 6-3 205 Bowling Green
Placed on Injured Reserve: B.J. Cabbell (Virginia), Chris Pino (San Diego State), Andrew Nierman (Tulane)
Placed on Other League Exempt: Gerald Gooden (CFL - Calgary), Bryant Nnabuife (CFL - Toronto), Levi Horn (CFL - BC)
Note: Roster reflects up-to-date transactions as processed by the Net 10 Wireless Arena Football League on Sunday, March 17th, 2013. Kenny Spencer is set to be processed this week as he is currently listed as Refuse to Report. The Shock have one additional roster spot available, also planned to be filled this week.
The Shock will open the 2013 Net10 Wireless Arena Football League season with a three-game road trip, beginning with the Cleveland Gladiators on Sunday, March 24th with a 10:00 AM PST kickoff. The Shock will then visit the Chicago Rush on March 31st and the Iowa Barnstormers on April 5th before returning to Spokane for their home opener against the defending 2012 AFL Champion and West Division Rival Arizona Rattlers on April 12th with a 7:00 PM PST kickoff at Spokane Arena.
Voodoo’s 24- Man Roster Set
The New Orleans VooDoo trimmed its training camp roster down to 24 players, announced the front office on Sunday afternoon, and now sets its sights on the season opener versus the Orlando Predators on Sunday, March 24 in The Graveyard."I believe we have a solid nucleus of young, hungry talented players and some solid veterans for the locker room; however, we have a lot of work to do to get to where we need to be," said VooDoo head coach Pat O'Hara.Â "We are excited about Sunday's game and we have a lot to look forward to, but we have a lot of work to do to get there."The VooDoo final 24-man roster is below.
The VooDoo final 24-man roster is below.
98 Nyere Aumaitre OL 6-5 310 University of Iowa
24 Delvin Breaux DB 6-1 200 LSU
55 Lorenzo Breland OL 6-2 325 Jackson State
96 Xavier Brown DL 6-4 265 C.W. Post
46 James Bryant MLB 6-3 255 Miami
22 Gary Cismesia K 6-0 215 Florida State
70 Natiel Curry OL 6-2 310 Bethune-Cookman
72 Adam Durham OL 6-4 300 Jacksonville State
17 Chris Duvalt WR 5-11 175 Illinois
12 Zack Eskridge QB 6-3 215 Midwestern State
99 Marlon Favorite DL 6-1 315 LSU
5 Bruce Figgins FB 6-3 280 Georgia
89 Derandus Frye DL 6-3 275 Arkansas Tech
3 Robert Henderson DL 6-3 280 Southern Miss
20 Brent Holmes DB 6-1 190 Charleston
9 Michael Janac DL 6-5 295 Marshall
8 Leslie Majors DB 5-10 180 Indiana
2 Donovan Morgan WR 6-3 225 Louisiana-Lafayette
21 Eddie Moten DB 5-10 185 Texas A&M
7 Efe Osawemwenze DB 6-1 195 Southern University
1 Demarcus Robinson DB 6-2 195 Henderson State
14 Kurt Rocco QB 6-6 230 Mount Union
6 Courtney Smith WR 6-5 230 South Alabama
88 Darnell Williams WR 6-1 200 Louisiana College
Champions Professional Indoor Football League
Omaha Beef Defeat Kansas City Renegades 38-27
The Omaha Beef started the 2013 CPIFL season with a 38-27 victory over the Kansas City Rengades at Kemper Arena on Sunday afternoon. The Omaha defense shined as the "Beefense" recorded five turnovers including two interceptions by veteran defensive back Diezeas Calbert. Omaha also scored defensively when Byron Wilson scooped up a fumble in the end zone for a touchdown.
Offensively, Beef long time quarterback James McNear completed 21 of 30 for 198 yards and three touchdowns. Omaha (1-0) is scheduled to make their regular season home debut on Friday, March 29 when they host the Kansas Coyotes at Ralston Arena.
Haymakers Start Season With Road Victory Over Outlaws
The Lincoln Haymakers kicked off their inaugural season tonight on the road against the Mid-Missouri Outlaws in a game filled with all the drama you'd expect on opening night. After trailing early, the Haymakers scored the first touchdown in franchise history with a 23 yard pass from QB A.J. Toscano to WR Nick Rhodes to tie the game at 7 all with 6:48 left in the first quarter. The Haymakers would give up another touchdown to finish the first quarter down by 7.
A slow start to the 2nd quarter was filled with turnovers and missed opportunities as the Haymakers fell to 20-7 before Toscano rallied the troops and hit WR Marques Parker for a 12 yard score and then Kaylon Price powered his way into the end zone with a 4 yard run. Kicker Mike Ziola put the final touches on the drive to give Lincoln the lead 21-20 at the half. In the third quarter each team exchanged field goals with the real excitement starting up in the fourth. With just 2 minutes off the clock Toscano found Rhodes again in the end zone to take a 31-23 over the Outlaws. Cortney Grixby finished off the night with 2 interceptions to keep the Outlaws in check majority of the night.
The final drive of the game the Outlaws took the ball down to the Haymakers 4 where the Defense tightened up and nearly closed the game out before giving up a short TD with just 14 seconds left on the game clock. That score would tie the game at 31 all. Grixby received the ensuing kickoff taking the ball all the way to the Outlaws 10 yard line as time expired.
Overtime started with the Haymakers on the offensive attack and ended with Toscano finding Marlon Lucky in the back of the end zone laying out for the final score. Lucky was shaken up after the play hitting the wall completely extended but still managing to pull in the grab for what would be the winning score. The Haymakers Defense held strong with DL Ryan Hoden batting down the 4th down attempt giving the Haymakers their first ever win in franchise history 38-31.
The Haymakers go into the bye week preparing for the home opener on Friday March 29th against the Sioux City Bandits. The organization is looking forward to bringing the hard hitting excitement to downtown Lincoln in two weeks.
Indoor Football League
Colorado Ice Defense Freezes the Blizzard
The Colorado Ice moved to 2-1 in front of their home town crowd on Sunday afternoon with a nail-biting 24-20 win over the Green Bay Blizzard.
After struggling last week in a loss against the Nebraska Danger, the Ice defense led the way in a game where points were hard to come by. Despite not forcing any turnovers in the win, the Ice defense made Blizzard quarterback Donovan Porterie (15) uncomfortable all day with a swarming team effort, holding him to just 147 passing yards and a single touchdown pass.
Former CU defensive lineman Conrad Obi (40) earned Runza Player of the Game Award for his dominating performance. Obi was the game's leading tackler, had the Ice's only sack of the game, and also had one of the two blocked kicks for the Ice on the afternoon, with the other block coming from Greg "The Hammer" Jackson (11).
"It's week-to-week. After last week's game, it was obvious that there was stuff we needed to correct." said Obi. "That's what we did, we worked on it and just tried to get out a W today. I definitely wanted to help my team... and give it everything I got."
The Blizzard had a chance to pull out a come-from-behind win in the final minute as they moved the ball down to the Ice 19 yard line with just ten seconds remaining. However, back to back penalties on the Blizzard offense pushed them into Hail Mary range, and a final pass came up four yards short of the end zone. The Ice felt the home-field advantage on the final drive, as a boisterous crowd forced the Blizzard into a crucial delay of game penalty.
The Ice now shift their focus towards next week, when the defending IFL champion Sioux Falls Storm will be coming to Colorado for their game at 3:00 PM next Sunday, March 24th.
Lone Star Football League
Stars Shine In First Game Of The Season
The New Mexico Stars kicked off their 2013 season with a bang as they traveled to San Angelo, TX to take on the Bandits as they were also able to secure the first road victory in franchise history with a 60-42 win Saturday night.
The Stars were lead by WR Joshua Floyd as he hauled in 6 passes for 59 yards and 3 TDs, and put up 132 yards on kick returns.
"The turning point of the game was the opening kickoff in the 2nd half when Marcus Allen came down and blew the guy up and gave them a long field to work with" said Floyd. "Coming straight out of halftime, we wanted to set the tone."
The huge play of the game is credited to Seth Smith, who took a handoff 43-yards for a touchdown in the 2nd quarter. In comparison, the Bandits had just 46-yards rushing as a team! Smith finished the game with 11 carries for 85 yards and a TD.
Other key stats from the game included QB KJ Black finishing with 211 yards and 6 TDs, Demarcus James and Chaz Thompson both snagged 2 INTs, and Cedric Odie finished with 2.5 sacks.
This Saturday the Stars travel to Amarillo, TX to take on the Venom at 7:05 PM.
Professional Indoor Football League
Steelhawks Put on Show in Home Opener
The Lehigh Valley Steelhawks put on a show for all their amazing fans that came out to watch a great St. Patrick's Day Game versus the Knoxville Nighthawks. The Steelhawks, now 1-1, led the entire game as they defeated the Nighthawks 63-45 in their home opener.
Local QB Adam Bednarik, named Buca di Beppo and Countess Communications. Player of the Game at the conclusion of the game, led the way for the Steelhawks throwing for 225 yards, 4 touchdowns, and running for another 2 touchdowns. LB Terence Thomas started the excitement with an interception and 43 yard return that led to Bednarik and the Steelhawks' first touchdown, a two yard run. He followed that by throwing two tds to WR Troy Pascley on the next two drives. The first quarter ended with the Steelhawks leading 21-7.
The second quarter saw Knoxville trying to make a comeback, but a RB Richard White (11 rushes for 75 yards) touchdown run held the Steelhawks lead going into halftime, 28-17.
The scoring picked back up in third quarter. Knoxville started the quarter off with a one point uno by K Armando Cuko. The scoring was back and forth for the rest of the quarter, White picked up another rushing touchdown, Pascley hauled in a third touchdown reception, and K George Pierson connected on a 20 yard field goal. At the end of the third, Lehigh Valley was up 45-38.
The Steelhawks dominated the fourth quarter, outscoring the Nighthawks 18-7. Pierson started the Steelhawks off with another field goal and then on the ensuing kick-off stopped the Nighthawks in their own end zone to pick up the one point rouge. After allowing the only Knoxville touchdown of the quarter, the Steelhawks answered with two touchdowns, a Bednarik run and a WR Jeff Willis (4 catches for 60 yards) catch.
The Steelhawks will be on the road in Louisiana on March 23rd and won't return home again until April 20th for Team X Eastern Lehigh Valley Youth Sports Night against the Alabama Hammers. Fans are reminded that there will be a fan bus trip on April 13th to see the Steelhawks take on the Richmond Raiders but seats are filling up fast! Registration is available at the home opener on the 17th or by calling the Steelhawk office (610-282-3100).