Category: Football News

Nebraska Danger and Titans sign prominent players

Time is quickly running all for Indoor Professional Football Team to strengthen their squad as the start of the regular season approaches. For the time being, everyone has its eyes locked on the Super Bowl, but IFL fans are also paying attention to what happens with team such as Nebraska Danger or Cedar Creek Titans. Both teams signed important players this week, in an attempt of strengthening their squads so that they have a better chance at making the playoffs in 2014.

minorleagu2013 MVP Jameel Sewell will return to Nebraska Danger which is great news for the fans worried that he might leave for another club. His contribution to the team’s success last year was tremendous and Jameel remains one of the few players that are very difficult to replace. He received a prestigious award last season, by being named the all-IFL first-team quarterback and he has numbers to back up this nomination. He passed over 2500 yards, sent 52 touchdown passes and had 25 rushing touchdowns.

Nebraska invested massively during the season break and his addition to their rotation represents the icing on the cake, as he will be joining Kayne Farquharson, Moe Avery, Marcus Barnett, Troy Evans and Andre Piper-Jordan. Most of these guys play offensive roles, which is great news for a team that dominated the league last season in terms of points and yards scored per game. With these players in their roster the Danger are a force to be reckoned with and a big favorite for the playoffs.

The Cedar Creek Titans didn’t waste time either and those who visit http://www.cedarrapidstitans.com/ will find out that they signed two important players as well. Defensive linemen Kyle Jenkins and Xzavie Jackson have joined them recently, with the latter being the sack leader in Indoor Professional Football last season. Kyle simply extended his contract with the Titans after playing here for three consecutive years and he is very appreciated by both fans and management.

Keeping Xzavie Jackson in their country yard is just as important, as he finished 2013 with 55 tackles, eight passes broken up and 14 sack, the best ratio in IFL. Jenkins played for two seasons in a row at Chicago Slaughter, but unfortunately for his former team it couldn’t keep him for another season. Jenkins and Jackson brilliantly complemented each other last season and scored a combined 26 sacks, in a defense led by IFL linebacker Ameer Ismail.

This Saturday, just one day before the Super Bowl, the Cedar Creek Titans will begin spring training and then resume the activity two weeks from now on February 15. This is the moment that their fans are anxiously waiting for as the official team for 2014 will be unveiled at US Cellular Center, the new home of the Titans.

Three gifted players join Tri-Cities Fever

minorleagueTri-Cities Fever have proudly announced the return of Dustin Bell, who played for the team in 2011 and competed in the AFL for two years. His contribution to the team’s success in 2011 was considerable and he was one of the players who propelled them to the United Bowl Championship game. He had 32 tackles, three interceptions, two forced fumbles and he is expected to achieve something similar in 2014.

Coach Adam Shackleford said in a statement that transferring the player who competed for the Cleveland Gladiators in 2012 and New Orleans Voodoo last year, is going to propel the team to another final. It is hard to argue with him, as numbers speak for themselves and ever since he started playing football for Wilmer-Hutchins High, awards kept coming his way. He won the MVP and was just as successful playing as a quarterback as he was a cornerback, which makes him a highly versatile player for the Fever.

The team will also benefit from another addition, with Sean MacDonald bringing a wealth of experience to the backline, following his stellar seasons with Humboldt State of the Great Northwest Athletic Conference in California. He is expected to play both defense and offense and coach Adam Shackleford finds these abilities particularly useful, in the wake of the game day roster being reduced to 20 players.

The third player that will be competing for the Tri-Cities Fever in 2014 is Nduka who joins the team after a season with the Toronto Argonauts of the Canadian Football League. He is not a complete stranger to the IFL as he played for the Texas Revolution two years ago and posted four forced fumbles, six sacks and 25 tackles. He also played a critical role in the defense for the Sam Houston State and was considered one of the best outside linebackers and one of the best pass rushers

Tri-Cities Fever was lacking a player with this ability and that’s why the head coach is so thrilled with having Nduka in his team. Even though he only started playing football in college, following a successful stint with the local basketball team, Nduka proved his worth on the field countless times. With these three players joining the team in 2014, the Tri-Cities Fever promises to be more than a match for their traditional rivals and a strong candidate for the playoffs and even the United Bowl Championship.

2013 Indoor Football League wrap-up

2013 Indoor Football League wrap-upThe IFL is making a giant leap forward and the most recent season was also the most competitive one, making the upcoming year one to look forward to. The league now has better players than ever before and they are evenly spread among several teams, which explains why the differences between them are negligible. A recent top of the most competitive players in 2013 season reveals the fact that except for the Cedar Rapids, no team has two players on the list.

Gabe Knapton played for Colorado Ice and apparently he did a brilliant job in 2013 as he finished third in the contest for the 2013 IFL Rookie of the Year award. He played a critical role in strengthening the defense of Colorado but unfortunately for his current team, Gabe decided to leave the IFL. The silver lining is that the Ice won’t have to compete against him next year as his new team is the Montreal Alouettes who play in the Canadian Football League.

Frankie Solomon Junior proved his critics wrong in 2013 after building on his already impressive 2012 performance. The Texas Revolution have one of the best defense in the league and Frankie is largely responsible for this achievement, with his 98 tackles and more than 1000 kick return yards. Texas fans can rejoice knowing that Solomon chose to sign a new contract with the local team and will be back on the pitch when the regular season resumes in spring.

Tri-Cities Fever have a couple of instrumental players but none of them is even remotely as important as Lionel Singleton who won the First Team All-IFL as a Defensive Back. He inched closer to 100 tackles last season and is the most successful player in terms of interceptions, so it comes as no surprise that he was presented with the 2013 Adam Pringle Award.

Xzavie Jackson is one of the two players that the Cedar Rapids Titans can’t afford to lose and both the management and fans are fully aware of this. It is no coincidence that the Titans made the playoffs for the first time ever this year, when Jackson finished second in the race for the Defensive Player of the Year award. Among his key accomplishments in 2013 is a place in the First Team All-IFL and the fact that he leads the IFL with 14 sacks.

Kayne Farquharson came painfully close of winning the Offensive Player of the Year voting but even though he finished second, his team is grateful for his contribution in 2013. Nebraska Danger qualified for the playoffs with ease and cruised through postseason to book a place in the 2013 United Bowl. Even though they didn’t win the trophy, they can be proud of their achievement and Kayne’s 73 receptions, more than 1000 receiving yards and 21 receiving touchdowns made this possible.

Everyone has high expectations when it comes to BJ Hill, as the Green Bay Blizzard player is among the most decorated players of the Indoor Football League. He featured for the fifth time on the All-IFL Team and also earned the prestigious Special Teams Player of the Year award. He covered 1037 yards, caught 35 passes and performed 53 successful tackles and exceeded expectations on all positions. It is uncertain whether he will keep playing for the Blizzard or secure a spot in the Green Bay Packers’ rotation

Another player that made history for Cedar Rapids Titans in 2013 was LaRon Council and just like Xzavie Jackson, played an instrumental role in qualifying the team for the playoffs. Without these two players, the Titans are huge underdogs to repeat his performance in 2014, but fortunately for Cedar Rapids fans both players have extended their contracts. Council suffered a string of injuries that kept him away from the pitch most of the time, but he made each minute played count. For the second year in a row he was made First Team All-IFL RB and brought to life the dwindling Cedar Rapids Titans offense.

Sioux Falls Storm resign veteran players

siouxstormAs their main rivals strengthen their squads for 2014, Sioux Falls Storm did the same and recently re-signed two of its key players. Cory Johnsen has played for the team over the last eight years and it comes as no surprise that he signed a new contract as he is indispensable to the defense. It would be excessive to say that he was the main reason for why the Storm won six out of the last eight championships, but he played a decisive role in most of the 115 victories.

Sioux Falls owner recently told the media that he is thrilled with Johnsen’s physical form following an intense off-season program and he is confident that the veteran will perform at the desired level. He is one of the most dominant players in the league and now that he bought a house in Sioux Falls, it is only fair to assume that he will keep playing for the local team.

Another player that the Storm are thrilled to have back is Charlie Sanders who will be playing for them in 2014, marking the fourth consecutive season. He is just as important for the offense as Cory is for the defense and the best proof is that he was named First Team All-IFL each time since his rookie season. With the re-signing taking longer than expected, some fans were concerned about the prospect of losing him to another team but they can now rejoice and relax seeing him back in their courtyard.

While the regular season awaits, Sioux Falls Storm is also preparing for an exhibition game against a former local rivals, the Bandits who recently joined the CPIFL. The two teams used to compete very often in the past, but since they became a part of the APFL, these confrontations have become history. The rivalry is every bit as intense today as it was three years ago and the prospect of having the two teams on the field on February 7, 2014 is bound to draw huge crowds.

Obviously, the reigning champions have the first chance, but owner Todd Tryon sees plenty of advantages in renewing this rivalry. The fans have already announced their intention of buying tickets for the exhibition game to see how their team will perform against the Bandits. Back in the day, they used to be formidable opponents and nobody expects the Storm to Steamroll past them.

Axemen in the news once again

minorleagueJust a couple of weeks after signing the contract with Chris Kokalis to serve as assistant coach, the Axemen are in the spotlight once again for good reasons. Read more about Kokalis joining the Axemen here http://www.minorleaguefootballnews.com/axemen-cant-go-wrong-chris-kokalis/.  They have strengthen their team with the acquisition of Kyle Padron, Montez Robinson and DeMario Pippen, with all three expected to play for at least one year for the team.

Kyle is a talented quarterback who came from Keller Texas and enjoyed an impressive rookie career at the SMU. Head coach Robert Fuller is particularly excited about this acquisition, which comes as no surprise given the fact that the quarterback completed over 8000 yards and had almost 60 touchdowns while in college and he earned several distinctions while playing for the SMU, including the honorable mention All-Conference USA honors.

His contribution to the cause is expected to be significant and his experience with the Oakland Raiders should also come in handy. The head coach sees leading abilities in Kyle and expect him to bring players together and help the team perform overall, while setting personal records for the Axemen. Although he will be in the center of attention mostly, Robinson’s presence is unlikely to go unnoticed.

Montez did a fine job while playing at the University of Georgia and he had some good results for a short period of time while playing for the San Angelo Bandits. The massive defensive lineman is surprisingly fast and agile for his stature and is exactly what the Axemen were looking for to fill the position. Last but definitely not least, Pippen is a player that the head coach expects to excel in scoring as well as throwing precise passes, something that he already done for Tuskegee University.

He played for a brief period of time for the Denver Broncos and although he didn’t last too much in Colorado, he didn’t disappoint his team either. In minor-league football, the acquisition of players that had even the slightest experience at top level is a bonus that teams fully appreciate. The Axemen are certainly not the main favorite to lift the trophy at the end of the regular season, but with these acquisitions they have all the reasons to be optimistic about making the playoffs.

Big transfer week in the IFL

Big transfer week in the IFLGood things don’t come to those who wait, at least not if you are a promising club in the IFL during transfer season. The Wyoming Cavalry has recently announced on its website that it plans on strengthening is roster with two wide receivers and their names were disclosed. Rolandis Woodland and WR Ricardo Johnson are the two players that have recently joined the Cavalry and both of them should help the club make the playoffs at the end of the regular season.

Rolandis Woodland played college football for promising teams and after leaving Missouri Tigers he transferred to Mizzou. Many expected him to choose Nebraska, but he didn’t and apparently the decision was a wise one because Head Coach Ryan Lingenfelder has only good things to say about him. Ricardo Johnson used to play for Graceland University and his acquisition is expected to increase the offensive output for Wyoming.

In the previous season the team struggle to score points and even though their defenses held, the results failed to meet expectations. A better quarterback and better ball movement should boost the team in 2014 at least if we are to trust Ryan Lingenfelder. Wyoming is keen on keeping its best players and as a result they chose to re-sign Team All-IFL WR Troy Evans, one of their inspirational players.

Wyoming Cavalry is not the only club in the IFL to strengthen its rotation during these couple of months, with Tri-Cities Fever making some impressive acquisitions as well. Douglas McNeil III is the name at the top of the list, with his experience and effectiveness on the pitch expected to propel his new team to the playoffs. He can brag about starting in 31 games, with 11 touchdowns and 84 catches for over 1400 yards. His senior season was spectacular and that’s why coach Adam Shackleford insists on transferring him.

This tall receiver can help the Tri-Cities Fever stretch the field and speed up the game, something that the team direly needs. The recent season was disappointing but that’s only because the fans and management have high expectations for this club. With Douglas McNeil they have a better chance of converting their dreams into reality, but the new player is under a lot of pressure to deliver. He used to play for the New Town High in Maryland and then was selected as an All-County All-Star athlete in football.

Axemen can’t go wrong with Chris Kokalis

Axemen can’t go wrong with Chris KokalisDuring the season break, all squads in the Indoor Football League are frantically trying to improve the depth of their team by adding new players to their rotation. Strengthening the defenses, while bolstering the offensive is their main priority, but past performance proved us time after time that performance can only be achieved if the team is led by a versatile coach. This is exactly why the Axemen chose Chris Kokalis for the job, as this coach has one of the most impressive resumes in football.

Twice in his career, he won the Indoor Football League coach of the year trophy, something that says a great deal about his ability to lead or source of teams to success. The Axemen are hardly the best in the league, but under his guidance they have a good chance of setting new records and seeking new milestones in the upcoming season. Before joining them, Chris coached Green Bay Blizzard and much to his credit he led the team to United Conference Championship one year ago.

Everyone remembers his performance with the Fairbanks Grizzlies before that, and the fact that his team won 10/15 games is also a great achievement. It is this kind of experience and confidence in his ability to transform pretty much any team overnight that recommends Kokalis for this job. Rebellious players tend to comply much easier when Chris is in charge and that’s why there are plenty of reasons for optimism.

This season will mark a personal milestone for Chris who started coaching back in 2004 and will be celebrating a decade in this line of work. He can be proud of his achievement, because over that span he emerged as one of the most reliable coaches and one of the few who often exceeds expectations. Among his achievements is the one of training no less than seven players who eventually got to put their skills to the test in the National Football League.

Chris Kokalis is nothing short of an artist when it comes to training indoor football teams, but he has plenty of experience outdoors. He helped the team at University of Mary in Bismarck, as this was the University he graduated from and it comes as no surprise that the players under his command have only good things to say. The Axemen plan to attract plenty of fans at their games this season, with discounted prices and attractive packages for families.

Nebraska Danger strengthens is squad for 2014

Nebraska Danger strengthens is squad for 2014The upcoming season promises to be a very difficult one for ambitious team such as Nebraska Danger, as their opponents have greatly strengthened their squads. In order to stand a chance in 2014, Nebraska had to respond in similar fashion and that’s exactly what they did by acquiring four new players. Mon Williams, Chancey Aghayere, Vondrell McGee and Ian Symonette are going to play for the Danger, one season after playing a central role for their teams.

Arguably the most important acquisition is Chancey Aghayere who played for the Tigers in the past and it comes as no surprise that he was the main priority for Coach Mike Davis. He counts on Chancey to provide the extra experience that Nebraska needs to stay competitive, and to improve their otherwise shaky defensive. Vondrell McGee used to play for Texas and he also featured in the Longhorns’ starting formation for three years, being one of the most successful players in terms of rushing.

He can brag about 14 touchdowns and 976 yards, so if he can keep up these numbers while playing for the Danger, Nebraska should emerge as a strong candidate for the United Bowl. Mon Williams made a name for himself while playing for Eastern Illinois University and the Gators rushing for more than 1000 yards in consecutive seasons and scoring a total of 12 touchdowns. They would find a home in Nebraska, as the team was in dire need of strong yet speedy players and this is exactly what Vondrell and Moe are.

In 2013, the Danger lacked that offensive spark that was necessary for winning the United Bowl. As a result, the offensive had to be strengthened as well, with Mike Davis considering that Symonette is exactly what the team needs. If past performance serves as a reliable indicator for the future, his record at University of Miami suggests that Nebraska will benefit from these acquisitions in 2014.

With these recent transfers, as well as the addition of Darius Savage, Nebraska has everything it needs to meet the increasingly high expectations. The fact that they were nominated as IFL franchise of the year in 2013 was a nice recognition for their efforts and performance, but it also sets a higher standard that the team needs to meet. It won’t be easy to keep the fans happy, but there are no reasons to expect Nebraska to fail. For more information about what the Danger is up to check out http://www.dangerfootball.com/.

Colorado Ice announces new coaching staff

coloradoiceA new season is just around the corner and some games were already played in Las Vegas, with plenty of fans storming the arena. The bulk of games will start soon and Colorado Ice has high expectations for the season, after changing almost completely their coaching staff. Heron O’Neal made the announcement one week ago and Colorado fans were thrilled to hear that Marcus Pearson, Brian Arndt and Rico Ochoa have extended their contracts with the team.

These three coaches helped O’Neal a lot over the last couple of seasons and they have a special relation with the players, which makes them a powerful team. Losing any of them would’ve been a serious blow, but despite receiving tempting offers from other teams they chose to stay in Denver. They will be joined by Jimmie Kaylor and Anthoney Hill, both of them bringing loads of experience for a team that struggled to maintain momentum in 2013.

The head coach announced the roles that each new coach will play in the team, with Arndt to serve as the Assistant Defensive Coordinator and Special Teams coach. Coach Hill will act as the Assistant Offensive Coordinator while Ochoa will be in charge of the defensive and offensive lines as he did one season ago. They have some bold plans for the Ice and the best thing is that the head coach completely agrees with them and is willing to give them a chance to translate their theories into reality.

These coaches have a background in high school football and their records speak for themselves, something that cannot be said about all minor-league football coaches. In addition to bringing new coaches and extending the contracts of existing ones, Colorado also promoted Marcus Pearson to Director of Recruiting. 2014 promises to be a very difficult year for all the teams in the Indoor Football League but these inspired changes made by the Colorado Ice should give them a fighting chance this season.

Fever and Titans strengthen their teams

footballTri-Cities walked down a bumpy road last season, with the first half being particularly difficult for the Fever, but everything improved once Quarterback Dante Warren joined the team. He proved to be exactly the type of player that they needed to turn around a season that was clearly heading into the wrong direction. He rushed almost 600 yards, completed 28 passing touchdowns and passed for a massive 472 yards, which makes him an invaluable player for the Fever.

Not surprising, the team chose to re-sign him at the end of the season and having him on the field from the very first game in 2014 should help their cause. One quality player can’t possibly change everything, but that’s why Tri-Cities also re-signed two essential players in their rotation, namely kicker Brady Beeson and wide receiver D.A Allen. Both of them were acquired at the beginning of the last season and did a fine job for the Fever, so it is only fair to say that they’ve earned their place in the starting formation.

Elsewhere, the Cedar Rapids Titans made a similar move by re-signing LaRon Council, the running back player who featured in the All-IFL in 2013. He is one of the best players on his position with roughly 2300 rushing yards, within striking distance of Darius Fudge. Council received overwhelming support in the last two seasons for the title of First Team All-IFL performer and given the strong ground attack that the Titans muster, he has a good chance of overtaking Darius in 2014.

Compared to 2012, the recently ended season was not as impressive for LaRon, but only because the previous year was tremendous. He broke several IFN records and set new ones that still stand but unfortunately for him he suffered an Achilles injury that brought his remarkable season to a screeching halt. He didn’t get to play more than 12 games but if he won’t have any fitness concerns in 2014, Council should help his team win the United Bowl.

Re-signing him was a powerful move, but the Titans now that they need more than one player to claim the title recently earned by Sioux Falls. That’s why they chose to re-sign wide receiver Bryan Pray, one of the most experienced players in the league who has a couple of records of his own. He stands out from the crowd in terms of catches and played in virtually every single game, even when slightly injured.

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