Saturday, March 9, 2013

Daily League News & Notes

Arena Football League
Cox 4 Set to Broadcast VooDoo Home Games
The New Orleans VooDoo will have all nine home games appear on live television this season with 7 games broadcasted by Cox4, announced the VooDoo front office on Friday. The other two home games were selected as the AFL's National Game of the Week, and are set to be shown on the CBS Sports Network.
All games televised by Cox4 will be shown in the Baton Rouge and Acadiana areas as well as the Greater New Orleans area.
"We are excited about the enthusiasm fans in southeast Louisiana show for the New Orleans VooDoo and for arena football in general," said Dan Newman, owner of the VooDoo. "Cox4 is known for its live high school football coverage in three Louisiana markets and has been recognized nationally for its outstanding sports coverage."
The majority of VooDoo home games will be on Saturdays at 7 p.m. This season, the first three home games will be played in the New Orleans Arena and due to arena renovations, the final six home games will be played in the Mercedes Benz Superdome.
Cox4, Louisiana's Local Television, is carried in all or part of 18 parishes in south Louisiana including the metropolitan markets of New Orleans, Baton Rouge and Lafayette.
The following games on Cox4 will be broadcast live in the Baton Rouge and Acadiana markets and tape-delayed in New Orleans:
- Sunday, March 24 vs. Orlando Predators
- Friday, April 19 vs. Pittsburgh Power
- Saturday, April 27 vs. San Jose SaberCats
- Saturday, June 1 vs. Cleveland Gladiators
- Saturday, June 15 vs. Tampa Bay Storm
- Saturday, June 22 vs. San Antonio Talons
- Saturday, July 20 vs. Jacksonville Sharks
Replays of the game will appear on Cox Sports Television, CST, a regional sports network which airs 24 hours a day, seven days a week on channel 37 and 737. Times of those replays are to be announced at a later date.
"We are thrilled to add arena football to our program line up and even more thrilled to offer coverage of the New Orleans VooDoo for the third year in a row," said Jason Furrate, Director of Programming and Production for Cox4.
"Coach Pat O'Hara is an experienced AFL coach who knows how to build and put a high caliber team on the field. Also, the format of the AFL league is high on scoring and excitement."
Sharks, Burrito Gallery Team up for Kickoff Bash on March 16
The 2012 South Division Champion Jacksonville Sharks have teamed up with Burrito Gallery to hold a preseason kickoff bash from 4:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. on Saturday, March 16 at the restaurant's downtown location at 21 East Adams St.
Held the day after the Sharks' preseason scrimmage against the Orlando Predators, the kickoff bash will be an outstanding opportunity for Sharks season ticket holders to meet the 2013 Sharks, get a glimpse of brand new Shark merchandise and enjoy Burrito Gallery's great food.
"This is the perfect place to hold an event like this," Sharks managing partner Jeff Bouchy said. "Our fans can meet our new players, check out our new gear and have a great meal along the way. We can't think of any better way to kick off the 2013 season."
All fans in attendance can enjoy $5 chicken, steak or bean burritos, $2 draft beer and $1 soft drinks.??DJ Ian will be providing music at the event, and kids in attendance will have plenty to enjoy, including the Shark Slide and great giveaways from balloons to brand-new Sharks Burrito Gallery t-shirts and a whole lot more.
The Sharks will hold staggered autograph sessions from 4:30 until 6:30, as groups of players will sign autographs in 30-minute windows during that time period. Outside of the specific autograph windows, Shark fans will have the chance to meet the team as players work the crowd.
Sharks Season Ticket Holders will be able to pick up their season ticket packages at Burrito Gallery, and fans who wish to become season ticket holders may purchase their seats at the event as well. The Shark merchandise staff will also be on hand to show off the new items that are available for 2013.
Fans will also be able to take advantage of free parking for the event, as all downtown street-level metered parking spaces are free of charge on Saturdays.
Storm Work on Special Teams
Day seven of practice kicked off with special teams drills. Special teams can be the most important aspect of an arena football game because if a ball comes off the net it is considered a live ball. This creates for a fun and exciting time as many games can experience a shift in momentum at the drop of a dime.
The Storm worked on aim and placement of the ball on kickoff. In order to improve scoring, and take advantage of the live ball off the net, the kicker needs to aim for the crossbar. If the ball takes an odd bounce, the kicking team has an opportunity to grab the ball and run it in for a touchdown. Storm kicker Juan Bongarra spent the offseason working on this part of his game.
"I came out here a lot during the offseason to work on this," said Bongarra. "You have to keep practicing in order to get better."
The Storm would continue to work on team drills, but the underlying theme of the day was going to the Florida Citrus Bowl to scrimmage South Division rival Orlando Predators. While there is a rivalry, the Storm view tomorrow's scrimmage as just another day in training camp.
"We just look at it as another time to get better," said first-year Storm receiver Chris C. Davis. "It's always good to go against another team. We just need to keep our heads and go to work."
Looking Ahead: The team departs early tomorrow morning to head over to Orlando for a scrimmage with the Orlando Predators at the Florida Citrus Bowl. Practice will begin at 10:00 AM. Fans and media are welcome to attend.
Sunday Schedule Change: Training camp has been cancelled for Sunday, March 10. Training camp will continue Monday, March 11 at 9:00 AM out at Skyway Park.
Coaches' Perspective: On the scrimmage with the Orlando Predators, Storm head coach Dave Ewart said, "Tomorrow is all about the scrimmage and where we match-up to the rest of the league."
Quote of the Day: On the rivalry with the Orlando Predators, Storm vice president of football operations Jeff Gooch said, "We can't buy into the rivalry. We just want our guys to go out there, have some fun, and get in some practice time against another team."
Player Spotlight: First-year Storm receiver Jason Chery is a player that likes to run. The former Louisiana-Lafayette Ragin' Cajun finished his collegiate career with 3,518 all-purpose yards, the third-most in school history. On kickoff returns, he averaged 20.1 yards per return at Lafayette, which should serve the Storm well as they look to improve on what already is a formidable return game. Prior to joining the Storm, Chery spent time with several National Football League teams, including the Green Bay Packers, where he returned a punt 75 yards for a touchdown during a pre-season game. Today, Chery kept the defenders guessing, as he used his speed and agility to make his way around the field.
After First Cuts of Camp, Soul Trimmed to 28
The 2012 American Conference Champion Philadelphia Soul, presented by Parx Casino, have made it to the halfway mark in their training camp by making their first round of cuts. The Soul trimmed a 35-man roster into 28 as they prepare for the second half of camp.
The first cuts from the roster include: WR Tyrone Collins, OL Marcus Gordon, DL Brandon Johnson, DB Jeff Hodges, WR Armand Robinson, and DL Michael Robinson.The last cuts will put the roster at 24, which will take place on the last day of training camp, March 16.The final cut will make the Soul ready for the 2013 season.
Tomorrow, the team will host an open practice at the NovaCare Complex for the Soul season ticket holders and the media.After practice,the Soul will host a meet-and-greet for the fans and media.
PLAYER SPOTLIGHT: DL DUSTIN BARNO (6'3", 285, East Stroudsburg):Veteran DL Dustin Barno returns to the Soul for his third consecutive season.Barno, entering his ninth season in the AFL,recorded 10.5 sacks during his tenure with the Soul, placing him No.3 in the Soul career record books for sacks.Barno was invited to the NFL Tennessee Titans training camp in 2003.He has also played for the Colorado Crush, Arizona Rattlers, and Oklahoma City Yard Dawgz, where he won the ArenaBowl in 2005.
QUOTE OF THE DAY:"Camphas been great so far," said Soul rookie FB Tombe Kose."It's a whole new experience going from outdoor to indoor football.They are great coaches and I have a great veteran in Derrick Ross helping me pick up the playbook and understand the offense. I came to camp confident, but slightly nervous.You can do everything right, make all the right moves, pick up the playbook, but you can still be cut.That's the way football is.There's always a chance, but I remained confident in myself; it feels good to make it past the first cuts. At this point, I'm just looking forward to finish out camp strong and earning a roster spot.I put a lot of work and effort into camp, so earning a roster spot would feel rewarding."
KANSAS CITY CONNECTION:During the 2013 season,the Kansas City Command declared they would not return for the 2013 season.Entering the 2013 training camp,we saw four players from Kansas City find a new home in Philadelphia: QB Steven Gachette (6'1", 195, Southwest Baptist), WR Jackie Chambers (5'10, 188, Lane College), WR Armand Robinson (6'0, 200, Miami (OH)), and DL Michael Robinson(6'4", 265, Nassau C.C.)
Both Robinsons did not make the first round of cuts of training camp.With one more cut to take place on the last day of camp, Gachette and Chambers look to continue their journey as teammates in the AFL on the Philadelphia Soul roster.
Shock Assigned Vaalyn Jackson
The Shock have been assigned defensive lineman and fullback Vaalyn Jackson to the 2013 roster.
Jackson (6-0, 285), a former McNeese State Cowboy, joins the Shock for the 2013 season after spending 2012 with the IFL's Tri-Cities Fever and 2011 with the AFL's New Orleans VooDoo. As a member of the Voodoo in 2011, Jackson recorded six tackles, one punt block, and one fumble recovery. As a Cowboy at McNeese State, Jackson was a four-year letterwinner and played in 41 career games on his way to recording 116 tackles (26 for loss) with 8.5 sacks and five forced fumbles. He joins the Shock roster for the 2013 season as a versatile defensive lineman with the ability to play fullback on the offensive side of the ball.
"Jackson is an experienced player, having spent time in New Orleans and also playing under Coach Shackleford down in Tri-Cities. We're looking forward to seeing what he brings to the table in this weekend's scrimmage," said Shock Head Coach Andy Olson.
Sharks Training Camp Report - March 8
The 2012 South Division Champion Jacksonville Sharks continued 2013 training camp with a full-contact practice at Plantation Park on Friday morning. The workout capped a stretch in which the team wore full pads four times in a five-day span.
Offensive and defensive players have now been going against each other for a full week of practice. Even though each player wears the same uniform, the friendly rivalry between the two sides of the ball was apparent on Friday, especially during the one-on-one portion of practice. At one point in the middle of the session, the Shark skill players took a break to watch the offensive and defensive lineman square off. As different groups of lineman lined up, Shark receivers and defensive backs loudly cheered on their offensive and defensive counterparts. The good-natured rooting built team unity in the midst of what has been an intense training camp.
Following one-on-ones and three-on-threes, the Sharks once again came together for a team session at the end of practice. After the team session, Friday's workout wrapped up with a conditioning drill, as head coach Les Moss emphasized the fact that players need to be prepared to play an entire game in the event of injury or other circumstances. With just 20 players active for every game, the Sharks know that they must be ready to withstand four full quarters.
After the physical toll of the last five days, the upcoming weekend will serve as a great chance for Shark players to rest their bodies and get proper treatment. The team will hold a lighter, helmets-only practice on Saturday before Sunday's off day, which will be the Sharks' first full day of rest in over a week.
Roster Moves
The Sharks added depth along the defensive line on Friday, announcing that Delvin Johnson has been assigned to the team's roster on a one-year rookie contract. The 23-year-old Johnson (6'3", 320) brings NFL experience to Jacksonville, signing undrafted free agent by the NFL's Washington Redskins in May of 2012. Waived by Washington before the end of NFL training camp, Johnson later spent several weeks as a member of the Redskins' practice squad during the 2012 season.
Marshall spent his collegiate career at Marshall University, sharing an alma mater with Shark quarterback Bernard Morris. As a senior in 2011, Johnson started 12 of the Thundering Herd's 13 games and finished third on the team with 10.5 tackles for loss. He also totaled 42 tackles, two sacks, one fumble recovery and seven quarterback hurries.
In other Friday transactions, the Sharks announced that wide receiver Dorian Graham, wide receiver D.J. Hall, defensive lineman Donte'e Nicholls and defensive lineman Malcolm Riley have been placed on reassignment. Additionally, Mac linebacker Aaron Robbins and defensive back Micheaux Robinson were placed on the physically unable to perform list.
Player Spotlight
Quarterback R.J. Archer is new to the Sharks but no stranger to Sea Best Field, as he played each of the past two seasons with the Georgia Force and has three AFL seasons under his belt overall. In 2012, Archer served as the Force's starter before signing with the Detroit Lions during NFL minicamp. In 11 games with the Force, Archer completed 60% of his passes for 2,446 yards and 49 touchdowns against 12 interceptions.
Following Friday's practice, Archer shared his thoughts on getting acclimated with a new team.
"I feel pretty good, this is my third year doing it. A lot of the offenses are the same the different places I've been," he said. "Coach Moss always runs a great offense, so I'm just happy to be here and excited to get this thing rolling." Part of Archer's adjustment to life as a Shark is working with an entirely new group of receivers. He spoke about the process of developing chemistry, and gave some insight on how the team's receiving corps is coming along.
"It's a little tough, but that's what the first few weeks of camp are for," he said. "Obviously the veteran receivers are doing a great job and they're showing these young guys the ropes a little bit. It's a lot for these young guys to get used to, but it's night and day from the first time we stepped on the field."
Up Next
The Sharks take the field for their eighth practice in as many days on Saturday morning at The Bolles School. The final workout before Sunday's day off, Saturday's practice starts at 8:30 a.m. and will be closed to the public.

Continental Indoor Football League
Sting Spend Bye Week with Local Students
The Saginaw Sting currently 4-0 and atop the CIFL are on a bye week. During the bye week, some of the Saginaw Sting players spent some time going to local elementary schools and read to children for "March is Reading Month". On Monday, Offensive Lineman Eric Brim, Quarterback AJ McKenna, Linebacker Herb Waits and Linebacker Enrique Shaw went to Auburn Area Catholic School in Auburn, Michigan and read to grades Preschool-5th.
Sting players also visited Kolb Elementary in Bay City, Jerome Elementary in Saginaw, and Jessie Rouse Elementary, also in Saginaw. In the coming weeks the Sting will be visiting other elementary schools in the area.
The Sting will return home to The Dow Event Center on Monday, March 18 for a 7:00pm kickoff. Please visit for more information and "Like" us on Facebook.
Upcoming Home Games
March 29 vs Erie
April 14 vs Port Huron
April 27 vs Detroit
Click Here for Past Game Scores
Future Appearances:
On Saturday, March 9th and 16th, 11:00am-2:00pm the Sting will be at Walmart on State Street and Brockway in Saginaw to sell tickets to benefit the Children's Miracle Network.
On Thursday, March 14th, 4pm-6pm, Draper Auto will be hosting a 'Meet the Sting' at their location on Bay Road.

Ultimate Indoor Football League
Raiders Plan to Protect their House
The Lakeland Raiders have been working diligently since the end of the 2012 season to prepare for 2013. Now the Raiders are ready to return to the Lakeland Center to play in front of their home crowd. The Raiders are coming off of a 74-25 victory on the road against the Georgia Rampage. The new look Raiders are ready to put on a great show for the home crowd.
The Raiders have some returning players and many new faces. The returning players are Roderick Jefferson, Adrian Smith, Kendrick Stewart, Julius McClellan, Josh Smith, Munir Muwwakkil and DeAngelo Woodie. These players have been put through many battles and competition since their first season and are excited about the roster they currently belong to.
"I'm excited to be back and the roster is super talented this year. I am ready to contribute in any way and plan to bring a championship back to Lakeland" said Julius.
The Raiders believe with the changes made in many positions that they are able to contend for a championship this year. The Raiders will be entering their first home game with a slightly different look than the first road game. The Raiders quarterback Bj Hall will not be present at the home opener due to being one of the happiest days any person can have, his wedding day.
The Raiders want to wish Bj the best day any man could possibly have and that the team will be working hard without him to make a winning streak. The Raiders would like to welcome Collin Drafts to the team. Collin and Bj have played together with the Dallas Vigilates and he is ready to keep the pace going for the Raiders. Collin is currently coaching as the offensive coordinator in Orlando at West

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