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LA KISS Hopeful With Week Off and Tryouts

Manny Nunez
Friday June 6, 2014

We last left the LA KISS in complete turmoil, wondering what happened to their winning ways.  Dealing with a very rough patch in their schedule, they only managed one lead during their seven game winning streak, a touchdown pass to start the game against the Arizona Rattlers on May 26.  During their seven game losing streak they needed to scrap away players off their roster, and bring in a veteran quarterback Aaron Garcia in hopes of righting the track quickly.  It has been a rather slow process for Garcia and the KISS, losing by double digits since the trade. 

Tryouts were held last Sunday in midst of trying to find a diamond in the rough.  Around 75 players showed their talents to head coach Bob McMillen and the rest of the KISS coaching staff.  Many positions are wide open, as hardly any spot is safe for anyone currently on the roster.  The only player that has really been able to keep something has been AJ Cruz, a 5 foot 9 speedster who was also found during the team's tryouts before the season. 
“These kinds of tryouts are important to us,” McMillen said.  “We take these seriously since we are looking for players that we want to invite back to camp and help out our football team.  We were fortunate to find Cruz in one of these kinds of tryouts, and he has made a tremendous impact.  As we invite certain people to our team, I am curious to see what they can do with pads on.”
Two hopeful players visited the tryouts in hopes of not only making the team, but keeping their dream of playing football alive.
“I came out here hoping that I can continue my love for football,” lineman Will Harris said.  “I'm out here trying to make a name for myself and do whatever it takes.”
“I came out here in faith,” hopeful place holder Sam Campbell said.  “I left tryouts humble in faith.  I enjoy being out here trying to be a part of something special, and its just fun to keep playing football.”
Excuses have been piling up since their losing streak began.  The biggest of all has to be what they have been dealing with through their schedule.  In their seven straight losses, all have been against teams with winning records.  All but two games were within reach, while one was lost in overtime to the Orlando Predators.  Many players have been saying that even during this losing streak they have been seeing signs of improvement, but it is hard to see it on the field come game time. 
Its biggest advantage has to be in the conference they are in, and as weird as it sounds, a playoff spot is still up for grabs.  For every loss the Portland Thunder and San Antonio Talons encounter, the KISS remain in the thick of the race just a half game behind the Thunder.  Those who were trying out were reminded that even with a chance at revamping the roster, a chance at participating in the postseason is still very important. 
“We want the LA KISS to be successful,” McMillen said.  “Are we disappointed that we are 2-8, of course we are.  Why not have a tryout and see what kind of talent from around the area can help us out in any which way.”
After they head to visit the San Jose Sabercats Saturday night, its schedule does get a bit lighter when Portland revisits the Honda Center.  Teams with winning records are up after, but with seeing every team on their schedule at least once, a sense of confidence can build.

Manny Nunez is a freelance writer who resides in Los Angeles. He has been an arena football fan since 1996 while living in Phoenix, dedicated to the Arizona Rattlers. Although he lives in Southern California, he still reps his Arizona teams. He is also a beat writer for the Phoenix Coyotes for
The opinions expressed in the article above are only those of the writer, and do not necessarily reflect the thoughts, opinions, or official stance of ArenaFan Online or its staff, or the Arena Football League, or any AFL or af2 teams.
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