Arena Football League
Soul Announce Inaugural "Soul Spring Band Jam"
The 2012 American Conference Champion Philadelphia Soul, presented by Parx Casino announce the inaugural "Spring Band Jam" set for Saturday, April 27 at the Wells Fargo Center immediately following the Soul game. The Soul game kicks off at 7pm and Spring Jam is expected to begin at approximately 10pm.
Soul Spring Band Jam will showcase two of the nation's best marching bands from Pennsylvania's oldest HBCU's performing and competing against each other. The bands include Cheyney University "Soulful Sound" Marching Band under the Direction of Pro. Alan Gardner and Lincoln University "Orange Crush" Roaring Lions Marching Band under the Direction of Pro. H. Wade Johnson. This year's coordinator of the Spring Band Jam is Chevis Anderson, Philadelphia Soul's Manager of Bands.
"Spring Jam is going to be an incredible display of musical talent and a can't-miss event for music enthusiasts," said Soul Vice President and COO John Adams. "If you have seen these bands in action, you know the show they put on. If you have not, it is something you will not want to miss."
Tickets for this event start at just $18 and include access to both the Soul Spring Jam as well as the Soul game vs. the Jacksonville Sharks. Kickoff for the Soul game is at 7:00pm. For more information or to purchase tickets or how your band can be included in this event go to PhiladelphiaSoul.com/SpringJam.
Tampa Bay Storm Takes On The Orlando Predators
The Tampa Bay Storm (2-2, 0-1) heads to the Amway Center to take on the Orlando Predators (0-3, 0-1) Saturday, April 20 for this season's first installment of the War on I-4. This will be the 51st meeting between the South Division rivals, and 43rd in the regular season.
The rivalry began in 1991 when the Tampa Bay Storm moved to St. Petersburg from Pittsburgh, PA. This was also the year that the Orlando Predators entered the AFL as an expansion team. With both teams coming to Florida at the same time, and with roughly 90 miles separating the two, it only seemed natural for a rivalry to blossom.
Throughout the history of the series, both teams always seem to be evenly matched, regardless of placement in the standings. In the 50 previous meetings, the teams each have a .500 record of 25-25 (21-21 - regular season, 4-4 - Postseason). They also share multiple AFL records including, consecutive playoff appearances (19), postseason wins (23), and semifinal appearances (13).
This Saturday, the Storm will look to overcome its 36-52 loss at the hands of the San Antonio Talons. Versus the Talons, quarterbacks Adrian McPherson and Shane Boyd were removed from the action due to injury. This could present a challenge for the Storm as the team's offense rolls when McPherson is under center, and before he was taken out of the game, Boyd showed he could handle the offensive load as well, having completed 4-of-7 passes for a touchdown and no interceptions. If the team wants to win, the offensive line must provide its quarterback with protection and give him time to make the right pass.
On the other hand, Orlando will be hungry to earn its first win of the season. Coming into 2013, the team brought in head coach Doug Plank. Plank guided the Philadelphia Soul to ArenaBowl XXV, and Orlando hoped to improve on its 4-14 record from 2012. The team also acquired former Storm receivers Prechae Rodriguez, and Amarri Jackson; both of whom provide large targets for newly assigned quarterback Kyle Rowley. While Orlando has shown flashes of playing at a winning level, it has yet to taste a victory.
Both teams will be fighting for something. The Storm fighting to show that its first wins were not a fluke, while the Predators will be fighting for its first win. A loss for either team could prove devastating in the long-term.
The fans can be sure that this rivalry is brewing, and when the teams get together, there are bound to be memorable moments for each fan base.
SaberCats Acquire DL Terrance Carter from Orlando
The SaberCats announced today that they have acquired defensive lineman Terrance Carter from the Orlando Predators in exchange for offensive lineman Terrence Campbell and defensive lineman Mike Landry. Additionally, San Jose activated fullback Brian Folkerts from recallable reassignment to bring their active roster to 24 players.
"Being able to acquire a big-time player like Terrance in this way is something you don't typically get the opportunity to do in this league," said Owner/Head Coach Darren Arbet. "When we had the chance, we had to make the move. He brings a tremendous skillset in rushing the passer that will help us toward our goals in 2013."
Carter (6-4, 275, Colorado State) has appeared in all three games for the Predators in 2013 thus far and has recorded three total tackles and one sack, which occurred against the SaberCats back on March 29. The three year Arena Football League veteran spent 2012 in Orlando and totaled 14 tackles, six-and-a-half sacks, three forced fumbles and one recovery in 17 appearances. As a member of the Pittsburgh Power in 2011, Carter posted 26.5 total tackles with five sacks and two forced fumbles in 18 games played. As a rookie with the Tulsa Talons in 2010, the former Colorado State Ram made 14.5 tackles adding four-and-a-half sacks, three forced fumbles and one fumble recovery in 11 appearances. In addition to his time in the AFL, he also played for the Talons from 2007-09 in af2.
The Topeka, Kan. native attended Colorado State and was a three-year starter along their defensive line. Throughout his collegiate career, Carter posted 46 total tackles and six sacks in 34 appearances for the Rams. As a senior in 2005, he finished with 23 total tackles (13 solo) with two sacks and one forced fumble.
VooDoo Mercedes-Benz Superdome Open House Friday, April 19
The New Orleans VooDoo Mercedes-Benz Superdome Open House will be held on Friday, April 19 at 4:30 p.m. - 6:30 p.m.
This is your opportunity to come see the Superdome seating arrangement and field configuration prior to the VooDoo moving into the Dome for the remainder of the 2013 regular season.
Season Ticket Holders are invited to come find your seat and ask any questions of the VooDoo staff.
If you aren't a Season Ticket Holder, this is your chance to pick a great seat that is available for the rest of the season. Ticket sales reps will be on hand to help you find a seat and claim it for the year!
Doors open at 4:30 and the Open House will last until the doors open to the New Orleans Arena for the VooDoo home game against former LSU QB Jordan Jefferson and the rest of the visiting Pittsburgh Power!
Parking will be as normal in the Superdome. Fan Fest will be on Girod Street between the Dome and the Arena. Entry for the Superdome Open House will be through the Loading Dock Entrance on Girod St.
SA Talons Sign Live Broadcast Deal with KMYS
The San Antonio Talons entered into a six-game broadcast contract with KMYS CW35 San Antonio. Fans can catch the hard-hitting games live starting this weekend with the Talons' game at the Arizona Rattlers on analog channel 35 or digital channel 32.
KMYS will broadcast the two regular season home games and four regular season away games listed below during the 2013 AFL regular season.
Saturday, June 8 vs. Arizona Rattlers
Saturday, July 13 vs. Tampa Bay Storm
Saturday, April 20 vs. Arizona Rattlers
Sunday, April 28 vs. Pittsburgh Power
Saturday, June 22 vs. New Orleans VooDoo
Saturday, June 29 vs. Iowa Barnstormers
Fans are invited to catch this weekend's game at the Talons Official Watch Party at Augie's Barbed Wire Bar-B-Que located at 3709 N. St Mary's St. Kickoff is at 8 p.m.
Sharks to Offer Fan Bus to Orlando
The 2012 South Division Champion Jacksonville Sharks announced Tuesday that the team will offer a fan bus to Orlando on Saturday, May 25, providing two-way transportation for fans wishing to see the Sharks square off against the division rival Orlando Predators at Amway Center. Kickoff for the game is set for 7:00 p.m.
A seat on the bus will cost $65 for 2013 season ticket holders and $75 for non-season ticket holders. This includes transportation to and from the game as well as a lower bowl ticket to the game. Seats will be located in sections 112 and 113, near the Sharks' bench.
The Sharks will provide both snacks and soft drinks en route, and fans may bring their own soft-sided small cooler with beverages of their choice. Glass containers are prohibited.
The bus is set to depart at 3:00 p.m. on the day of the game and will be leaving from the South end of the Avenues Mall parking lot next to Buca Di Beppo, located at 10334 Southside Blvd. in Jacksonville. The bus will begin its return trip to Jacksonville shortly after the end of the game.
To purchase a seat on the bus, please contact Sharks Group and Suite Sales Manager Travis Gortman at (904) 900-2060 ext. 7125, or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
In addition, those who have their own transportation to Orlando but would still like to sit with the Sharks group may purchase tickets by contacting Travis, using the same information listed above. Travis will also be able to answer any further questions regarding the bus trip.
VooDoo Hosts Pittsburgh, Familiar Face
The VooDoo (1-2) return home for the last game in the New Orleans Arena this season to tangle with the Pittsburgh Power (0-3) this Friday.
The VooDoo has an opportunity to take advantage of winless Pittsburgh after losing in a blowout to Jacksonville last weekend. The New Orleans Arena will undergo renovation, so the Graveyard will take the party next door to the Mercedes-Benz Superdome the following week.
The Power is led by former LSU quarterback Jordan Jefferson. Jefferson's last football game in New Orleans was a forgettable one as the Tigers were shut out by Alabama 21-0 in the 2012 BCS Championship Game.
Jefferson has had similar struggles in the AFL season as he has thrown five interceptions and has tossed only eight touchdowns in 2013. Last week against Chicago was his worst outing, as he threw only one touchdown in their 45-14 loss to the Rush. He has also been sacked 12 times this season. Jefferson, though, is second in the league in rushing yards with 96 on the year.
VooDoo quarterback Kurt Rocco has also struggled at times. Rocco has a 47.4 percent completion percentage. He threw for a season-low 172 yards in the 76-30 loss to the Sharks and was also sacked three times. Rocco has thrown for more yards and touchdowns (651 yds, 10TD) than Jefferson (506 yds) and has only been sacked six times all season. Something has to give in this matchup, and the team with better play at quarterback could be the difference in this game.
The VooDoo does have an edge in the receiving end of the offense as the team has four receivers with double digit receptions this season led by Courtney Smith, who has 19 catches for 276 yards and four touchdowns. Smith had a season-high eight catches for 150 yards in Jacksonville, so he could provide the VooDoo with an offensive boost to defeat Pittsburgh.
Receivers Derek Lee and Donovan Morgan also have four scores and have played solidly in 2013. Pittsburgh only has three receivers with double digit catch totals led by Mike Washington who has 27 receptions for 270 yards and three touchdowns.
Defensively, New Orleans should look to control the turnover battle. The VooDoo has forced four turnovers (3 INT, fumble recovery) while Pittsburgh has only forced one turnover (INT). Both teams have struggled offensively, so defense could be a factor in this game. VooDoo defensive back Demarcus Robinson is in the top ten league-wide with 20.5 tackles and can take advantage of a struggling Pittsburgh team. Pittsburgh's leading tackler, DB Sergio Gilliam, also has the team's lone interception (18 tackles) and could play a role in Friday's game.
What could help the VooDoo is having the home crowd on their side. New Orleans is 1-1 at home, but they have played much better in the Graveyard than on the road. They will be playing for a chance to get back to .500 in a competitive South Division. Pittsburgh, however, will be hungry to find their first win of the season and should not be overlooked. Another key to this matchup could be in the return game. VooDoo kick returner Brent Holmes is third in the league with 395 return yards. Holmes was brilliant last week with 10 returns for 205 yards.
Kickoff is set for 7:30 p.m. local time this Friday night.
Champions Professional Indoor Football League
Haymakers Face Bombers In Crucial Week Six Matchup
The Haymakers will face a short week and a tough fight this week against the Salina Bombers. Lincoln comes into Friday's game on three game losing streak, but looks to rebound after falling short of an upset to the CPIFL's lone unbeaten team the Omaha Beef. The Haymakers recorded the most point thus far for the season against the Beef. The team will need to keep the offensive momentum from last week's game against the Bombers, to keep their playoff hopes alive.
The Salina Bombers, a fellow league expansion team, are 2-2 and just outside of the CPIFL's playoff hunt. The Bombers bring the league's third ranked defense to Lincoln. The passing game is where the Bombers shine on defense. They are extremely efficient on pass defense and rank second in the league in defensive pass efficiency. The Haymakers rely on the air attack heavily on offense, so the Bomber's pass defense against the Haymaker's attack will be a story line to watch out for.
Quarterback Blake Bolles had notable performance in his first career start for the Haymakers. Bolles went 15 for 21 with three touchdowns and no interceptions. He also recorded one rushing touchdown on the game. Bolles seems to be the answer for the Haymaker's quarterback situation as the role has switched back and forth in the past weeks between A.J. Toscano and Bolles. Lincoln will also look to newcomer David Ferris at running back. Ferris handled all of the carries for the Haymakers against the Beef and recorded two rushing, and one receiving touchdowns.
The Haymakers' defense has struggled in their losses, and needs to improve for the Haymakers to get back on track this season. This past week against Omaha, the defense had good play. The defense recorded an interception late in the third quarter to keep the game close. Forcing more turnovers will be a key for the Haymakers this week against a Bombers team that is middle of the road in turnover margin.
The Haymakers will host Salina on Pepsi Night at the historic Pershing Center in downtown Lincoln. Kickoff will be at 7:05 p.m. on Friday, April 19.
Indoor Football League
Blizzard Add Offensive Coordinator
The Green Bay Blizzard have named John Pate, a former coach of Georgia Southern, as the team's new Offensive Coordinator. Pate has over thirty plus years of coaching experience.
Pate was highly successful at Georgia Southern where he served from 1985-89 and then again from 1996-2005. During this time with the Eagles, Pate helped the team win five NCAA Division I-AA national championships. His five championship titles are the most of any Division I-AA coach.
"During this transition period adding someone of Coach Pate's caliber is ideal for the organization. In his abilities, knowledge and attention to detail as well as his five NCAA Division I-AA championships bringing him in a great asset for our offense," stated Head Coach Chad Baldwin.
Pate has enjoyed success on all levels of football. In 2009 and 2010, Pate led West Montgomery High School in North Carolina to a record of 20-8 in the two seasons. In his two seasons with West Montgomery the team made both the state semifinals 2009 and made the second round in 2010.
Pate has spent the last two seasons with Hamline University as their head coach.
Pate will look to bring his pedigree to help spark a struggling Blizzard offense. The Blizzard currently rank 8th in the league averaging 31 points per game this is down from the 2012 season where the Blizzard averaged 56.2 points per game.
The Blizzard return home to the Resch Center to play the Tri-Cities Fever on April 20. Kickoff is scheduled for 7 P.M. April 20 will be Ahman Green Bobblehead Night where the first 1,500 youth 14 and under will receive a free Ahman Green Bobblehead.
Professional Indoor Football League
Columbus Lions Announce "Cancer Awareness Night"
On Saturday April 20th, the Columbus Lions (2-2) of the Professional Indoor Football League (PIFL) return home in almost a month to host the Richmond Raiders (3-1) at 7:30 PM on "Cancer Awareness Night" sponsored by the John B. Amos Cancer Center and AFLAC.
Now on its fourth year, "Cancer Awareness Night" has become an annual tradition Lions fans have grown accustomed to attending with their home team donning commemorative pink jerseys as well as play with pink footballs with both being auctioned off following the game with portions of the proceeds going towards cancer research.
Last season's auction raised $1,300 each for the John B. Amos Cancer Center and AFLAC Cancer Center.
One new twist for this season is the raffling of a pink commemorative team autographed pink helmet with the winner being announced during the middle of Saturday's game against Richmond. To get an early glance of the helmet, log on to www.columbuslions.net and check out one of the latest videos on LionsTV.
To learn more about Saturday's game, contact the Lions front office at 706-322-3336 and for a sneak peek at the 2013 augmented Lions pink uniforms stay tuned to the team's Facebook page.
Steelhawks Lose Battle to Raiders
Following a two week layoff of bye weeks, the Lehigh Valley Steelhawks (2-2) returned to action, taking on the Richmond Raiders (3-1). In a tough, penalty filled game it was the Raiders that came out on the winning side.
The Steelhawks fell behind early in the quarter, 9-0 after a series of plays put points on the Richmond scoreboard. The first was Richmond K T.C. Stevens hitting an uno on the opening kickoff, next a Steelhawk K George Pierson long field goal was blocked resulting in a safety, and then Richmond scored a touchdown on their next possession. The Steelhawks fought back and scored their own touchdown when FB EJ Webb broke the plane of the goal line, but still trailed 16-6 at the end of the quarter.
Richmond started the second quarter off with a quick touchdown, followed by their second uno of the night to extend their lead to 24-6. QB Adam Bednarik (6 tds, 314 yds) answered with a Steelhawk touchdown completion to WR Tom Gilson (12 catches, 3 tds). Lehigh Valley got the ball back as time wound down and Bednarik attempted a last minute touchdown drive. He was able to put more points on the board as he hit WR Tyrone Collins (11 catches, 112 yds, 2 tds) for a 15 yard touchdown. But the Steelhawks left 18 seconds left on the clock and it was enough for the Raiders to score their own long touchdown keeping the score differential at 17; Richmond 38, Steelhawks 21 at the half.
The second half started off better for the Steelhawks as the defense recorded their first sack of the game on the very first play from scrimmage of the half. They then held the Raiders to only three points on the possession. On Lehigh Valley's following possession, Bednarik found Gilson in the endzone for the second time of the night. The Raiders would not be held without a touchdown for long as on their next play, they threw a long pass over the top that resulted in another touchdown making the score 48-27. With a little over a minute left in the quarter, Steelhawk LB Brandon Roundtree (3.5 total tackles) intercepted Richmond QB Warren Smith giving Lehigh Valley the ball back as the quarter drew to a close. The score remained 48-27 Richmond.
Richmond scored a touchdown to start the quarter, lengthening their lead to 55-27. The rest of the quarter saw the Steelhawks mount a comeback scoring 18 unanswered points to cut the lead to 12 with under four minutes to play. Unfortunately, it was a little too late as the Raiders were able to score a touchdown after winding the clock down to 56 seconds, putting the game out of reach as they led by 17. The Bednarik-Gilson duo was able to add a last touchdown to the effort to make the final score 62-51 Richmond.
Bednarik's 314 total passing yards on the night moved him into 2nd in Steelhawks All-Time Passing Leaders.
The Steelhawks will be returning home next week for their first of a three game home stand. The game next week against the Alabama Hammers on April 20th is Team X Eastern Lehigh Valley Youth Sports Night and will feature the 2nd Annual Team X East Lehigh/ Steelhawks Spring Kick-Off Classic Inter League Tournament (9-11 yr old) Championship Game during halftime of the Steelhawks game.
The Steelhawks have been working hard, both on and off the field, filling their roster with a ton of talent and adding great partners to the Steelhawk family. The Steelhawks' 2013 PIFL schedule is now available online and individual and season tickets are available. Get your season ticket flex plans now and you will get a FREE Steelhawk 9th Man jersey, and be entered to win a FREE vacation from Boscov's Travel! For further information please call Lehigh Valley Steelhawks Executive Vice President and General Manager Mike Clark at (610) 282-3100, or visit our website at www.LVSteelhawks.com for the latest Steelhawks news!
Panthers Announce 1st Annual "Beer Festival on the Field"
Albany Panther and music fans can mark their calendars for the First Annual "Beer Festival on the Field". The back-to-back defending champions, The Playmakers Foundation and B-100 radio are presenting partners for a day of fun featuring beer tasting, live musical performances, beer games and more.
The Beer Fest will happen on Saturday, May 25th at the Albany Civic Center from 5PM to 10PM EST. Some of Southwest Georgia's hottest entertainment will perform during the Beer Fest including Highway 55, Ben Wells, Travis Denning and Caylee Anna.
The performances will occur while attendees get a chance to sample many of the newest beers from around the world. Attendees will also get a chance to meet and compete against the Panthers in a football toss competition, a kicking contest, beer games and a hot wing eating contest.
Two advance ticket levels can be purchased at all ticket master locations, via www.ticketmaster.com or at the civic center box office including a $25 standard ticket which includes entry and a logoed cup and a $45 VIP ticket which includes a limited-edition t-shirt, a branded beer mug and a VIP line. Attendees must be 21 to participate and no kids or pets are allowed. For more info, visit www.albanypanthers.net or call 229-430-5200.The 1st Annual Beer Festival on the Field is sponsored by MillerCoors, Buffalo Wild Wings, Bud Light, Clear Channel Radio, Big Rax Saloon, and Coach's Sports Bar and Grill. Proceeds will benefit the Playmakers Foundation's T.O.O.L.S. (Teaching On-Field and Off-Field Leadership Skills) youth education and leadership program.