Arena Football League
Gladiators Open 2013 Training Camp with Returning Star Receiver, Former NFL'er and New Quarterback
fifth season of Gladiators football in Cleveland officially began today
with the open of the team's 2013 training camp at MultiPlex at The Word
Church in Warrensville Heights. Thirty five players began practice,
before the roster gets cut to 28 after one week and then the final 24
the following week. The Gladiators will open the season at home, hosting
Spokane on Sunday, March 24th at 1:00 p.m. at Quicken Loans Arena. The
team has announced that all kids age 14 and under will be able to attend
the opener for free.
The complete 2013 training camp roster can be seen here: http://clevelandgladiators.com/team/roster/
coach Steve Thonn returns to the Gladiators sideline for his fourth
season in 2013, after leading the team to an 8-10 record last year.
will recognize several players returning from last season, among which
Dominick Goodman is the most notable. The wide receiver is entering his
third season with the Gladiators and in the AFL. He led the team in both
receptions and receiving yards the past two seasons and was named
Second Team All-Arena in 2012.
majority of the players taking the field to start 2013 are new to the
Gladiators, including former NFL player and Glenville High School
graduate, Pierre Woods. Today marked Woods' return to football since his
NFL career ended following the 2010 season. The University of Michigan
alum played for the New England Patriots from 2006 to 2010 before
finishing the 2010 season, and his career, with the Buffalo Bills.
are two new quarterbacks reporting to camp; Brian Zbydniewski and Chris
Dieker. Zybydniewski is entering his fourth season in the AFL, having
played previously for New Orleans, Tampa Bay and Spokane. He has
recorded a total of 3,009 yards and 59 touchdowns over the past three
years. This season will be Dieker's second in the AFL, after spending
2012 in Iowa, where he threw for 246 yards and four touchdowns.
the Gladiators open the season at The Q on March 24th, all kids age 14
and under will be able to come to the game for free. For every one adult
ticket purchased, two kids tickets will be free of charge. In addition,
with the "Fun, Food and Football" ticket offer, for every ticket
purchased for the home opener, $5 in loaded ticket value - which can be
used for concessions or merchandise at The Q - will be added per ticket
The complete 2013 Gladiators regular season schedule can be found here: http://clevelandgladiators.com/schedule/season/
Eager Soul Players Start Padded Practices
2012 American Conference Champion Philadelphia Soul, presented by Parx
Casino, completed their first day of padded practices at the NovaCare
Complex in Philadelphia. After much anticipation, the players were
finally able to start hitting and running plays at full speed.
competition on the football field was evident today, as the players
were finally able to showcase their skills. The coaches were able to
evaluate how the lineman battled out at the line of scrimmage. The
newcomers to the defensive front (Morkeith Brown, Calvin Fance, Brandon
Johnson, Andre Mathis, Michael Robinson, and Lawon Scott) were finally
able to show their abilities to read plays, pursue the ball and make the
repetition of training camp will begin as tomorrow will consist of more
contact practices. The players should have a high intensity in their
motors, as Friday will bring the first cuts of the roster.
SPOTLIGHT: OL CHRISTIAN JOHNSON (6'4", 330, Kentucky): Three-year
veteran, OL Christian Johnson, enters his second season with the
Philadelphia Soul. Last season, Johnson started in all 14 games he
played and contributed towards the Soul allowing the least amount of
sacks in the AFL (5). As a rookie in 2011, Johnson started every game
for the Dallas Vigilantes. While playing at Kentucky, during his first
start as a junior, Johnson helped lock down the offensive line to allow
zero sacks and record 125 rushing yards to let Kentucky defeat the 2007
BCS Champion, LSU.
OF THE DAY: "To start hitting again felt real good," said Soul veteran
LB Bryan Robinson. "This is the way football is suppose to be played.
It's good to see everyone coming together to where they need to be. The
first couple of plays, you know, you're a little rusty but we've been
trained and we've been playing the game for a while. After a few snaps,
we're good to go. I'm excited to see everyone get back to their football
mindset, see the offense gel. On defense, we already know what we need
to do, we just got to get the team back to where we left off."
OF COMMAND: DB Kent Richardson (6'0, 200, West Virginia) and DB
Rayshaun Kizer (5'10, 190, Walsh) were the top leaders for the Soul
secondary last season, recording a combined 25 interceptions and 45 pass
breakups. The two led the Soul to having the second overall pass
defense in the AFL during the 2012 season.
the league-leader in interceptions in 2011, had yet another
record-breaking season in 2012, as he defended a league-high 41 passes.
He set the Soul season record for pass breakups in a season (30). To go
along with his pass-defending skills, Kizer finished second on the team
in total tackles (81).
Richardson on the league-exemption list, Kizer is now in the spotlight
to be the new leader of the secondary. After a phenomenal 2012 season,
there will be high expectations for Kizer and the Soul secondary. Led by
returning starter LaRico Stevenson, the Soul will look to Jeff Hodges,
Darius Pettigrew, David Richardson and James Romain to also battle it
Where There Are Pads, There Are Oklahoma Drills
this third day of training camp the Tampa Bay Storm strapped on the
pads and participated in Oklahoma drills. This is an exciting event that
everyone on the team looks forward to. It is also a useful tool to get
the players used to the physicality and rush of adrenaline that comes
with the big hits on the field.
wait for something like this," said second-year Storm linebacker
John-Kevin Dolce. "We work hard all off-season waiting for days like
this. I can't wait to start getting after guys in different jerseys."
most days consist of drills on the open field, this one forces
offensive and defensive players into a small, restricted space. Once the
whistle blows there is no stopping the action. Whoever steps into the
zone knows immediately that they are in for some big hits and tons of
excitement. This drill also shows the coaches, and team, the players
that are committed and willing to take a hit out on the field.
The Storm finished the day with meetings, watching film, and running situational drills.
Perspective: "It was good to see these guys out there in pads," said
Storm head coach Dave Ewart. "They may be a little sore, but it is good
to get the rust off.
of the Day: Talking about the Oklahoma drill, Storm wide receiver
Michael Lindsey said, "It feels great to get the pads on and start
working on hitting. It really separates the men from the boys."
Spotlight: Today's "Player Spotlight" goes to Alfred McCullough. The
rookie offensive lineman was a two-time BCS National Champion with the
Alabama Crimson Tide. He spent some time in the National Football League
with the Baltimore Ravens, and Philadelphia Eagles. During today's
drills he stood up several defensive linemen and showed his ability to
protect his quarterback in the fast-paced game of arena football.
Sighting: Former Storm quarterback John Kaleo came to visit the team
today. Kaleo won an ArenaBowl Championship in 2003 with the Tampa Bay
Storm. He continues to develop high school quarterbacks at the Kaleo
Quarterback Academy. While observing offensive drills Kaleo said, "I am
really interested in observing the quarterbacks. They looked good out
ESPN Radio to broadcast San Antonio Talons games
ESPN-AM 1250 once again will broadcast live each of the San Antonio Talons’ games this season on the radio and online.
broadcast will include a pre-game show hosted by 1250 ESPN San Antonio
play-by-play announcer Eric Messersmith and Talons head coach Lee
Sharks Training Camp Report - March 4
2012 South Division Champion Jacksonville Sharks took to the Plantation
Park field on Monday morning for the team's first full-contact practice
of 2013 training camp.
all players wearing shoulder pads and ready to hit, the Sharks had
their most competitive session of one-on-one work to date. Receivers and
defensive backs squared off in both one-on-one and three-on-three
matchups, highlighted by showdowns between longtime Shark veterans in
receiver Jeron Harvey and defensive back Micheaux Robinson.
the trenches, the Sharks' offensive and defensive linemen enjoyed the
physicality of the day's workout. This served as a great opportunity for
fourth-year offensive lineman Isaac Morales welcome some of the team's
new faces along the defensive line, including veterans Dusty Bear and
Matt Marcorelle and rookie Malcolm Riley. In addition, fullback Rendrick
Taylor had some notable collisions with the Shark defenders rushing
from the Mac linebacker position.
again, the practice concluded with a lengthy team session that pitted
offense against defense. While the tension was constantly high between
the whistles, the goal remains overall team improvement, as evidenced by
a number of occasions between snaps when veteran players gave specific
suggestions and other instruction to younger players.
his fourth AFL season, defensive lineman Dusty Bear has joined the
Sharks after spending a season with the Philadelphia Soul. Following
Monday's practice, the Sarasota native talked about getting the chance
to play in his home state.
whole family is from down here in Florida, and I feel so comfortable
being here back home in the state," Bear said. "And Jacksonville has a
great fanbase and it's a great place to be. It's going to be an honor
for me to play here."
the Soul last season, Bear battled through injury to finish the
campaign with 19 total tackles (15 solo), five tackles for loss and
three sacks. He also recovered three fumbles, grabbed an interception,
forced a fumble and broke up a pass. As someone with experience at both
the defensive end and Mac linebacker positions, Bear touched on the
differences between the two spots.
just a mental thing. When I get down at D-end, I know I have to play
bigger than what I am, because I'm going against a guard or a tight end
that's a little bit bigger than me." Bear said. "At Mac you've got to be
a little more responsible with the guys, relaying the play and
Sharks return to Plantation Park on Tuesday morning for another
full-contact workout. The practice is set to begin at 8:30 a.m. and will
be open to the public.
"Barnstormers Weekly" Returns March 19th
Iowa Barnstormers of the Arena Football League are pleased to announce
that for the fourth straight season, OverTime Neighborhood Hub Sports
& Grub in Urbandale will be the official home of the Barnstormers
Weekly radio show. The show will air live from OverTime each Tuesday
night from 6:00pm - 7:00pm on KXNO AM 1460, as part of the Barnstormers
new radio agreement with Clearchannel Radio.
sports broadcaster Joe Stasi returns for his sixth season as host of
Barnstormers Weekly. Each show will feature live interviews with
Barnstormer players and coaching staff, along with a re-cap of the
previous week's game and a preview of upcoming opponents. There will be
food and drink specials for Barnstormer fans and season ticket holders
along with great prizes all season long. OverTime Neighborhood Hub
Sports & Grub is located at 4810 86th Street in Urbandale, just
South of I-80/35. The first show of the 2013 season will air on Tuesday,
March 19th at 6:00pm.
2013 Iowa Barnstormers season begins on Saturday March 23rd with a road
contest against the Chicago Rush. The home portion of the schedule
begins Friday, April 5 when the Spokane Shock come to town for a 7:05pm
VooDoo Straps on the Pads
New Orleans VooDoo strapped on pads for the first time in training camp
and for the 2013 season on Monday morning at Tad Gormley
Stadium.Monday's practice started off with position drills, which was
followed by 3-on-3 drills for the wide receivers and defensive backs,
and offensive and defensive line work.Â After the two sides took a
quick break, both the offense and defense scrimmaged against one
another.The scrimmage was full of intensity with the offense and defense
putting forth maximum effort.Â Â Here is what Head Coach Pat O'Hara
had to say about his team's fourth practice overall and first in pads:
New Orleans VooDoo will travel to San Antonio on Tuesday for their
first and only exhibition game of the season which will be held at the
Alamodome on March 6.
Lone Star Football League
Amarillo Venom Single Game Tickets on Sale
tickets for the Amarillo Venom home games are now on sale. Come and
check out your Amarillo Venom as they return to the field Saturday,
March 23 and start their campaign for a repeat at the Lone Star Football
Here is the schedule of home games:
o Saturday, March 23- vs. New Mexico Stars
o Saturday, April 20- vs. Laredo Rattlesnakes
o Saturday, May 4- vs. Abilene Bombers
o Saturday, May 18- vs. San Angelo Bandits
o Saturday, June 1- vs. Laredo Rattlesnakes
o Saturday, June 22- vs. New Mexico Stars
Fans can purchase their tickets at the Amarillo Venom office at 901 S. Buchanan or call us at (806) 350-7277.
Tickets can also be purchased online at www.panhandletickets.com
For more information of the Amarillo Venom fans can visit www.govenom.com
Professional Indoor Football League
Panthers 4th Annual "Meet and Greet Party" Huge Success
Panthers are well-loved. Evidence of how the Albany area feels about
its Professional Indoor Football League team could be seen in the
numbers that crowded Phoebe Field on Friday to enjoy the club's annual
Meet and Greet.
have to love this team," said Albany resident Wanda Dyson, who was one
of more than 1,000 people in attendance. "The organization does more for
the community than all the other pro teams combined. And the team has
heart. You've heard that song, 'You've Gotta Have Heart?' Well, this
team has heart. I can't wait for the season to get started."
the feeling was mutual with Panthers players, who were on hand
throughout the event. "Our fans are great," said Cecil Lester. "They
always support us. I'm real excited about this season, and it seems like
the fans are more excited about this year than years past.
got plenty of fans. I was in Atlanta and Macon this offseason and saw a
lot of Panthers fans, and look at them out there today."
Adrian Howard: "[It] feels like the fans are really excited about the
way we finished last season and the new acquisitions, like Stony Woodson
and Cecil Lester coming back." Panthers General Manager Will Carter
smiled when looking out at the field swelling with Panthers fans.
a great turnout," Carter said. "There are a lot of Panthers fans here.
Hopefully they'll come out and keep supporting the team. I'm excited
about this team. It's a good team and I think we have a chance to go
back to the Championship."
began to pour through the Albany James H. Gray Civic Center gates at 5
p.m. ET and they continued to do so through closing time at 8 p.m.
year's event included interactive activities, increased player
involvement and an array of autograph opportunities, activities for all
ages and photo opportunities with club mascot Prowler and a host of
discussions took place with Panthers broadcasters, players, coaches and
media personnel. "We've had a great day," said an exhausted looking
Kate Tabor. "I think it's really nice what the Panthers do. I'm looking
forward to a great season."
Panthers kick off the season on the road against the Louisiana
Swashbucklers Saturday, March 9th at 8p.m. ET. You can catch all the
action on 97.3 WGEX-FM.