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All-Arena Defensive Lineman Joe Sykes returns to Sharks

Wednesday November 25, 2015

 2015 Defensive POTY set to anchor Sharks Defensive Line in 2016

JACKSONVILLE – The Jacksonville Sharks announced Wednesday that Defensive Lineman Trumaine “Joe” Sykes has been assigned to the Jacksonville roster. Per team policy, terms of the deal were not disclosed.

The 33-year-old Sykes (6’5”, 290) joined Jacksonville in 2015 and put together one of the most dominant individual seasons in AFL history combining for 18.5 sacks (an AFL single season record), 31 solo tackles, 16 assisted tackles and 10 forced fumbles. Proving to be one of the most disruptive players in the AFL, Sykes earned the Riddell Defensive Player of the Year, VidSwap Defensive Lineman of the Year and First Team All-Arena Honors during the 2015 regular season. The five-year veteran is proving to be one of the best at his position ranking second in career AFL sacks with 53.5 (Sam Hernández 57.5). Additionally, Sykes has 94 career solo tackles, 19 forced fumbles and 36.5 tackles for a loss.

“We are very fortunate to have Joe back with us for this upcoming season. He alone makes your defensive line dominant and that makes everyone around him better,” stated Sharks Head Coach Les Moss. He is the last of our 2015 All-Arena guys to re-sign with us and we couldn’t be happier."

“To have now re-signed all of our top players for the 2016 season and give us a chance to get back to the ArenaBowl is a testament to how players in this League feel about our fans, our city and this franchise,” stated Operating Manager Jeff Bouchy. “With free agency still in full swing, we expect to sign more great players to add to this already unbelievable level of talent we have stockpiled here and look to host ArenaBowl XXIX right here in Jacksonville in front of the best fans in the AFL.”

Sykes gained his first experience in the AFL in 2010 with the Milwaukee Iron where he recorded five tackles and a fumble recovery. In 2012 Sykes played a key role with the San Jose SaberCats defense breaking the single season record for sacks
in 2012, totaling 16. Sykes also received the Riddell Defensive player of the year, Game Tape Exchange Defensive Lineman
of the year and earned All-Arena Honors for the first time in his career that year. In 2013 Sykes was given All-Arena Honors
again for his solo season with the San Antonio Talons. In 2014, Sykes returned to San Jose mid-season after a stint with the
CFL’s Calgary Stampeders, in his seven games with the SaberCats that season he recorded 6.5 tackles for a loss, 4.5 sacks, three pass breakups, and an interception.

Sykes started his collegiate career at Homes Junior College in Goodman, Mississippi earning All-State honors before choosing
to transferring to West Virginia despite his numerous Division-I offers from Auburn, Ole Miss, Mississippi State, Louisiana Tech, Memphis, and Temple in 2003. However, Sykes finished his college career at Southern University where he was named
first team All-SWAC after leading his team with 53 tackles, 9.5 sacks, and 12 tackles for a loss during his nine games with the
Jaguars. Shortly after his senior season he was signed by the Washington Redskins in 2006 as an undrafted free-agent.Sykes also played for the CFL’s Saskatchewan RoughRiders, Edmonton Eskimos, Calgary Stampeders, as well as the UFL’s Sacramento Mountain Lions, and the Green Bay Blizzards before beginning his career in the Arena Football League.

A native of Grenada, Mississippi, Sykes attended Grenada High School where he competed in both football and basketball. Before growing into the unstoppable lineman that he is today, Sykes played cornerback his sophomore season and middle linebacker his senior year. He also received best offensive player honors in basketball.

About the Jacksonville Sharks

The Jacksonville Sharks are a member of the Arena Football League (AFL). The ArenaBowl XXIV and four-time South Division Champions are presented by Sea Best Seafood and play all home games on Sea Best Field at the Jacksonville Veterans Memorial Arena. Shark Nation Memberships for the 2016 season are now available, starting as low as $99. To reserve your membership or for more information, please call (904) 621-0700 and speak to a Membership Activation Specialist. Follow the Sharks on facebook at facebook.com/jaxsharks and on Twitter @jaxsharks, as well as the Attack Dance Team at facebook.com/sharkattackdance and Chum at facebook.com/chumsharks.