Thursday, March 7, 2013

Daily League News & Notes

Arena Football League
Journey Through Soul Camp Continues; Day 7 Complete
The 2012 American Conference Champion Philadelphia Soul, presented by Parx Casino, continued practice today at the NovaCare Complex in Philadelphia. With the fifth day of practices completed, both sides of the ball are gelling together and look impressive as the players are becoming familiar with their role on the team.
The passing game looks sharp as QB Dan Raudabaugh (6'3", 230, Miami (OH)) continues to build chemistry with his new receiving targets: Jackie Chambers (5'10", 188, Lane College), Tyrone Collins (6'0, 200, Wagner), Ryan McDaniel (6'3", 200, Samford), Alvance Robinson (5'9", 170, Alabama St.), Armand Robinson (6'0", 200, Miami (OH)), and Andre Thurman (6'0, 185, Arizona).
Veteran WR Tiger Jones (5'11", 195, Louisville) reported today to make his training camp debut. After the return of LB Brandon Perkins (6'1", 245, Kansas) and David Richardson (6'2", 205, Cal Poly) yesterday, all expected Soul players are present.
PLAYER SPOTLIGHT: OL/DL SIOELI FAKALATA (6'3", 340, New Mexico St.): Rookie OL/DL Sioeli Fakalata joins the Philadelphia Soul after graduating from New Mexico St. in 2011. In his college career, Fakalata started 30 of 51 games. Fakalata played on defense in his freshman and sophomore years before switching over to offense his junior and senior years. As an offensive lineman, Fakalata recorded 157 knockdowns and allowed only six sacks in 24 games. Defensively, he recorded 37 tackles, 4 sacks, and 3 forced fumbles.
QUOTE OF THE DAY: "Being a coach at this camp is like looking at football from a different angle," explains Soul assistant coach and former NFL Detroit Lions DB Don Malloy. "As a young guy, you just look at camp as playing football. But as you get older, you see camp more from a coaching perspective. The camps are similar to the NFL; the training is the same, just not as tedious and not as long. I'm very impressed with the secondary. Having Kizer and Stevenson on the field is like having coaches on the field. They help guide the younger players in learning the system. I expect this team to make it to the ArenaBowl and bring it home."
OVERCOMING ADVERSITY: New WR Jackie Chambers (5'10", 188, Lane College) faced much adversity in his lifetime. Chambers is from Liberty City, one of the poorest neighborhoods in Miami, FL. Chambers' father, who also played football, passed away when Chambers was 14-years old. But this wasn't all of the challenges of his life; both of Chambers' parents were deaf.
With both of his parents' deaf, Chambers had to learn how to communicate using sign language. Due to his situation, Chambers was able to be a master at reading play calls on the field. Chambers earned a scholarship to the University of South Florida, where he would be named to the Rookie of the Year team in 2004. He tied a lead in the Big East for punt return yardage (11.6) and finished No. 9 in kick-off return yardage (18.5) during the 2005 season. Chambers would then graduate and finish his college career at Lane College.
Chambers played the 2012 season with the Kansas City Command, recording 58 catches for 751 yards and 7 touchdowns and returning 56 kickoffs for 1,163 yards and two touchdowns. Chambers is continuing his strive to make his dreams come true.
Kicker Nich Pertuit Returns to SaberCats
The SaberCats announced today that they were assigned kicker Nich Pertuit on a two-year contract.
"Nich proved to be extremely accurate for us last season," said Owner/Head Coach Darren Arbet. "He is an asset in the kicking game and with his experience in this league, we expect good things from him again in 2013."
Pertuit (5-11, 195, UIW) appeared in 13 games last season for the SaberCats, connecting on 103-of-114 of his extra point attempts (90%) and finished 1-of-2 on field goal attempts. His knack for hitting the bar with his kickoffs as well as his propensity for quality onside kicks (had five recovered) also created numerous opportunities for the SaberCats in 2012.
The two-year AFL veteran spent the 2011 season with the Iowa Barnstormers of the AFL where he went 53-of-64 on his extra point attempts (83%) and 6-of-11 in field goal attempts. Before playing with the Barnstormers, Pertuit played two seasons (2009-10) in the Southern Indoor Football League (SIFL) with the Abilene Ruff Riders, going a combined 60-of-71 on extra points and was the team's second leading scorer in 2009.
The Billings, Mont. native attended the University of Incarnate Word (UIW) in San Antonio, where he played soccer and received both a B.S. in Physical Education, as well as a Master of Science in Kinesiology. During his time at UIW he was a four-year starter and served as team captain in both his junior and senior seasons. Pertuit was also an all-conference and all-region player at UIW, and twice was nominated for the Cardinals' Student-Athlete of the Year award.
Sharks Training Camp Report - March 6
The 2012 South Division Champion Jacksonville Sharks returned to the Plantation Park practice field for the fifth day of training camp on Wednesday morning.
After two consecutive days of intense full-contact workouts, Sharks head coach Les Moss and his staff opted to give the team a lighter workload during Wednesday's helmets-only practice. This allowed players a day of physical recovery the coaching staff focused on on-field teaching and situational football.
"We had four hard days, running wise, especially on the skill guys," Moss said. "They were intense practices, so today we came out and worked on some situational football, different situations in the game. Today was a really good teaching and learning day."
The team has now practiced on five consecutive days to open camp, and three practices remain before the team's next off day on Sunday. For a number of newcomers, the opening of camp has served as a crash course in the differences between Arena Football and the outdoor game. Following Wednesday's practice, Moss touched on how the team's young receivers are adjusting.
"For some of the new receivers, this is a different game, but now the light's starting to come on for them a little bit," Moss said. "They're starting to make some plays, getting the right depth on their routes and making the right decisions. The competition is high out here, so the next two days are going to be critical for these young guys."
Player Spotlight
Two of the three quarterbacks on the Shark roster bring extensive Arena Football experience to the table, as Bernard Morris led the team to a South Division Championship last season and R.J. Archer was a two-year starter for the Georgia Force. Unlike those two, rookie Lee Chapple is experiencing the indoor game for the first time.
Chapple recently finished his collegiate career at North Alabama after transferring from Georgia Southern. At UNA, Chapple threw for 3,322 yards and 24 touchdowns as a senior in 2011, leading the Lions to a 9-3 record. After Wednesday's practice, the Alpharetta, Georgia native talked about his adjustment to the faster pace of Arena Football.
"Everything happens just so much faster on a field only 50 yards deep," Chapple said. "You don't have a lot of time to sit there and make progressive reads, you just got to diagnose it pre-snap. And as the ball snaps, you have to make split-second decisions."
Nearly a week into training camp, Sharks head coach Les Moss is impressed with what he's seen from his young quarterback.
"Lee has done a great job, he's been a very pleasant surprise," Moss said. "He's done a great job at quarterback and we're really happy with him."
Up Next
The Sharks return to Plantation Park for a full-contact practice on Thursday morning. Thursday's workout will begin at 8:30 a.m. and is open to the public.
Storm Training Camp - Day Five
Today the Tampa Bay Storm conducted drills that focused on improving its field goal percentage. In non-ideal arena football conditions, due to a slight gust of wind, second-year Storm kicker Juan Bongarra worked on his form and technique as he converted many of his field goal attempts.
"You really can't compare kicking outdoors to indoors," said Bongarra. "It's more about getting technique down. If the technique is smooth, you should be able to translate what you do outside to the indoor game."
Working on field goals will be important this season. Last year the Storm ranked thirteenth in the league, converting only 5-of-17 field goal attempts. This is something that the team and Bongarra intend to improve this coming season.
After the kicking drills, the Storm took the field for team drills; working on defending the run, and also the pass. These drills drew cheers from the crowd as there were many acrobatic catches, and interceptions.
The day was highlighted by a pair of interceptions by defensive backfield teammates, Bryan Evans and Rashad Barksdale. The defensive line also got in on the action with defensive lineman R.J. Roberts making it very hard for his quarterback to complete a pass. Roberts, using his speed, came off the end and deflected several passes creating opportunities for his teammates to cause some turnovers.
Coaches' Perspective: On the new defense and the commitment of the players, Storm head coach said, "The new guys and the veteran leadership have helped this defense. We knew we had to get better and we brought in guys that were committed to defense."
Quote of the Day: On playing for the Storm this season, Storm receiver and Tampa native Greg Ellingson said, "I love being back home. I remember going to Storm games as a kid and seeing all of those championship banners; it feels great to play for a team with such a long history."
Player Spotlight: Storm defensive back Bryan Evans enters his second year in the Arena Football League and first with the Tampa Bay Storm. Last season Evans played in seven games for South Division rival Jacksonville Sharks. The former Georgia Bulldog is fitting in well with the new defensive scheme. During team drills this morning he had the first interception of training camp drawing cheers from his fellow teammates.
SaberCats Add Six to 2013 Roster
The SaberCats today announced the addition of six to their preseason roster. San Jose added wide receiver V'Keon Lacey, defensive back Greg Laybourn, quarterback and Stockton native, Nate Lewis, defensive lineman Kyle Thomas, former San Jose State defensive lineman Larnell Ransom and former Tampa Bay Buccaneers offensive lineman Brian Folkerts.
"We are always looking to increase the level of competition within our team during camp," said Owner/Head Coach Darren Arbet. "Each of these individuals brings something unique and significant to our group for 2013, as we approach the new season."
Lacey (6-4, 215, Angelo State) appeared in three games last season for the Jacksonville Sharks. In his one season at Angelo State University, Lacey started 11 games. He led the Rams with 74 catches for 878 yards and ten scores and was named to the All-LSC (Lone Star Conference) South Division Offense second team. Prior to his time ASU, he spent a season each at Southwestern Oklahoma and Cisco Junior College.
Laybourn (5-10, 210, Oregon State) last played for the Montreal Alouettes of the Canadian Football League. In Nine games for Montreal in 2011, he had 14 tackles and a fumble recovery. Laybourn played three seasons for the Oregon State Beavers, appearing in 40 games. During his career, he recorded 171 total tackles, including 113 his senior year, and two fumble recoveries.
Lewis (6-5, 235, Dixie State) played last season for the SoCal Coyotes of the AAA National Independent League where he was named the 2012 National Player of the Year. Lewis, from nearby Stockton, attended Dixie State University and compiled 48 completions for 560 yards and five scores.
Thomas (6-4, 280, West Texas A&M) the Vista, Calif. native last played in 2010 for the West Texas A&M Buffaloes where he accumulated 28 tackles and five and a half sacks during his senior season. While playing for City College of San Francisco, Thomas was named team captain and was an All-League First-Team honoree while leading the Rams to a state championship.
Ransom (6-2, 290, San Jose State) made 26 tackles, including five tackles for loss, and had two and a half sacks during his senior season for the San Jose State Spartans. He finished his collegiate career with 60 total tackles, three-and-a-half sacks, a forced fumble and two fumble recoveries in 34 appearances.
Folkerts (6-4, 310, Washburn) was signed as an undrafted free agent by the New Orleans Saints prior to the 2012 National Football League season and also spent time with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. He was a standout at Washburn (Kansas) for the Ichabods, earning All-MIAA (Mid-America Intercollegiate Athletic Association) honors twice and started 39 games along the offensive line during his collegiate career.
Utah Blaze Announce Ownership Change
Utah Blaze owner Kristin Murdock has sold her majority share of the franchise to Salt Lake City business woman Kim Brown, the team announced today. A three-year member of the ownership group, Murdock was instrumental in resurrecting the Blaze organization in 2010.
"It is with mixed emotions that I have sold my majority ownership in the team," Murdock stated. "I joined this franchise just over three years ago and I'm extremely proud of what we've accomplished in that time.
"We went from being one of the worst teams in the league in 2010 to being one of the premier teams in the AFL, one play away from the ArenaBowl Championship game in 2012. I will be a fan for life and will continue to cheer for the Utah Blaze. With the League's best coaches, players, and fans, I am looking forward to a great 2013 season!"
Kim Brown joins Logan Hunter and Abundant Brands as majority owners of the Utah Blaze. Brown brings over 25 years of experience in marketing and media to the franchise. Over the past 10 years, the Kim Brown & Associates marketing firm has seen rapid expansion while becoming one of Salt Lake City's most prominent agencies.
"We're extremely excited to welcome Kim Brown to the Utah Blaze," said Head Coach Ron James. "She brings an abundance of energy and enthusiasm to our franchise. Kim's intelligence as a businesswoman instills confidence that her addition will really take our organization to the next level."
Brown has an extensive background in sales, strategic planning, creative production and media placement. She has worked with a variety of companies, from start-ups to national corporations, managing their marketing and advertising budgets.
Kim Brown & Associates is a full service agency covering all areas of the marketing realm. This includes brand identity and development, collateral, print (large and small scale format), script writing, television production, radio production, media buying (including television, radio, print and outdoor), public relations, website development and optimization, event planning, promotions and grassroots community outreach.
Blaze Add a Pair of Quarterbacks
The Utah Blaze have agreed to terms with quarterbacks Jason Boltus and Shane Kelly, the franchise announced today. Boltus begins his second season in the Arena Football League after playing for the Spokane Shock in 2012, while Kelly enters his rookie campaign.
Boltus (6-3, 215, Hartwick) played in one game for the Shock in 2012, completing four passes for 30 yards. Prior to entering the AFL, Boltus played three seasons in the Canadian Football League for the Hamilton Tiger-Cats.
"Jason brings experience to the roster," Head Coach Ron James stated. "He has a very strong arm and a lot of natural talent. I'm excited to see how quickly Jason acclimates to our system."
During his collegiate career at Division III Hartwick, Boltus shattered school records for passing yards (13,276) and passing touchdowns (134). He was named the Empire 8 Conference Offensive Player of the Year and earned All-Conference accolades after throwing for 3,934 yards and 34 touchdowns during his senior season.
Kelly (6-4, 200, Columbia) played two seasons at Columbia University, where he threw for 1,199 yards and seven touchdowns as a senior. Kelly earned his roster spot with the Blaze after a standout performance in an offseason private workout.
"Shane has been with us since the start of training camp, first on waivers and now under contract," said James. "He has prototypical size and continues to improve every day. Shane is a quick learner and I'm confident he'll continue to develop with more experience."
VooDoo Fall to Talons After Hard Hitting Match Up
The New Orleans VooDoo fall to San Antonio Talons 45-29 after a hard-hitting match up.
With just 3 days to prepare for this exhibition game, the VooDoo planned to evaluate where they stood against a team that held the National Conference's best record for the 2012 regular season.
The VooDoo started off strong forcing a Talon safety on the first drive of the game. However, the Talons answered right back with a couple of scores.
Former LSU QB Rohan Davey made his San Antonio debut by giving the Talons a comfortable lead with multiple touchdown passes.
Former New Orleans Saint Larry Beavers got things started for the VooDoo with their first touchdown early in the second quarter. Darnell Williams put on a show during his first ever professional football game scoring two touchdowns for the VooDoo.
Overall, this exhibition game was a learning experience for the players and a great opportunity for the coaches to make evaluations before cuts are to be made.
In the words of Coach O'Hara, "It's time to get back to work." Listen to what Coach O'Hara had to say about the game.
The New Orleans VooDoo will get back to practice on Friday at Tad Gormley Stadium.

Champions Professional Indoor Football League
Wichita Set for Season Opener in Tulsa
The Wichita Wild will travel to Tulsa on Saturday, March 9th to make their inaugural debut in the Champions Professional Indoor Football League (CPIFL) as they take on the Oklahoma Defenders in the first game of the season. Kick-off in the Tulsa Convention Center is scheduled for 7:05 p.m. (CST). This will be the first ever meeting between the two teams who are slated to play each other two times this season, both hosting a game.
The Oklahoma Defenders will be kicking off their second year of professional indoor football after beginning last season as a replacement for the Tulsa Talons franchise that relocated to San Antonio after the 2011 season. Playing in the American Professional Football League (APFL), the Defenders proved successful in their initial season, clinching a playoff berth with a 9-3 regular season record, while ultimately falling short with a loss in the first round of playoffs. With the return of 2012 team captains, quarterback Rico Watkins and defensive back Bobby Blackshire, the Defenders look to build momentum going into their debut campaign in the CPIFL. Watkins, a dual threat quarterback, was the key to Oklahoma's stellar play in 2012, completing 131 of 217 pass attempts for 1,684 yards and 40 touchdowns while also gaining 406 yards on the ground with 18 rushing touchdowns. Blackshire, a 2012 First Team All-League defensive back in the APFL, accumulated 98 tackles, eight interceptions and two touchdowns in 2012.
Wichita last found themselves on the field when they faced off against the Tri-Cities Fever in the IFL conference championship game. Although it was a hard fought game, the Fever pulled away with a 51-30 victory over the Wild in the final minutes. Coming off an 8-6 record in the 2012 Indoor Football League (IFL) regular season, the Wild looks build on that success as they transition into the CPIFL. Long-time indoor football standout quarterback Rocky Hinds joins the Wild this season along with key returning players, running back Tywon Hubbard, defensive back Kendrick Harper, and defensive end Matt Moss to form a solid foundation for a competitive team that could go far this season.
Player to Watch: Wild Quarterback Rocky Hinds
Rocky Hinds, a highly decorated indoor football quarterback, joins the Wild for the 2013 season after playing the 2012 season for the Nebraska Danger of the IFL and the 2010 and 2011 seasons with the Bloomington Extreme. In 2011, Hinds had a career year for Bloomington, throwing for 2,219 yards with 40 touchdowns and 18 interceptions, earning him a spot as a finalist for IFL MVP. With a big arm and quick feet at the quarterback position, expect Hinds to be a playmaker for the Wild.
The Wichita Wild join the CPIFL, the Champions Professional Indoor Football League, for the 2013 season, which is set to kick off March 9th when the Wild travel to Tulsa to take on the Oklahoma Defenders. The game can be heard on 1410 AM KGSO in the Wichita area. The Wild will host their first home game of the season March 23rd against the Kansas Koyotes at 7:05 p.m.
Bombers to Branches
The Salina Bombers have teamed up with a local financial institution for a tour of players and coaches traveling around the area visiting local communities.
The Salina Bombers and First Bank Kansas are proud to announce "Bombers to Branches". The tour will feature a caravan of players and coaches from Salina's first ever professional indoor football team. The group will travel to six First Bank locations for meet and greet events as they prepare for the Bombers first game on Saturday, March 16th. The tour will take place over the next two Fridays; here is a schedule of the events:
Friday, March 8th in McPherson from 9-11
Friday, March 8th in Ellsworth from 12:30-2:30
Friday, March 15th in Abilene from 9-10:30
Friday, March 15th at 1333 W Crawford from 11-12
Friday March 15th at 235 S Santa Fe from 1-2
Friday, March 15th at 2860 S 9th from 2:30 - 4:30

Indoor Football League
Danger, Ice Set to Battle for Intense Conference Lead
Coming off the biggest win\ franchise history, the Nebraska Danger hope to keep their momentum going on Saturday in a key Intense Conference matchup against the Colorado Ice. Kickoff is set for 7 pm at the Heartland Events Center.
In their opener last Saturday, the Danger ended the Sioux Falls Storm's 21-game win streak when they topped the two-time defending league champions 30-21. The Storm had not lost since the final regular season game of the 2011 season when they fell to the Omaha Beef.
"It was a great effort by our guys," head coach Mike Davis said. "But, in the end, it was just one game. We didn't win anything last week and Colorado has our full attention. We expect it to be a really good football game on Saturday night."
It was a balanced effort that propelled the Danger against Sioux Falls. IFL special team's player-of-the-week Marcus Barnett returned the opening kickoff 58 yards for a touchdown to get the Danger rolling. A stingy defense, led by Pig Brown's 14 tackles held the high-powered Storm offense out of the end zone for the first three quarters. The Danger defense recorded two sacks, nine tackles for a loss and two interceptions in the game.
After a slow start, the Danger offense scored three times in the second half on a pair of passes from Jameel Sewell to Kayne Farquharson, before Sewell's 4-yard run with under five minutes left helped seal the win. Farquharson had six receptions for 73 yards in the win.
"We knew coming into the season that our defense would have to carry our offense for a little bit," Davis said. "We hope to see more improvement from the offense this week and the same great effort from our defense."
Colorado, coming off an 8-7 season a year ago where they lost to Tri-Cities in the first round of the playoffs, beat the Fever 42-38 in their opener a week ago. The Danger won the only meeting a season ago, 45-33, in Fort Collins.
Ice quarterback Willie Copeland threw for four touchdowns last week in the victory, including a 41-yard strike to former Nebraska-Kearney wide receiver Kyle Kaiser. Running back James Jones ran for 62 yards and the game-winning touchdown with 14 seconds left. Kaiser led the Ice with 59 yards receiving in the opener and is part of a receiving crew that will have another local player as well. This week, the Ice signed former Danger and Hastings College receiver Maurice Mansfield to their team.
Saturday's game is part of a light IFL schedule for week three. In other action, Cedar Rapids will the Wyoming Cavalry on Friday night in the only other game to be played this week. The Titans are already off to 3-0 start, while the Cavalry will be playing their season opener.
Kickoff is set for 7 pm on Saturday night at the Heartland Events Center, where Danger fans have been named "Best Fans in the IFL" during both Nebraska Danger seasons. Doors open at 6:00 with pre-game activities beginning at 6:30

Legends Football League
Los Angeles Signs 3-Time Defensive Player of the Year Liz Gorman
What had been rumored for weeks became official Tuesday afternoon when the most dominant player in the history of the LFL signed with the 3-time champion Los Angeles Temptation.
Liz Gorman joins a defense that was ranked fourth last season. The former Tampa Breeze safety will not only make an immediate impact in that secondary but will also offer LA her talents as a ball carrier. A workhorse out of the backfield, Gorman has a ferocious running style that will wear down defenses. She averaged 4 yards per carry last year and will provide quarterback Ashley Salerno with another key option lining up behind her.
The 3-time defensive player of the year had this to say, “The LFL has been a blessing and a special part of my life. While I have accomplished a lot individually, my sole focus now is to win a championship.”
Look for an immediate improvement to an LA defense that upgrades considerably after releasing Tessa Barrera and signing Gorman. While Barrera was known for a heavy amount of trash talk and not as much production, Gorman has a lengthy sum of battered offensive players throughout the league who can speak first hand about what she brings to the field.
League Chairman Mitch Mortaza had this to day about Gorman’s tenure with the LFL, “Liz has been part of the LFL Family since 2009 and is a great ambassador of our game. It’s great to see her continue her journey as the most dominant defensive player in league history. She will be part of our family in some capacity for many years to come.”
Professional Indoor Football League
Swashbucklers Prepare to Open Season against Albany
The Louisiana Swashbucklers open its ninth season of indoor football competition when the two-time defending Professional Indoor Football League Albany Panthers come to the Smuggler's Den in the Lake Charles Civic Center. Kickoff is scheduled for Saturday, March 9th, at 7 p.m.
Fans are going to notice new players on the field. Former standouts such as John Paul Jones have moved on while the team welcomes many new players to the program. Head coach Darnell Lee his staff have recruited new in order to make the Bucs more competitive within the league.. The Swashbucklers finished 2012 with a 6-6 season. The team did secure a spot in the playoffs last season, but were knocked out in the first round.
The goal is to get faster and quicker to keep opponents out of the end zone. The defensive goal is to contain the quarterback, increase the number of sacks and contain the running game.
The Bucs offense will start 2013 with new a new quarterback under center. The projected starter is Tim Curry, 6'4" from Louisiana College. Though the signal callers are new, the core of the offense is returning. Coming back are wide receivers Jordan Rideaux and Sammy Knight. Rideaux accumulated over 1,000 yards offense and 18 touchdowns last year. Also returning is Kendrick Perry, who in 2012, led the PIFL in rushing and wound up with 439 yards rushing and 20 touchdowns.
One new addition to the roster among others is A.J. Harris. Harris played his college ball at New Mexico State and was an outstanding player in the Arena Football League. At New Mexico State, Harris was the all-time leader in receptions and yards.
The 2013 schedule will see the Swashbucklers play its first four games at home. Two remaining home games will be played in late May and early June. The team will have two three-week road trips during the course of the season.
Panthers Renew TV Deal on WALB-ABC
WALB-ABCTV and the Albany Panthers announced today that they have renewed their broadcast agreement for the 2013 season.
WALB-ABC 10.2, the flagship television station of the Panthers since the 2011 season, will rebroadcast up to 8 home games in high definition over-the-air television through the 2013 season. The actual number of games aired this season is dependent on the Panthers hosting playoff games.
"We are pleased to continue a great over-the-air partnership by extending our relationship with WALB," Albany Panthers General Manager Will Carter said. "Panther fans in Albany are fortunate to have the city's leading over-the-air affiliate make the commitment to carry all home games this season in addition to the comprehensive coverage of the team they provide each night."
You can catch all home games at 11:30 p.m. Saturday night on WALB-TV ABC. Mediacom channel 809 on HDTV, Channel 9 on Analog, Dish Network Channel 17, Direct TV Channel 11, and over the air channel 10.2.
Buffalo Wild wings will also host a watch party for all Panther fans.
All games will be shown in its entirety:
2    March 23    Sat    11:30 PM EST    Columbus Lions
3    March 30    Sat    11:30 PM EST    Alabama Hammers
7    May 18    Sat    11:30 PM EST    Louisiana Swashbucklers
9    June 8    Sat    11:30 PM EST    Richmond Raiders
11    June 22    Sat    11:30 PM EST    Lehigh Valley Steelhawks
12    June 29    Sat    11:30 PM EST    Columbus Lions
Nighthawks Hit the Road for Season Opener on Sunday
The Knoxville Nighthawks are preparing for their first game of the 2013 season this Sunday, March 10th, at 4:00pm, against the Lions in Columbus, Georgia.
The Columbus Lions, who lost in the 1st round of the playoffs last year, are (3-0) against the Nighthawks. Although the Nighthawks weren't able to pull off a win against them last year, they were very competitive games. Last time they both met the Lions won 76-63.
The Nighthawks will be looking to start off the season on the right foot with the hiring of new head coach, Cos DeMatteo. This will be Coach DeMatteo first head coaching job, but is no stranger to arena football style play. He was an assistant coach for the, AFL team, Georgia Force and the, 2008 AF2 Champions, Tennessee Valley Vipers. He was born and raised in Tennessee and knows how important it is to have a winning team in Knoxville.
"We look forward to putting a competitive product on the field. We are excited to be playing our first game against Columbus. We have a difficult schedule ahead of us and we are looking forward to the challenge." said Head Coach Cos DeMatteo.
The Nighthawks-Lions match-up will be available for fans to watch on There will also be score updates on the Nighthawks' Facebook and Twitter pages.
The 2013 season opener will be Saturday, March 30th against the Richmond Raiders. Kickoff time is at 7:00pm at the Knoxville Civic Coliseum.
Lions Make 2013 Debut Versus Nighthawks
It's been a long road, but the wait is finally over as the Columbus Lions of the Professional Indoor Football League (PIFL) embark on their seventh season of indoor football when they make their 2013 season debut this Sunday March 10th at 4:00 PM when they play host to the Knoxville Nighthawks in "The Jungle" on "Military Appreciation Night."
After a quick exit in the playoffs, the Columbus Lions spent majority of the off-season trying to repair a defense that finished at or near the bottom in almost every major defensive category. Last season as many as eleven rookies saw playing time, only LB Jamontay Pilson (6'3 275, NW Mississippi) returns while the rest of the defense is comprised of indoor veterans including LB Justen Rivers who returns for his seventh season with his hometown Lions.
Two of those veterans include DB's Marvin Bohannon (6'0 200, Winston Salem St.) and Anthony Shutt (6'0 190, Florida AM) whom both played for other squads in the PIFL. This Sunday, Shutt will be making an appearance against his former squad while Bohannon will have to wait for an early trip to Huntsville before he can face off against the Hammers.
"Defense was a primary concern for us in the off-season and it showed during training camp," said Columbus Lions Head Coach Jason Gibson. "The improved defense played with a bite we lacked last season and proved to be ahead of our offense and hopefully that will be reflected this Sunday."
Offensively, for the fifth consecutive opening season game the Lions offense will feature a new signal-caller with second year man Garrett Sutphen (6'4 220, UNC-Pembroke) getting the opening nod over Marcus Jones (6'4 225, Duke).
Sutphen will have the difficulty of replacing the departed Randy Hippeard who enjoyed a successful 2012 campaign finishing on the PIFL's All-2nd Team after leading the league in passing touchdowns (72), passing yards (3,280), and completion percentage (64.5%). Last season while with the AIF's Cape Fear Heroes, Sutphen shared quarterbacking duties as the Heroes swept their way to a league title.
For Knoxville, their 2013 season kicks off where last season ended. On the week's final season, the Lions completed a three-game sweep of the Nighthawks defeating them 76-63 ending their inaugural season with a record of 1-11.
After spending the past couple of seasons as an assistant with the AFL's Georgia Force, Cosmo DeMatteo will be making his head coaching debut for the Hawks.
Much like Columbus, for the most part Knoxville will feature a different team with only seven players returning in all. DB Ginikachi Ibe headlines the defense and last season he earned the 2012 PIFL Defensive Rookie of the Year honor after leading the league with ten interceptions. Ibe proved to be a major thorn in the Lions side as four of the league-leading INT's happened against them.
For Knoxville to avoid a season like last year, it will be important for them to get off the ground running since they will appear on the road in their first three contests while same goes for Columbus considering after Sunday they will not see the friendly confines of the Columbus Civic Center again for another 41 days (April 20th vs. Richmond).
Can't make it to "The Jungle" on Sunday? Be sure to log on to and click on the "Listen Live" icon to catch all the play-by-play action via both video and audio.

Ultimate Indoor Football League
Raiders looking to dominate
The Raiders were very eager to get the first game started. With all the hard work the players have put in, they were ready to play as one unit. A highly powered offense led by Bj Hall, was ready to put a show together.
The Raiders opened up the first drive with a Td pass from Bj Hall to running back Tyler Batts and never looked back after that. The first half stand out was not on the offense, but on defense. Koreen Burch intercepted the Rampage 2 times and returned both for Touchdowns.
Bj Hall completed 3 touchdowns in the first half and each running back scored a touchdown as well. The Raiders continued the 2nd half domination. Julius McClellan had an interception and fumble return for Touchdown.
The offense didn't skip a beat with Tyler Batts having 2 rushing touchdowns as Bj Hall threw another to Jason Harmon. Jason Harmon also was the special teams player of the game as he racked in 5 tackles on kick offs alone. The Raiders final score of 74 to 25 showed the dominance.
"We fought all game and the players earned this win. Now we have to enjoy this shortly and prepair for the home opener against the Sarasota Thunder" commented coach Mink.
"The team is starting to come together but we still have some room for improvement. We will get back to work and keep improving" commented General Manager Feddy Azofeifa.

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