Monday, April 22, 2013

Daily League News & Notes

Arena Football League
VooDoo Changes One Young Life Forever
One very special teenager got the chance of a lifetime as he returned a kick for a touchdown last Friday night with the support of the entire VooDoo team in front of thousands of VooDoo fans.
Andrew Lafourcade is a 14-year-old boy who lives with Down Syndrome. However, Andrew has not let his genetic disorder get in the way of his love for sports. Andrew grew up watching his brothers play baseball, which sparked his interest in sports. Although Andrew is not able to play sports at a playground anymore because of insurance restrictions, the Miracle League of Greater New Orleans has provided Andrew with a second chance at his dreams. The Miracle League is designed to serve kids who cannot be accommodated by established baseball and soccer leagues because of special needs and/or their disabilities. The vision of the program is to provide any disabled child, regardless of their level of disability, the opportunity to play team sports and enjoy the emotional and physical benefits of being part of a team.
Andrew has been a member of the Miracle League of Greater New Orleans for about five years and participates in competitive baseball and soccer. In addition, basketball will be starting this summer and Andrew will be the first one in line to sign up, and he'll have a huge smile on his face.
The vibrant 14- year-old got the chance to live out his dream of playing professional sports on Friday, April 19, at the New Orleans VooDoo Arena Football League Game. Andrew was VooDoo from head to toe as he strutted his brand new official VooDoo uniform on the field during warm-ups with team. The players welcomed Andrew as one of their own and taught him a few tricks. As the whistle blew to begin the game, the ball was kicked to VooDoo kick returner Brent Holmes. Holmes then passed the ball over to Andrew who took off as the VooDoo kick returner. Andrew's mother, Ann Lafourcade, reminded Andrew to not get "too fancy." However, Andrew chose to make this kick return his very own. Smiles spread across the faces of those fans in the New Orleans Arena as Andrew zig- zagged through the opposing team players, his VooDoo teammates were behind him cheering him on. "He's at the 40, the 30, the 20, the 10, TOUCHDOWN," exclaimed the PA announcer. The crowd went crazy and Andrew showed off his dancing skills as he celebrated with his team by performing his own version of the "salsa."
"This day has made Andrew's life! He was so excited and I was so proud of him for getting the job done," exclaimed Andrew's mother Ann.
Andrew's experience may only be a memory to most, but his kick return for the touchdown was caught live on COX 4 and seen by thousands and will always be an amazing life experience for him. Andrew and his family are now able to relive this memory over and over again as they watch the recorded tape of Andrew's once-in-a-lifetime scoring run.
The entire VooDoo Nation joined together to help a young man pursue his dream on a professional football field last Friday. When Andrew crossed the VooDoo goal line, he scored far more than six points for himself; he proved to all that no matter how tough it can get, dreams are real and can definitely come true.

Indoor Football League
Blizzard Put on Offensive Show; Defeat Fever 66-54
The Green Bay Blizzard (2-5) put on an offensive show in front of 4,435 people at the Resch Center Saturday night as the team defeated the Tri-Cities Fever 66-54.
It was a game of results with an entirely new cast. New Head Coach Chad Baldwin got his first career victory after replacing Robert Fuller during the bye week. New Offensive Coordinator John Pate and QB Spencer Ohm coordinated a deadly Blizzard offense that passed for seven touchdowns, the highest total by the team since 2011.
Not including the final possession, Green Bay scored on 10 of its 11 possessions after averaging only 31.0 points per game this season
Tri-Cities (1-6) got on the board first as Keithon Flemming opened up the game with a 16 yard run, one of his two rushing touchdowns of the day. However, Blizzard QB Spencer Ohm counted with a six-yard run of his own. The Fever and Blizzard then traded touchdowns at the end of the first. Green Bay finished the quarter holding a slight 15-14 advantage as new kicker Corey Bougie converted a rare rouge to end the quarter.
At the beginning of the second Tri-Cities continued to field an effective offense as the team would continue a streak of converting touchdowns on their first seven possessions. The Fever went on a 20-7 run during the quarter sparked by touchdown contributions from WR Steven Whitehead, QB Dante Warren and RB Keithon Flemming. The Blizzard added a touchdown to WR Charles Dowdell in traffic just before half to narrow Tri-Cities halftime lead to 33-28.
The Blizzard offense would continue to produce after halftime as the team added 19 points during the third quarter. The Blizzard ended the quarter with a 42-yard touchdown pass to Ryan Balentine. Balentine proved to be a clutch playmaker for the Blizzard late in the game as he snagged all three of his touchdown passes with less than 16 minutes left in the game.
However it was the defense that came alive with back-to-back stops at the beginning of the fourth quarter that propelled the team to pull away from the Fever. The Green Bay offense quickly capitalized off of both.
Spencer Ohm found Lucien Walker on a 45-yard TD on the Blizzard's next drive. Green Bay would add another touchdown to Balentine on the following drive to give the team a 59-47 lead. Green Bay would hold on to defeat Tri-Cities 66-54.
Spencer Ohm completed 19 of 27 passes for 275 yard and seven passing touchdowns. In addition he also rushed for two touchdowns. WR Ryan Balentine had a huge game as he caught an IFL season-high 11 passes for 170 yards and three touchdowns. It is the most receiving yards any IFL WR has had since March of 2011. The Blizzard rolled up 387 total yards of offense, after only averaging 212.6 coming into the game.
DB Aaron Moore, who led the Blizzard in interceptions last season, signed with the Blizzard Thursday and led the team in tackles with nine.
Fever QB Dante Warren finished the game completing 15 of 28 passes for 107 yards and five touchdowns, while rushing for 66 yards and one TD as well. WR Steven Whitehead led the Fever with three touchdown catches.
The Blizzard will look get on a win-streak next Saturday April 27 as they face off against the Texas Revolution at the Resch Center. Kickoff is scheduled for 7:00 PM. Member of the Wisconsin Marching Band will also be performing at the game.

Legends Football League
The Chicago Bliss Reach Out to New and Longtime Fans of the LFL
The Chicago Bliss had a booth at the recent Sports Collectibles Convention in Rosemont. Bliss players appeared throughout the convention to meet fans, sign autographs and promote the upcoming season. For most of the people visiting their booth, including me, it was their first real exposure to the Bliss.
Along with being occupied by a Bliss player or two and a couple Bliss staffers, the Bliss booth was filled with 8 x 10’s of each player, team promo cards and other information. During my time there, I saw hundreds of fans approach the booth, interact with the players and leave smiling. I am sure the Bliss gained many new fans.
I met several members of the 2013 Bliss, including Heather Furr (quarterback-safety), Alli Alberts (safety-wide receiver), Tracy Barnes (running back-linebacker) and Vejurnae Leal (wide receiver-cornerback). My interview partner Scott Beatty and I also had the pleasure of interviewing them.
These women are not just eye-candy. In fact, they would probably take umbrage at being labeled that, instead of football players. The athletic abilities and accomplishments of these ladies earned them the right to be called players.
The women appeared to be itching to get out on the field and play real games. Furr wants to do some scrambling and playmaking. Leal wants to hit opponents. Barnes wants to run over people. Alberts wants to prove that she belongs. This is serious business.
I would like to claim that we got some exclusive scoops, but we didn’t. The Bliss players were openly talking to everyone about everything related to them and the Bliss. That is how it should be. Now is the time for the Bliss to get out there and promote themselves, and they did a fantastic job.
I talked to several fans, including Nick Hamilton of Novi, MI. Hamilton is a rabid sports fan, and since there is no LFL team in Detroit, he is adopting the Bliss as his team. Chicagoan Charles Alexander was happy to learn of the new direction of the LFL, stating that his collegiate daughter would love to tryout for a team in a couple years.
Those who were already fans gained a new appreciation for the LFL, understanding that there would still be attractive women on the field, but now there would be better football being played. For the new fans, the Bliss provided plenty of reasons to jump on the bandwagon.
This wasn’t the first promotional outing for the 2013 Bliss, but it was probably the biggest and most successful one so far. I have already had several of my friends ask about tickets after they watched the interviews, so I applaud the Bliss on a job well done.
Vegas Sin @ Chicago Bliss – Friday, May 10th at 9:00PM CST

Professional Indoor Football League
Game Preview: Steelhawks Seek Revenge on Raiders
Coming off a tough loss to the league's current leader, the Lehigh Valley Steelhawks (2-3) will be looking for revenge over the Richmond Raiders (3-2) when they come to the Hawks Nest this Saturday. The game is deemed Honor Education Night, presented by McCann School of Business and Technology.
The Steelhawks are rebounding from a tough loss last weekend and will be looking for payback on the Raiders after dropping a game to them two weeks ago. The Steelhawks offense has been on fire so far this season whether QB Adam Bednarik (1,019 yds, 17 tds, 72% completion rate) or QB Hunter Wanket (343 yds, 5 tds, 67% completion rate) has been under center. They have dangerous targets in all three receivers - WR Tom Gilson (340 yds on 40 catches, 6 tds), WR Tyrone Collins (248 yds, on 22 catches, 6 tds), WR Toriel Gibson (297 yds on 21 catches, 3 tds).
The Richmond Raiders offense is led by QB Warren Smith (929 yds, 11 tds). His favorite targets so far have been WR Herb Jones (424 yds, 4 tds) and Hakeem Moore (311 yds, 5 tds). They will be up against a Steelhawk defense, led by LB Terence Thomas (13 tackles, 3 sacks) and DB Clarence Curry (13.5 tackles).Richmond's league leading rusher, Mike Jones (224 yds, 12 tds) will be facing DL Larry Ford (6.5 tackles, 3 sacks) and the rest of the Steelhawk d-line that is the league's leading rushing defense.
Kickoff is slated for 7:05 (EST). The game will be. Steelhawk 2013 home games will be broadcast on Service Electric TV2 Sports.
The Steelhawks will be returning home this weekend for their second of a three game home stand. The game this week against the Richmond Raiders on April 27th is Honor Education Night brought to you by McCann School of Business and Technology.
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 for the latest Steelhawks news!

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