Arena Football League
Soul Hosts Military Appreciation Night
The Philadelphia Soul and The Judge Group, a local professional services firm, will collaborate with the Armed Forces on Saturday, June 22 at the Wells Fargo Center. The night will be highlighted by The Judge Group's Inaugural Veterans Arena Football Game. For the Soul's Military Appreciation Night game against Iowa, the Armed Forces will take the field at the Wells Fargo Center in a matchup between teams made up of active reservists, and veterans.
The intent of the competition between is to help raise awareness about the need for employment amongst veterans. At the event, the business community, headed by the Soul and The Judge Group, will provide assistance for the American heroes and help them network with employers in the Philadelphia area. Bob Kuberski, former Naval Academy star who was named as one of Navy's top 50 players of all-time and won a Super Bowl with the Green Bay Packers, will participate in the game as honorary captain.
"The deploying of veterans onto the NovaCare Field following the Soul's game is the patriotic culmination of the Philadelphia Soul's Military Appreciation Night," explained Soul Co-Majority owner Ron Jaworski. "After all the sacrifice these brave individuals gave, we feel this is some way for us to be able to give back to them."
Tryouts for the Inaugural Veterans Arena Football Game will be held on Saturday, May 11 at the Wells Fargo Center. Registration begins at 7:30 am. The tryouts are free and will be open to all past and present service-members of the Armed Forces. For more information, email Joe Krause at firstname.lastname@example.org or go to PhiladelphiaSoul.com/heroes to pre-register.
In addition to the Veterans game, the event will begin with at "Stars and Stripes Fan Fest" from 3:30pm to 5:30 pm that will include military interactive areas and displays as well as live entertainment, featuring Egg Harbor, NY native rapper, beat boxer, comedian and singer Biz Markie, who is best known for his Top 10 hit "Just A Friend" in 1989.
Beginning at 1pm inside of the arena will be the official launch of The Judge Group's newest division, Judge Veterans in Professional (VIP) Careers. With the launching, the Judge Group will host a "Speed Vet-Working" event, in which there will be transitioning assistance for all military service members, wounded warriors, veterans, and military spouses before the kick off, with a time to later be determined. The program is expecting nearly 50 employers to attend the event
"It is our intention to leverage our existing core competencies in consulting, staffing, and training," said The Judge Group CEO, Martin E. Judge Jr. "And apply our success to this deserving population while bringing outstanding talent to our clients."
The VIP Careers mission is to address the concern for the highest jobless rate amongst enlisted military members, aged 24-30, who are struggling to find a career after their military service. The concern has become a hot-issue amongst lawmakers, military leaders, and veterans' advocacy groups across the country.
"The US military is the greatest training program in the world," said Mike Ferraro, Director of VIP Careers and Command Chief Master Sergeant with the USAF Reserve. "These men and women have the skills and attributes our nation needs and wants. Our job in the private sector is to be part of the solution and help make their transition successful. VIP Careers accomplishes this task by offering all veterans a unique force development program designed to create a career lifeline leading to rewarding civilian professions."
To learn more about all planned events for Military Appreciation Night, visit: www.philadelphiasoul.com. For more information about The Judge Group and VIP Careers, visit: www.judge.com.
Talons Host Breast Cancer Awareness Night on Saturday May 11
The San Antonio Talons will host a Breast Cancer Awareness game this Saturday, May 11 benefitting Alamo Breast Cancer Foundation (ABCF). Talons players will be sporting custom pink and white jerseys and gloves to show their support. The Talons organization is one of the only professional sports entities to create completely customized player jerseys and cheerleader uniforms for an awareness game.
A portion of all ticket sales will be donated directly to the Alamo Breast Cancer Foundation to assist in breast cancer research. The ABCF and Baptist Breast Center will have a table on the concourse with educational information on early detection and survivors will be honored at halftime. Everyone is encouraged to wear pink and show support for breast cancer awareness and research.
There will be a silent auction for all pink jerseys, gloves and pink striped footballs open throughout the game and the winners will receive items immediately following the game. Players, Swoop and Sky Dancers will be available for autographs and photos with auction winners immediately the game.
Saturday's game will be broadcast live nationwide on CBS Sports Network. Tickets can be purchased by calling 227-TEAM or through Ticketmaster. Use the promo code "pink" for tickets starting at $7. Kickoff is set for 8:30 p.m. with the tailgate opening at 6 p.m.
Sharks Bulk up with Veteran Lineman Trevis Turner
The 2012 South Division Champion Jacksonville Sharks announced Tuesday that offensive lineman Trevis Turner has been assigned to the Jacksonville roster on a two-year contract. Per team policy, terms of the deal were not disclosed.
The 26-year-old Turner (6'8", 340) enters his second season in the Arena Football League, as he spent time with the Orlando Predators in 2012. A mid-season addition, Turner was assigned to the Orlando roster on June 12 and started along the offensive line in each of the Predators' final three games of that season - including the team's Week 19 trip to face the Sharks on Sea Best Field.
Turner got his first pro experience with the National Football League's Pittsburgh Steelers, signing with the team as an undrafted free agent in 2011. Turner went on to spend the entire 2011 season on the Steelers' practice squad.
Before turning pro, Turner completed his collegiate career at Division II Abilene Christian University. Joining the team for his redshirt sophomore season in 2008, Turner played in 36 of a possible 37 games during his three years at the school. Turner is a native of DeSoto, Texas.
In another roster move, the Sharks announced that defensive lineman Dusty Bear has been placed on inactive reserve. Following the day's transactions, the Jacksonville roster remains at the League maximum of 24 active players.
Utah Heads to Phoenix for Rematch with Rattlers
The Utah Blaze will travel to the desert of Phoenix in Week 8 looking to extend its two-game winning streak against the division-leading Arizona Rattlers. The matchup will be broadcast live in high definition on KJZZ-TV. Kickoff from the US Airways Center is scheduled for 7:00 p.m. MT this Saturday, May 11.
The Blaze (3-3) earned their second-straight win and first victory within the division last weekend, defeating the Spokane Shock in Salt Lake City, 52-48. On the same night, Arizona (6-1) handed the Jacksonville Sharks their first loss of the season in a 58-48 win. The combination of Spokane's loss and Arizona's victory vaulted the Rattlers back into the lead in the West Division.
Utah faced Arizona just six weeks ago, but an inexperienced Blaze offense struggled to overcome turnovers in that contest, leading to a 77-49 loss. All-Arena wide receiver Aaron LesuÃ© missed the game while recovering from injury, leaving quarterback Tommy Grady with an entirely new set of receivers. Since that point, the Blaze passing attack has risen to the top of the Arena Football League, ranking first with an average of over 320 aerial yards per game.
Wide receiver Mario Urrutia continues a fast-paced start to his rookie season and currently ranks fourth in the Arena Football League with 16 touchdown receptions. Aaron Lesue is also back to full speed and has come on strong over the past month, totaling 38 receptions for 512 yards and 11 scores. L.J. Castile enjoyed his most productive outing of the season last week against the Shock, finishing with five catches for 85 yards and two scores.
The Rattlers have allowed over 311 passing yards per game and currently place 13th in the AFL. While they have surrendered yardage, Arizona has also posted a League-high 15 interceptions on the season. Seven different Rattlers have notched interceptions in 2013, including defensive backs Virgil Gray and Marquis Floyd, who are tied for the team lead with four picks each.
On the other side of the ball, quarterback Nick Davila leads a Rattlers offense that ranks atop the AFL leader board in scoring with an average of 69.7 points per game. Davila has thrown just three interceptions on the season; however, two of those came at the hands of the Blaze defenders. Wide receiver Rod Windsor - the 2010 AFL Rookie of the Year - is Davila's top target and has registered 44 receptions for 591 yards and 15 scores. Windsor was held out of the game the last time the two teams battled.
Utah's defense has displayed a newfound sense of confidence and energy over the past two weeks, routinely stifling offensive drives. In victories over Cleveland and Spokane, the Blaze posted an astonishing 12 combined turnovers. In the secondary, David Hyland earned Riddell Defensive Player of the Week accolades after delivering 6.5 tackles with four pass breakups, two fumble recoveries and one forced fumble against the Shock.
The x-factor for the Blaze will be special teams, where kicker Kyle Brotzman has given the unit new life. Against the Shock, Brotzman routinely booted kickoffs that sprung off the net and into the field of play, giving the Blaze coverage team excellent opportunities for recovery. Gaining extra possessions through special teams and winning the turnover margin will be crucial this week for Utah.
The Utah Blaze vs. Arizona Rattlers can heard exclusively on The Zone 97.5 FM. Tune in this Saturday at 7:00 p.m. MT to listen to Scott Garrard call all the action, or watch live in high definition on KJZZ-TV.
Tampa Bay Storm Initiates "Seats for Soldiers" Program
In conjunction with Military Appreciation Night, Saturday, May 25th, the Tampa Bay Storm will provide a ticket package that benefits local military heroes and provides a way to give back via a program called "Seats for Soldiers."
"We have a strong military presence in the Tampa Bay community," said Storm president Derrick Brooks. "We are proud to support the men and women who ensure our safety. This is a way for us to give back to those who sacrifice so much for us."
The "Seats for Soldiers" program gives local businesses and individuals the opportunity to choose from one of three sponsorship packages that will send military personnel, and their families, from MacDill Air Force Base and the local Coast Guard chapters, to the May 25th Tampa Bay Storm game versus the Philadelphia Soul.
The sponsorship packages range between $250 and $1,500. As much as 20 percent of the sponsorship will be donated to the Coalition to Salute America's Heroes. Additionally, each sponsorship package will provide tickets, ranging from 20 to 100, to military personnel enabling them attend the game.
All sponsors will receive tickets for the May 25th matchup, and will be recognized on Lightning Vision during the game.
Tickets will be distributed on base.
VooDoo Hoping to Storm the Barn for a Win
The New Orleans VooDoo (1-5) continue their three game road trip with a visit to the Iowa Barnstormers (3-4) Saturday night.
The VooDoo is coming off their fifth straight loss as they fell to South Division rival Tampa Bay last weekend. The Barnstormers picked up a win in San Antonio after losing four in a row. The VooDoo is looking to avenge a 48-34 Week 2 loss to the Barnstormers in New Orleans.
Iowa starting quarterback J.J. Raterink tied a season high with seven touchdown passes in the victory against the Talons and has 36 passing touchdowns on the season. Raterink is second in the league in passing yards with 1,923. He was involved in six scores in the last game with the VooDoo as he tossed four touchdowns and rushed for a season high two.
New Orleans started its third different quarterback last week against the Storm. Bill Stull took the reins and completed 27 of 47 passes for a season high 265 yards and three touchdowns, but he also threw two interceptions and was sacked four times. VooDoo quarterbacks have struggled with consistency at times and will need to connect with their receivers to match up with the prolific Raterink.
Despite only suiting up in five games so far this season, Iowa receiver Marcus Harris, who did not play in New Orleans in Week 2, leads all Barnstormers receivers with 675 yards (5th in AFL) and 12 touchdowns. He did have his lowest yardage output last week in San Antonio with 90, but he grabbed three scores. Receiver Marco Thomas leads the Barnstormers in receptions at 49. Thomas had a stellar game against the Talons as he caught seven balls for 104 yards and a score.
The VooDoo's Courtney Smith leads VooDoo receivers with 29 receptions for 342 yards and seven touchdowns, a total he shares with receiver Derek Lee. Receiver Quorey Payne had the best outing last week with 10 catches for 102 yards. This group will need to continue to work together to help lead the VooDoo passing game, which has been battered by injuries.
Defensively, Iowa is tied for second in the league with 12 interceptions. Barnstormers defensive back Ter'Ran Benton has five of those interceptions including one in New Orleans in Week 2. New Orleans has had difficulty finding interceptions as they have four on the season. Defensive back Eddie Moten has three of those including one against Iowa in Week 2. New Orleans will have to apply more pressure to the quarterback to be able to notch a game in the win column.
One thing the VooDoo will have to do to beat Iowa is to take advantage of opportunities. The Barnstormers were penalized a season high 11 times in New Orleans, but the VooDoo were unable to turn that into their favor. Iowa simply needs to minimize mistakes as they committed two turnovers in the first game against the VooDoo and allowed more yards of total offense.
Iowa will look to keep pace in the Central Division as they are a game behind Chicago, while the VooDoo are looking to get into the win column as they share a 1-5 record with Orlando in the South Division, five games back from Jacksonville. Kickoff is set for 8:05 p.m. Eastern Time this Saturday in the Wells Fargo Arena.
Soul Announce Faith against Cancer Concert Before Soul Game
The 2012 American Conference Champion, Philadelphia Soul presented by Parx Casino announce a Faith Against Cancer Concert starring Earnest Pugh, Vicki Winans, Tamika Patton and other Gospel starts to be announced shortly. The concert will be held before the Philadelphia Soul game on June 8 starting at 1 p.m. and ending at 4 p.m. Doors for the event will open at 12:30 p.m. The Soul game will kickoff at 7 p.m. as currently scheduled vs. New Orleans VooDoo. The event will be produced by Khalif M. Townes, President/CEO of the Urban Roundup Group, LLC.
"Cancer has had devastating effects on just about every person in the world!" said Earnest Pugh. "We need to continue to fight to find a cure and find hope and healing to those battling the disease and those that have been affected by loved ones battling, or that have lost the battle to this vicious disease. I look to spread hope and joy at this event, while helping to raise significant funds to find a cure."
"We are uniting together on this day to continue to raise awareness and raise funds to fight this nasty disease while spreading faith to all," said Vicki Winans. "I hope to see an arena filled with supporters and make this a very powerful day for everybody."
Earnest Pugh, an American Singer-Songwriter of Gospel music with a five-octave vocal range is best known for his success with hit songs "Rain on Us" and "I Need Your Glory" and he subsequently attained the title of "Gospel Music's Leading Man." Pugh is also the founder and president of the record label, EPM Music.
Vickie Winans is one of the best-known artists in gospel music with signature songs such as "How I Got Over," "Shake Yourself Loose," "As Long As I Got King Jesus" and "We Shall Behold Him" to her credit. Winans has been profiled in Ebony magazine, USA Today and the Associated Press. Her profile on BET's Sunday morning TV series "Lift Every Voice" remains the most watched episode in that program's history with over 800,000 viewers.
Tamika Patton, a Philadelphia native and gospel recording artist and actress that was voted "Best Inspirational Singer in America 2011" by Radio One and Praise 103.9. She has an upcoming tour with Stellar Award Winner James Fortune & FIYA and a new single, "More Than Faithful"; written and produced by James Fortune that is blessing people across the country to rave reviews and is currently available on iTunes, Amazon and CD Universe.
"The star power of this event is incredible and the results are going to be very meaningful," said Soul Vice President and COO John Adams. "This concert was created to truly make a difference in the lives of those affected by cancer, spiritually, financially and from an awareness standpoint, and I am confident it will be a wild success."
For more information and to purchase tickets, fans can contact the ticket office at (215) 253-4900, ext. 3, or visit www.philadelphiasoul.com.
Indoor Football League
Green Bay Blizzard vs Nebraska Game Preview
Friday's game is Youth Hat Night sponsored by Martin Security Systems and Fox 11. The first 1,500 youth ages 17 and under will receive a free hat.
This is the second game all-time between the two teams with the Blizzard defeating Nebraska 48-38 on March 27, 2011.
The Blizzard are coming off their final be week of the season. Prior to the bye week, the Blizzard dismantled the Texas Revolution 74-25 to win their second consecutive game under Head Coach Chad Baldwin. Under Offensive Coordinator John Pate and Quarterback Spencer Ohm, the Blizzard's offense continued their explosive production racking up a season-high 74 points. The defense also had its best game of the season holding the Revolution to -8 rushing yards.
The Nebraska Danger come into the game tied for first in the Intense Conference with the Colorado Ice. Nebraska fields an explosive offense that is tied for second in the IFL averaging 48.1 points per game. The offense is led by former Blizzard alumni QB Jameel Sewell and RB Randy Bell. Sewell played for the Blizzard in 2011 and leads the IFL in passing touchdowns (32), passing yards (1587) and fewest interceptions (2) for the Danger this season. Bell leads the Danger with 673 all-purpose yards.
Defensively, the Danger are led by LB Maurice Simpkins. Simpkins played for the Blizzard in 2011 before joining the NFL's Green Bay Packers. Simpkins leads the team in tackles with 80. The Danger allow the sixth most points per game at 43.1 in addition to having allowed the most passing yards in the IFL this season with 1750.
After struggling on offense earlier this season, the Blizzard have made changes resulting in the team scoring 140 points over the last two games. QB Spencer Ohm has thrown for 13 touchdowns and leads the IFL in passer rating with 127.1. In addition, WR Ryan Balentine ranks third in the IFL in receiving yards with 599. The Blizzard now rank first in the IFL in passing yards with averaging 187 per game.
DB Elijah Fields was named IFL Defensive Player of the Week following his two interception game vs the Texas Revolution. Fields leads the team with 66 tackles. In addition, DL James McClinton became the all-time Blizzard leader in sacks with 20.5 after gaining a sack vs Texas. The Blizzard are allowing just 39.5 points per game over the last two games.
Be sure to visit Screamin' Head Buzz after the game to meet all the Blizzard players and enjoy great food and drink specials.
Professional Indoor Football League
Battle of the Hawks: Round Two
The Lehigh Valley Steelhawks offense has been lethal all year. Behind the standout performance of QB Adam Bednarik (1,626 yds, 28 tds, 71% completion percentage), the offense has rolled to league best rankings in several categories including Pass Offense and Total Offense. Bednarik has lethal receiving targets in all of his wide outs - Tom Gilson (57 catches, 476 yds, 9 tds), Tyrone Collins (Week 9 Offensive Player of the Week, 43 catches, 458 yds, 9 tds), and Torieal Gibson (36 catches, 527 yds, 7 tds). This dangerous pass offense will have to overcome a Nighthawk defense that ranks second in the league in Pass Defense and Total Defense; led by DB Ginikachi Ibe (34.5 tackles, 2 ints, 5 pbu's) and DL Armandre Johnson (18 tackles, 8.5 tfl, 3.5 sacks).
The Steelhawk defense regained some of its early season form in last week's win under recently promoted Defensive Coordinator Matt Cohen. Defensively Lehigh Valley is led by DL Larry Ford (4 sacks, 10.5 tackles), LB Terence Thomas (3 sacks, 16.5 tackles), and DB Clarence Curry (18 tackles, 3 pbu's). The defense is tasked with containing a Knoxville offense led by QB Ryan Porter (605 yds, 7 tds) whose most dangerous target has been WR DeAndre Brown (40 catches, 383 yds, 8 tds).
After this week's game on the road, the Steelhawks will return back home to the Valley for their final two home games of the season May 18th and 25th. The game on the 18th is Non Profit Awareness night and is also a night dedicated to the Race for Adam.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!