Ex-Blaze Huey Whittaker, Ex-Avenger Branden Hall, and Ex-Glad Alex Teems all signed with the Spokane Shock.
Whittaker, Hall, Teems, And White Join Shock 2010 Roster
November 4, 2009 - Arena Football 1 (AF1) Spokane Shock
Spokane, WA: The Spokane Shock announced today that WR Huey Whittaker, OL Branden Hall, DB Alex Teems and WR Markee White will join the 2010 roster, pending league approval.
Whittaker spent the 2008 season as a member of the potent Utah Blaze offense with the biggest season of his three-year career. Whittaker recorded 126 receptions for 1,541 receiving yards with 32 touchdowns in 2008. Whittaker also added eight rushing touchdowns and was recognized as a member of the 2008 All-AFL first-team.
In addition to his experience in the AFL, Whittaker has experience in the NFL with the New York Jets (2009), the Jacksonville Jaguars (2005), the Tampa Bay Buccaneers (2004) and the Pittsburgh Steelers (2004).
"When you combine a player with Huey Whittaker's physical abilities and his football intelligence you have a playmaker," Head Coach Rob Keefe explained. "At 6-5 220 pounds, he is a physical specimen that knows how to get in the endzone, knows to do everything a Coach asks him to do and he's hungry. You can't get any better than that."
Hall,6-4 330, spent the 2008 season with Los Angeles where he started in 16 straight regular season games and two playoff games for the Avengers. Hall was one of only three players who started in all of the Avengers games in 2008.
Prior to the joining the Avengers, Hall gained NFL experience with the Philadelphia Eagles in 2004 and 2005. In 2004, the year the Eagles advanced to the Super Bowl, Hall was a member of the practice squad. Hall resigned with the Eagles in 2005, but was released one game into the regular season.
"Branden Hall is an aggressive lineman who is very athletic," Keefe said. "When you combine his physical gifts with his knowledge of the game you have an outstanding football player."
In 2008, Teems, 6-0 195, played for the Cleveland Gladiators and collected 82.5 (66 solo tackles and 33 assists) with one interception in his AFL rookie-season. Teems spent the previous season, 2007, with the Spokane Shock and set single season franchise records in tackles (98) and pass break-ups (30).
"We are ecstatic to have Alex come back to Spokane," Keefe explained. "He has played at a high level of football and excelled. Not only is he a talented athlete, but he is also one of the most physical defensive backs I have ever seen. "
White, 6-6 215, was an integral part of the ArenaCup Champion Shock's offense. In 11 regular season games, White recorded 57 receptions for 602 yards with 18 touchdowns. In the post-season, White added 13 receptions for 170 yards with six touchdowns, including one in the ArenaCup victory over the Wilkes/Barre Pioneers.
"It's a good start to be back and to renew our Championship from last year, but this is a higher level of football," White explained. "Each year, I want to get better; I don't want to be the same player I was last year, I want to be greater."
Dawgz Sign Former NFL Lineman
November 5, 2009 - Arena Football 1 (AF1) Oklahoma City Yard Dawgz
OKLAHOMA CITY - The Yard Dawgz continue to build for a championship run with the addition of four arena football veterans. Head Coach Sparky McEwen announced they were assigned former NFL lineman Kelly Butler along with Yard Dawgz standouts Aaron Chavers, Danny Howard and Freddie Rollins.
Kelly Butler (6'8, 315) will begin his third season of arena football after starting over 20 games in the National Football League for the Detroit Lions and Cleveland Browns. Butler has become a model of consistency for the Yard Dawgz and will help anchor an offensive line that couldn't seem to stay healthy in 2009. The Purdue graduate was drafted in the sixth round of the 2004 NFL Draft.
"This is an opportunity that does not present itself to arena football teams often. We feel very fortunate as an organization to sign not only an all league but NFL experienced lineman to our roster. Returning Kelly Butler as a leader gives us the confidence that we will have strong leadership in place to lead us to a championship," Head Coach Sparky McEwen said. "Kelly is not only a great performer on the field but he is also a great leader within the Oklahoma City community. He has been very generous with the time that he spends with the youth of Oklahoma City and looks forward to continuing the Butler's Pound Puppy Program which enables underprivileged youth the opportunity to enjoy a Yard Dawgz arena football game."
The all-time team leader in sacks, Aaron Chavers (6-3, 273) returns to continue his onslaught on quarterbacks. Last season, Chavers kept pressure on opposing offenses, finishing with 7.5 sacks and a career total of 23 (17.5 with the Dawgz). In 2008, Chavers recorded 27 total tackles (19 solo) including 7 tackles for loss, 5.5 sacks and a fumble for state-rival Tulsa Talons. In 2006 and 2007, he played a total of 19 games with the Yard Dawgz racking up 31 total tackles and 10 sacks. He played for the Mean Green at the University of North Texas before advancing to the professional level.
"The all time sack leader in the team's history, enough said. Chavers is now poised to lead this franchise to a championship and nothing less," McEwen said.
Freddie Rollins (6'1, 275) ran over everyone, last season, on his way to franchise records in rushing attempts (86) and rushing touchdowns (15). Rollins finished the season with 615 all-purpose yards and 22 touchdowns. During his rookie season in 2008, he exploded onto the scene where he played in 9 games for the Yard Dawgz and became the team all-time leader for rushing yards (227) and TDs (14). Rollins ended the 2008 season as the af2's 3rd leading rusher, averaging 25.2 rushing yards per game. He was a three time All-Conference running back at Mary-Hardin Baylor.
"Returning an all league performer to the second ranked overall offense in the league gives Tommy Grady a lot of confidence in directing this offense to its high scoring form," McEwen continued. "This year, Freddie Rollins will double as a defensive end and Mack linebacker because of his tremendous athletic ability.
Danny Howard (6'2, 195) will once again be donning a Yard Dawgz jersey. The Southwestern Oklahoma State University graduate is the second wide receiver assigned to the Dawgz, joining OSU product, Scott Broughton. Despite an injury plagued career, Howard has put up impressive numbers in his limited action. In four years, Howard has played in 26 games and has 125 receptions for 1,825 yards and 35 touchdowns. Last year, Howard lead the league in yards per catch with a 15.8 yard average.
"The addition of Danny Howard will bring depth to a group of highly talented skilled position players," McEwen explained.
Barnstormers Sign Five More Players
November 5, 2009 - Arena Football 1 (AF1) Iowa Barnstormers
DES MOINES - Iowa Barnstormers Head Coach and Director of Football Operations John Gregory has announced the team has reached agreement with DB Tanner Varner, WR Dusty Kain, DL Jason Ripke, DL Michael Lewis and OL Steve Cully for the 2010 season. The Barnstormers now have 11 players under contract for the upcoming season, their first in Arena Football One.
Varner (6-0, 210) returns for a third season with the Barnstormers and fourth overall playing Arena Football. The standout DB from Northern Iowa is coming off his best season in 2009, as he led the league in tackles with 119.5, and was Iowa's leader in interceptions with 8. In his first three seasons, Varner has recorded nearly 300 tackles and 24 interceptions.
2010 will also be WR Dusty Kain's third with the Barnstormers. The 5-10, 175lb Simpson College Alumni joined the Barnstormers as a walk-on Free Agent in 2008. After impressing the Barnstormers coaching staff immediately, Kain made the team contributing primarily on special teams. He returned to Iowa in 2009 and cracked the lineup as the Barnstormers third receiver, finishing the year with 54 receptions for 614 yards and 18 touchdowns.
Jason Ripke (6-4, 255) will be back in 2010 for another season with Iowa. The DL from Simpson College appeared in the Barnstormers first four games in 2009 before his season was cut short by a knee injury. Ripke was off to a promising start, recording two sacks and forcing two fumbles. He should be even stronger in 2010, as his knee has already made a full recovery.
Four-Year Arena Football veteran Michael Lewis joins the Barnstormers after spending the 2009 season with the Peoria Pirates (af2). In 11 games played, he led the Pirates with 7 sacks and 7 forced fumbles. The Adrian College alumni also played two seasons for the Albany Firebirds in 2007 and 2008 where he was among the team leaders in tackles, tackles for loss, sacks, QB pressures and forced fumbles.
Offensive Lineman Steve Cully (6-4, 315) brings a wealth of experience to the Barnstormers. The University of Connecticut Alumni has spent time over the past several seasons playing in the AFL, af2, CFL and NFL Europe. He will provide solid depth to the Barnstormers offensive line.
All 5 players will report to the Barnstormers training camp this March to compete for a spot with the club.
Spokesman-Review says that the Arizona Rattlers have signed four former Shock players. QB Nick Davila, DB Sergio Gilliam, and O-Linemen John Booker and Kyle Young. _________________ Go Shock-... er... um... Empire!
All-Arena League Receiver To Join Barnstormers
November 9, 2009 - Arena Football 1 (AF1) Iowa Barnstormers
DES MOINES - In what is viewed as his largest move so far this off-season, Iowa Barnstormers Head Coach and Director of Football Operations John Gregory has announced that the team has reached agreement with all-pro WR Jesse Schmidt for the 2010 season. The 2010 season will be Schmidt's fourth playing Arena Football. The Laurens, IA native and Buena Vista alumni has been nothing short of spectacular during his first three seasons with the Quad City Steamwheelers.
Schmidt (6-3, 220) joined the Steamwheelers in 2007. Although he appeared in just 3 games, he was able to find the end zone 3 times, making an impression with the coaching staff. He returned to the Steamwheelers in 2008, where he won a starting spot with the team and didn't disappoint. Schmidt finished the 2008 season with 131 receptions for a league-leading 1799 yards and 47 touchdowns. His efforts were rewarded by being named to the af2's all-conference first team.
Already an owner of many Steamwheeler team records, Schmidt began the 2009 season right where he left off by scoring a career-high 7 touchdowns in a week 1 victory over Peoria. He finished the season with a remarkable 172 catches for 2,390 yards and 58 touchdowns, earning him the honor of af2's "Big Game" Player of the Year award. In addition, Schmidt was named to the all-af2 first team and winner of the league's player of the week award 5 times.
"I'm extremely excited to add Jesse to our roster for the 2010 season. There's no doubt he will continue to perform at a very high level, and I'm looking forward to not having to worry about how we're going to defend him," said Gregory.
Yard Dawgz Add Bulk To Roster
November 9, 2009 - Arena Football 1 (AF1) Oklahoma City Yard Dawgz
OKLAHOMA CITY - The Yard Dawgz announced the additions of Stephen Coleman, Mondre Dickerson, Chris Evans and Matt Fields to the roster.
Stephen Coleman (6-4, 315) returns for his second season with the Yard Dawgz and his third in arena football. Last season, the athletic defensive lineman had 11 tackles, 5.5 sacks, a forced fumble and an interception. Coleman played under Head Coach Bob Stoops at the University of Oklahoma for four years. He finished his career at OU with 21 tackles and 3 sacks.
Mondre Dickerson (6-6, 350) also returns after playing his first full season with the Dawgz in 2009. The cornerstone of the Yard Dawgz defense finished last season with 13 tackles, 7 tackles for loss, 6 sacks, a safety and a blocked kick. Dickerson spent the start of the 2008, before joining the Yard Dawgz, in the AFL, playing for both the Philadelphia Soul and Columbus Destroyers. In his three year AFL career, Dickerson tallied 16 solo tackles and 13 assisted tackles. Prior to playing professionally, Dickerson played for coaching legend Phillip Fulmer at the University of Tennessee.
"All championship teams have top notch defenses and the signing of Mondre Dickerson, solidifies one of the top defensive positions in arena football and that is being a force in the middle," Head Coach Sparky McEwen said. "Not only is Mondre Dickerson a great athlete on defense, but he is also an old school throw back in that he can play the most challenging position on the offense, center. I feel that Dickerson will be an outstanding leader on one of the most talented defenses that I have ever coached."
Chris Evans (6-6, 360) joins the Yard Dawgz after missing the 2009 season due to the shut down of the Arena Football League. In 2008, Evans played offensive line for the San Jose Sabercats. He played collegiately at Tarleton State University from 2005-2007.
Matt Fields (6-2, 215), wide receiver, will join the Dawgz for his second season. During his rookie season in 2009, Fields caught 35 passes for 431 yards and 7 touchdowns. The Hardin-Simmons University graduate showed his versatility on special teams, kicking three PAT's and returning two kickoffs for 46 yards.
"Since the opening of the 2010 player signing period, our coaching staff has been working tremendously hard to obtain the best arena football players available on both sides of the ball," General Manager Christie Cook explained. "I am confident that by the time we begin training camp in March, we will have compiled one of the best rosters in Yard Dawgz history."
Shock Signs Three Lineman
November 9, 2009 - Arena Football 1 (AF1) Spokane Shock
Spokane, WA: The Spokane Shock announced today that DL Jerry Turner, OL/DL Clay Harrell and OL Juan Garcia have been added to their 2010 roster.
Turner, 6-3 265, spent the 2009 season with the Arkansas Twisters and tallied 26 tackles including a team-leading 7.5 sacks.
Prior to joining the Twisters, Turner played the previous two seasons for the Kansas City Brigade. In 14 games with Kansas City, Turner recorded 24 tackles and three sacks.
Harrell, 6-2 315, spent the last two seasons in the AFL with the Nashville Kats (2007) and the Los Angeles Avengers (2008).
As a rookie with Nashville, Harrell was converted to the offensive line and proved his versatility, starting in 15 games. In 2008, Harrell signed with the Avengers and started in 15 games as an offensive lineman.
Garcia, 6-3 310, signed a free agent contract with the Minnesota Vikings after completing a decorated career at the University of Washington. The Vikings released the Yakima native at the end of their training camp during their final cuts.
In his final three seasons at Washington, Garcia started 37 straight games at center. After his senior season, he was invited to play in the East-West Shrine game and as a junior Garcia earned second-team all Pac-10 honors.
HAVE BEEN ASSIGNED
WR/LB Manwell Talbert 6’2 225 10/7/79 New Mexico State
HAVE BEEN ASSIGNED
WR/DB Ahmaad Smith 6’0 200 2/28/83 Tennessee State
OL/DL Brent Curvey 6’0 270 3/15/85 Iowa State
WR/LB Jesse Schmidt 6’3 220 4/23/83 Buena Vista
FB/LB Rodney Filer 6’3 250 6/14/74 Iowa
HAVE BEEN ASSIGNED
OL/DL Juan Garcia 6’3 310 4/24/84 Washington
OL/DL Clay Harrell 6’2 315 2/27/82 Northern State
OL/DL Jerry Turner 6’3 265 4/10/78 Tennessee Tech
HAVE BEEN ASSIGNED
DB Michael Johnson 6’1 214 10/29/84 Chattanooga
WR/DB Jeremy Grier 6’1 215 5/19/82 Chattanooga
WR/DB Larry Shipp Jr. 5’9 198 5/23/86 Tennessee Tech
OL/DL Gary Battle 6’2 315 9/17/85 Fayetteville State
HAVE BEEN ASSIGNED
DB Delenell Reid 5’10 170 11/9/79 Houston
WR/DB Jeffrey Hughley 5’8 175 3/3/83 Averette
OL/DL Antwan Floyd 6’1 300 1/23/82 Tulsa
WR Zachary Edwards 5’10 180 1/21/84 UCO/NWOSU
QB James Welker III 6’3 235 12/30/85 LSU _________________ Twitter | Facebook | Instagram
Everything happens so fast, it's like playing football on a postage stamp - Lee Corso
Barnstormers Agree To Terms With Filer, Curvey And Smith
November 10, 2009 - Arena Football 1 (AF1) Iowa Barnstormers
DES MOINES - Iowa Barnstormers Head Coach and Director of Football Operations John Gregory announced this afternoon that the team has reached agreement with FB Rodney Filer, DL Brent Curvey and DB Ahmaad Smith. This brings the total number of players currently under contract for Iowa to 15.
Filer (6-3, 260) brings a wealth of experience to the Barnstormers. The University of Iowa Alumni is a veteran of 10 AFL seasons including a stint with the original Barnstormers franchise in 1999 and 2000. Filer has also played for New York (2001-04), Las Vegas (2005-06), Tampa Bay (2007) and Utah (2008). In 119 career games played, Filer has rushed for 758 yards and 43 touchdowns. He also has compiled 54 career receptions and 8 receiving touchdowns.
The Barnstormers are also welcoming back Brent "Big Play" Curvey. The former Iowa State standout joined the Barnstormers halfway through the 2009 and helped solidify one of the league's top defensive units. In just 11 games with the Barnstormers, Curvey accumulated 25 tackles, including 11 for a loss and a team high 9.5 sacks. His ability to make timely plays earned him the nickname "Big Play".
Smith (6-1), 190 is a graduate of Tennessee State University. He has spent time playing for the Mississippi Mudcats (AIFA) and also had a tryout with the BC Lions (CFL). Most recently, Smith was selected as one of 12 contestants to appear on the Spike TV reality show "4th and Long" featuring NFL hall of famer Michael Irvin. The winner of the football competition based show received an invitation to the Dallas Cowboys 2009 training camp. Smith did extremely well surviving 10 rounds of cuts and finishing as the show's "runner-up".
"These are three very important additions to our roster", said Gregory. They bring us a combination of experience, toughness and speed, all keys to building a successful franchise. I expect all of them to contribute immediately and often".
Where's all the Chris Jacksons, Grazianos and such? I thought I heard someone bragging Gregory was going to get Garcia back in Iowa? C'mon Arenaball don't just be another so-so league, we got a lot of those already.
And dont gimme "We cant afford them" BS. Chicago got Sippio to play in one of the lowest level indoor leagues out there - with fracking Donovan Morgan fercrissakes. John Dutton played in the IFL (ya he sucked but he was there)
So cmon stop flapping the gums and give us some substance not a bunch of lip service about being the best there is - show us!
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