Friday, May 17, 2013

Daily League News & Notes

Arena Football League
Free Tickets for All Military at Gladiators "Salute the Troops" Game
As an early "kickoff" to annual Memorial Day celebrations, the Cleveland Gladiators are hosting "Salute the Troops" Night this Saturday, May 18th, when all active and veteran military personnel can come to the game for FREE. The Gladiators will be looking for their second straight win at home when they host the San Antonio Talons at Quicken Loans Arena at 7:00 p.m. Furthermore, anyone with a military ID (IE family members, etc) will be able to receive a free ticket at The Q box office.
The team will be wearing special military fatigue-inspired jerseys for the night, which will be auctioned off at the game, with a portion of the proceeds benefiting the Gladiators and Monsters Community Fund. Additional signed celebrity Gladiators jerseys will be available for bidding as well, including Bernie Kosar, Jim Tressel, Joe Haden, Trent Richardson and more.
Saturday's game will also be the first Dollar Hot Dog and Dollar Soda night of the 2013 Gladiators season (courtesy of Pepsi, Sugardale and FOX Sports Ohio).
Fans in attendance will be able to display their patriotism as the first 2,500 people to the game will receive a free mini American Flag.
Fans will also be able to participate in the usual free postgame field party, presented by EMH Healthcare, featuring team autographs and field goal kicks.
Tickets for this and every Gladiators game start at just $10. Season ticket packages for 2013 are also on sale now. Group tickets and birthday bash packages for 10 or more are also currently available for the 2013 Gladiators season.
Philadelphia Soul Forms Partnership with Burlington County College's WBZC-FM
The Philadelphia Soul and Burlington County College's (BCC) radio station WBZC-FM (Z88.9) announce their partnership to broadcast Soul home games. WBZC-FM will cover all remaining six home games, including the Veterans Arena Game featuring active reservists and veterans of the Armed Forces, following the Soul game on June 22.
This new partnership with the Soul, in addition to the station's longstanding relationship with the Camden Riversharks, gives BCC students the opportunity to work with professional sports teams and build their broadcasting portfolios. Students learn all aspects of a professional sports team broadcast from production to promotion. The experience is also a great resume addition for students seeking careers in the highly competitive broadcasting industry.
"We are really excited about our new partnership with the Soul and the opportunity it affords our students and the College," said Brett Holcomb, Operations Manager and Programming Director of WBZC-FM. "The hands-on experience the students gain is priceless, as are the College's marketing and promotional opportunities at the home games in the Wells Fargo Center. In addition, the fast-paced, high scoring games make for an exciting and entertaining broadcast for our listeners."
"This is a great opportunity for both the Soul organization and Z88.9," said Soul VP and COO John Adams. "The partnership provides another avenue for our fans to hear the Soul games. Not only does the partnership allow us to reach more of our fans, but it helps the college students gain some experience. This is really a great opportunity for everybody."
The next live broadcast will be on Saturday, May 18 at 7:05 p.m. when the Soul host the Orlando Predators. Games can be heard on FM 88.9 (Bordentown-Atlantic City), 95.1 (Burlington-Bristol), 100.7 (Mount Holly-Lumberton), and online at
Receiver Josh Philpart Returns to Sharks
The 2012 South Division Champion Jacksonville Sharks announced Thursday that another member of the 2012 squad has returned to the team, as wide receiver Josh Philpart has been assigned to the Jacksonville roster on a one-year contract. Per team policy, terms of the deal were not disclosed.
The 23-year-old Philpart (6'1", 180) got his first taste of the Arena Football League last season, appearing in four of the Sharks' last five regular-season games and starting each of the final two. Philpart caught 14 passes for 137 yards and five touchdowns with the Sharks. After seeing his first AFL action in Week 16 agains t Cleveland, Philpart broke out with three catches for 62 yards and three scores in a Week 18 matchup with the Milwaukee Mustangs. He caught a touchdown pass in each of the Sharks' final two games as well, adding a three-yard rushing score in Week 19 against Orlando.
Before joining the Sharks, Philpart completed a stellar career at Jacksonville University, where he holds the school's all-time career records for receptions (188), receiving yards (2,831) and receiving touchdowns (35). As a sophomore in 2009, Philpart set new school records with 912 receiving yards and 13 touchdown receptions. In a game against Morehead State in 2010, he became one of just three players in school history to catch three touchdown passes in a single game. Philpart concluded his collegiate career in the fall of 2011, recording 50 catches for 675 yards and six touchdowns in his final campaign, helping the Dolphins finish the season 7-4. A native of Deerfield Beach, Florida, Philpart played at Deerfield Beach High School before attending JU.
In another Thursday transaction, the Sharks also announced that defensive back Bill Alford has been placed on inactive reserve. Following the roster moves, the Jacksonville roster stands at the AFL maximum of 24 active players.
Philadelphia Hosts Doug Plank's Orlando Predators
The Philadelphia Soul (3-4) hosts the Orlando Predators (2-5) on Saturday, May 18, with kickoff at 7:05 p.m. The Orlando Predators are coached by former Soul head coach and former NFL safety Doug Plank. The Soul will also host COPD Awareness Night where t-shirts and rally towels will be given to the first 5,000 fans and two screening booths will be available to the fans. The team will wear the color orange in recognition of COPD awareness.
WHAT: Arena Football League's Philadelphia Soul home game against the Orlando Predators.
WHERE: Wells Fargo Center, 3601 S. Broad Street, Philadelphia, PA 19148.
WHEN: Saturday, May 18, 2013 at 7:05 p.m.
WHO: Philadelphia Soul arena football team.

Indoor Football League
Storm Caught in Crowded Conference
The Sioux Falls Storm (6-4) is currently a half game out of the top spot in the United Conference. The top two teams in each conference will earn a berth in the playoffs, which start in just 5 weeks. From afar, this looks promising...until you look around and see just how crowded it is at the top. There are 5 teams in the United Conference. They are all separated by a total of only two games. With five weeks left in the regular's literally anyone's ballgame.
The Storm, coming off last week's loss to Cedar Rapids, can ill afford to overlook the importance of every remaining game of the 2013 regular season. With teams this close in standings and so little time left in the season, the weight of each contest grows quickly. The last month has been a rough road. In three of the past four weeks, the Storm has faced a team leading their respective conference. And that trend continues this week.
The Chicago Slaughter (7-4), who currently sits atop the United Conference, will pay visit to the Storm Shelter on Saturday Night. Revenge will in the minds of the Storm as these two teams met in Chicago just three weeks ago. That game ended in a narrow 61-56 Chicago victory. Now, three weeks later, the Slaughter travel west. Sioux Falls crowd support for the Storm is not only impressive in size and decibel's effective too. All four Storm losses this season have come on the road. In two opportunities to avenge a loss at home, the Storm has done so. Their third opportunity comes on Saturday Night.
"As we continue to fight for our spot in the playoffs, there is no better place to play the top seeded Slaughter than our house," said Storm Owner Todd Tryon. "I expect another exciting game that comes down to the wire."
Saturday Night is also the Dakotaland Autoglass Military Appreciation Night at the Sioux Falls Arena. Anyone presenting a Military ID will get free admission to the game. A 7:05 kickoff is scheduled but come early to enjoy a tribute to the men and women of the U.S. Armed Forces.
The first 1,500 fans through the door will receive complimentary Thunder Sticks! Those provided courtesy of Waterbury Heating and Cooling, the Sioux Empire's Coleman dealer.
Tickets are on sale for this weekend's home game against the Nebraska Danger. Tickets and more info are available through the Sioux Falls Arena box office. Game time is Saturday, May 18th, at 7:05pm.
Colorado Ice Making Moves to Stay #1
The Colorado Ice play their first home game in over a month when they take on the Tri-Cities Fever this Saturday, May 18th at 6:00 PM. After three road games and a bye week the Ice return to Majestic Roofing Field at the Budweiser Events Center.
During the bye week the Colorado Ice have re-signed Offensive Lineman Mario Henderson (92). Henderson was with the Ice for three months of the 2012 Season before getting called up to the San Diego Chargers. After making it through preseason camp Henderson was released and then went on to the United Football League (UFL), until they ended their 2012 Season abruptly.
Henderson was drafted by the Oakland Raiders where he played for four NFL seasons. Prior to the NFL Henderson was at Florida State University. Coach O'Neal had this to say about re-signing Henderson, "Having the caliber of player that Henderson is back on the roster will help the offense solidify some inconsistences and get us ready for the push to the playoffs."
The Ice were edged out in the last seconds in back-to-back tough losses against the Nebraska Danger and Sioux Falls Storm before rebounding and beating their I-25 rivals, the Wyoming Cavalry, for the second time this season. The Colorado Ice come in to this game as the leader of the Intense Conference, as well as the week 14 IFL coaches poll, but they only possess a half-game lead over the Nebraska Danger.
The Ice opened their season with a 42-38 win at home against Tri-Cities way back on week three before the Fever rebounded with a week four home victory over the Nebraska Danger. The team struggled mightily after that however, and five straight losses saw them drop all the way to a 1-6 record and the dreaded #9 spot in the week 11 IFL coaches poll. The team has reeled off three straight wins since that point though, keeping themselves alive in the playoff race. The Tri-Cities Fever have represented the conference in the last two United Bowls, but at 2.5 and 2 games back of the Ice and Danger respectively, they cannot afford another loss if they want a realistic shot at the playoffs this year.

Professional Indoor Football League
Lions Return This Week Against First-Place Hammers
Returning after a bye week, the Columbus Lions (3-4) of the Professional Indoor Football League face an uphill battle this week when they host the first-place Alabama Hammers (5-2) this Saturday at 7:30 PM on "Adopt-A-Pet" Night.
Sometimes bye weeks come at a best time of season but this isn't one of those cases. Losers of two straight the Lions went into the bye week slumping losing two close games with their game against Lehigh two weeks ago down to the final play of the game.
"You never want to lose a game the way we did two weeks ago," says Columbus Lions Head Coach Jason Gibson. "Since then I have not slept well and things don't get an easier."
Things don't get any easier part consist of the first-place Alabama Hammers flying into town who come in well-rested having two consecutive byes. One part that bodes well for Columbus is PIFL teams that re-enter play after having two consecutive byes are 0-3 in their first game back.
The last meeting against the Hammers still doesn't sit well with Coach Gibson either. Columbus lost 72-45 in what was the worst loss in terms of point differential in franchise history. Columbus was one of the teams returning off two consecutive bye weeks and played like it showing loads of rust and ineptitude. It was the coming out party for the current PIFL receiving touchdown leader WR Mico McSwain who torched the Lions defense scoring five touchdowns.
"That was an ugly game and McSwain had a field day against us," continues Gibson. "We played like crap, no other way to describe it."
Another reason for the extra steam coming out of Gibson's ears is how the team finished in their last contest two weeks ago against Lehigh. Leading for majority of the game, the Lions blew a ten point 4th quarter lead ultimately losing on potential game-winning field goal in the game's final seconds on a botched snap.
In an effort to spark the offense Columbus will start their fourth different quarterback with new signal-caller Lee Chapple (6'1 200, North Alabama) getting the nod this week. As a Harlon Hill Finalist as the nation's top division II player he lit up the record books setting a number of different passing records for North Alabama. Chapple has plenty of next-level promise having previously been signed by the AFL's Jacksonville Sharks and invited to private workouts with the NFL's Atlanta Falcons and CFL's Montreal Allouette's.
Chapple will make his Lions debut with what looks like a full healthy squad as both FB Gerald Harris and OL Arthur Smith look to make returns this week. Harris has been out almost a month with a rib injury and Smith missed the Lehigh game two weeks ago with a lingering injury he sustained trying to make a tackle on an interception return.
With most of the attention being paid to McSwain, the Lions defense which sports a league-leading 14 interceptions will have loads of opportunity to add to that total considering Hammers QB Russell Hill is second in the PIFL with nine interceptions thrown, three of which came in the last meeting against Columbus.
If they plan on extending their playoff appearance streak to seven, this week's contest against the Hammers could be a make or break situation. Especially considering their remaining opponents combined current record is 17-12 with two meeting against in-state rival Albany looming to close out the season.
"It doesn't get any easier for us after this week," says Gibson. "Just have to take each week one game at a time and get ready to strap on our big boy pants and do some work."
Sponsored by East Alabama Humane Society, Saturday is "Adopt-A-Pet" Night. Gates will open at a special 5:30 time with ticket holders being treated to a special concert in what is being served as a welcome home party for the Third Brigade Infantry Division.
Kickoff is at 7:30 PM and you can also follow all the action by logging on to and clicking on the Listen Live icon.

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