Arena Football League
SaberCats Add Former Chicago Rush QB Russ Michna
The SaberCats today announced that they have been assigned former Chicago Rush quarterback Russ Michna on a two-year contract. San Jose also placed quarterback Aaron Garcia on recallable reassignment to make room on the 24-man roster.
"Russ is someone we have respected as an opponent for a long time," said Owner/Head Coach Darren Arbet. "He brings a lot to our football team as a leader, and we look forward to having him in here to work."
Michna (6-2, 220, Western Illinois) joins the SaberCats after spending his previous five Arena Football League seasons with the Rush. He is a career 68.4% passer, has thrown for 13,993 yards, 281 touchdowns and just 41 interceptions. In 2012, Michna completed 351-of-503 passes (69.8%) for 4,470 yards with 89 touchdowns and only ten interceptions in 16 appearances, as he led Chicago to a 10-8 season. Against San Jose in two meetings last year, Michna threw for a combined 726 yards on 52-of-69 passing for 15 touchdowns.
In 2011, the former Western Illinois Leatherneck helped lead the Rush to a 13-5 season, appearing in 13 games. He completed 235-of-353 passes (66.6%) for 2,895 yards and 65 touchdowns. In addition, he also scored five times on the ground. The Rush lost in the National Conference finals against the Arizona Rattlers, falling just one game short of ArenaBowl XXIV.
During his first three seasons in the AFL, Michna led Chicago to the postseason twice as a starter (2008, 2010) and was part of another postseason run during his rookie season in 2007. During that time, he appeared in 33 regular season games, throwing for 6,625 yards, 127 touchdowns and 18 interceptions.
Prior to his time with the Rush, the Illinois native spent time in the Canadian Football League with the Winnipeg Blue Bombers (2005-06) and on the practice squad of the National Football League's St. Louis Rams after signing as an undrafted free agent out of Western Illinois (2004-05). He also was a member of the Las Vegas Locomotives of the United Football League and the Chicago Slaughter of the CIFL (Continental Indoor Football League) during the AFL's hiatus in 2009.
Michna spent his collegiate career at Western Illinois, where he completed 428-of-734 passes for 6,434 yards and 45 touchdowns during his four seasons playing for the Leathernecks.
Jaws and the Philadelphia Soul Return to Evesham
The Philadelphia Soul (2-2), presented by Parx Casino, will be holding a "Town Takeover" of Evesham Township on Friday, May 10 from 6:30-8:30 p.m. The Town Takeover, presented by Walgreens, will take place in the Willow Ridge Plaza (Genuardi's parking lot) on Route 73 and will feature a "run-through" practice by the Philadelphia Soul. This will be the team's last practice before the Soul take on the Pittsburgh Power (1-3) on Saturday, May 11, with kickoff scheduled for 7:05 p.m. at NovaCare Field at the Wells Fargo Center.
The event will be free to the public. During the practice, kids will be asked to participate by "running plays" with the Soul team.
"Our previous event with Evesham was a tremendous success and I can't wait to get back this year," said Soul Co-Majority Owner Ron Jaworski. "We again would like to thank Mayor Brown and the Town Council for allowing us to host this event and Walgreens for sponsoring the event. We are inviting all of the town's people to join us that night and at our game the following night."
The event will include live musical entertainment before and after the practice, there will be face painters and balloon artists, food, drinks and more. In addition to Soul players and coaches, there will be appearances by the Soul mascot, SoulMan, the Soulmates dance team, Soul ownership and front office staff. After the practice, fans will be able to meet Soul players and Soulmates who will be signing autographs.
"It's exciting to have such a great relationship with Ron and the Soul organization to be able to bring them to our great Town each year", said Mayor Randy Brown. "A special thanks to all of the people of the Town Council and the residents of Evesham who supported the event last year which allowed us to secure the event once again in 2013."
The Soul game, the night after the Town Takeover, on May 11 will be Evesham Township Night at the Soul as well as Scout Night.
Champions Professional Indoor Football League
Wild Players, Staff Continue Involvement in Community
The Wichita Wild will be welcoming kids from Camp Quality this Wednesday, April 24, to watch practice at Hartman Arena from 6-8 p.m. The children and their families will watch practice, meet the players for autographs, and join the team for pictures. Camp Quality is a non-profit organization dedicated to serving children with cancer and their families providing them with year-round programs, experiences, and companions for the children at no cost to the families. The organization also hosts a weeklong summer camp (July 14th - July 19th, 2013) to give children with cancer the chance to be kids again. It also gives the families of these children a much needed rest, knowing that their children are in the highest quality of care during their camp. The organization is run completely by volunteers and those interested in volunteering their time or making a donation can visit their website at www.campqualityusa.org/ks. All Fans are encouraged to come support the children and their families as well as the team this Wednesday evening.
The Wild will also be out in the community Thursday, April 25th at Levy Special Education Center for their annual field day. Several players and Wichita Wild Things dancers will be out to support and cheer on the children as they compete in their field day events. Wichita Wild players Matt Moss, Darius Parish, Kendrick Harper, and coach Deon Vornes work for Levy as Para educators. Levy schools serve students ages 3-21 who are multiply disabled, intellectually disabled, autistic, and those with other learning impairments. The school is part of Wichita USD 259 and has been operated as a center for special education since 1980. The school provides vocational training, transition planning, as well as basic life skills preparation for its students.
Although the Wild is on the road this week, fans are welcome to watch the team in action during practice. As a reminder, all practices are open to the public and typically run from 6:30 - 8:00 p.m. at Hartman Arena. Please use the west entrance. Parking is limited but close spots are available on the southwest corner of the arena.
The Wild hit the road this week, traveling to Sedalia, Missouri to take on the last placed Mid-Missouri Outlaws; kickoff scheduled for 7:05 p.m. (CST). The game can be heard on 1410 AM KGSO in the Wichita area or streamed live on kgso.com. They will then return home May 4th to take on the Oklahoma Defenders. Wichita defeated the Defenders 70-29 in the inaugural game of the CPIFL earlier this season in Tulsa on March 9th. Newman University is sponsoring pack the house night and there will be a buy one get one free ticket special available for the reserved level seats in section 105 thru section 111 and can be purchased by calling (316) 927-3999. It is also Walgreens Blackout Night and the first 500 fans will receive a free Wichita Wild t-shirt.
Professional Indoor Football League
Columbus Lions Present "Stadium Cup Night"
On Saturday April 27th at 7:30 PM, the Columbus Lions (3-2) of the Professional Indoor Football League (PIFL) will be hosting the Louisiana Swashbucklers (1-3) on "Stadium Cup Night" brought to you by Sprague's Auto Supply Inc.
On Saturday, the first two thousand fans in attendance will receive a 22-ounce Lions cup courtesy of Sprague's Auto Supply Inc., your locally owned NAPA Auto Parts distributor.
In addition, in appreciation for our loyal season ticket holders the Lions have added a special entrance so that they can avoid the long lines. Season ticket holders will be able to enter through the Chattahoochee Hall of Fame entrance which is just to the right of the main entrance. We will have signage in the front of the Civic Center directing season ticket holders to that door.
Ultimate Indoor Football League
Raiders Demolish Thunder 90-0 at Home
In the unusual statistics department, the contest between the Lakeland Raiders and the Sarasota Thunder on April 20th had a peculiar distinction in the annals of the Ultimate Indoor Football League. Neither team recorded a single first down all night - not once in 48 minutes of football. The Thunder couldn't make one and the Raiders didn't need one.
The Raiders defense dominated the Thunder from whistle to whistle on Saturday night. The Raiders D held the Thunder to a net of negative 20 yards on the night. Sarasota ran eleven offensive drives in the game. Two were cut short by the end of the halves. Of the other nine, two ended in turnovers on downs, one in a safety, two in fumbles (both returned for touchdowns courtesy of Troy Johnson and Keith McCaskill) and four with interceptions.
Raiders superstar DB DeAngelo Woodie caught more passes (3) from the Thunder quarterbacks than the entire Sarasota receiving corps combined. He returned two of the three for touchdowns, and lateraled the third to teammate Sam Smith who took it to the end zone. Johnson made the fourth pick of the night for Lakeland at the Thunder goal line.
All told, the defense of the Lakeland Raiders held the visiting team scoreless, scored five times, and set up their offense with a first and goal on four other occasions. The Raiders"Â stingy defense allowed only three plays for positive yardage all night, including a meaningless mad scramble on the final play of the game.
"Nobody got hurt, that's the most important thing to take away from this game," reflected Defensive Coordinator BJ Jernigan. "A wins a win," added DB Troy Johnson. "We stayed focused the entire game and that is how you avoid injury."
Playing short handed due to injuries and with backup quarterback Chris Walley at the helm, the Raiders offense was efficient with the limited amount of play time they had. The Raiders' O scored on every opportunity they had with the ball. Because the defense and special teams set the offense up with a short field time after time, the Offense didn't have a lot of time on the field. Drives of 2, 4, 5, 6, 13, 31,and 40 yards accounted for the seven offensive touchdowns.
The biggest challenge for the Offense may have been to keep their heads in the game with so little time on the field. "I just told them to hang in there, you'll get your chance," said Assistant Head Coach Jeff Bingle after the game. "With the Defense playing so well and giving you a short field [the offense] didn't get a chance to sustain a drive. I said "ÂJust hang in there and you'll get your shot'."
There was really only one opportunity all night for Lakeland to put together a sustained drive. That chance finally came on the Raiders"Â final offensive possession of the night with just over three minutes remaining in the game. The team took over on their own 10 yard line after the Johnson interception. Rather than grind out a drive, Head Coach Mike Mink called for the deep ball and a forty yard bomb to Roderick Jefferson in the end zone for his third touchdown catch of the night to go along with his four 2 point conversions.
RB Tyler Betts chipped in another two touchdowns, one in the air and on one the ground, as well as three 2 point conversions. Josh Smith and Tyrece Gaines each contributed one touchdown as well. Gaines"Â 31 yard touchdown grab at the end of the first half - he hauled in the pass while banging off the rear wall of the end zone with two defenders draped all over him - was a standout on a night filled with highlight reel material.
The final result was a 90-0 rout that would have been even worse had the officials not mercifully switched to a running clock in the second half. Next week the Raiders will host an Out-of-League contest with the Chattahoochie Vipers of the Alliance Indoor Football League.