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Four More Return to the Tampa Bay Storm for 2013 Season
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Joined: 28 Apr 2001
Location: Tampa Bay
PostPosted: Tue Oct 30, 2012 5:07 pm    Post subject: Four More Return to the Tampa Bay Storm for 2013 Season Reply with quote

Four More Return for 2013

Oct 25, 2012 - Tampa Bay Storm

The Tampa Bay Storm is pleased to announce the return of four more players from the 2012 roster, wide receiver Joe Hills, kicker Juan Bongarra and fullback/defensive linemen Terence Crosby and Wondell Rutledge. The exclusive period continues until midnight October 28, during which time teams have exclusivity dealing with players from its previous season’s roster.

“This is a good group of guys coming back,” said vice president of football operations Jeff Gooch. “Each one of these guys: Joe, Juan, Terence and Wondell, have the ability to make an impact and a skill set that brings value to our franchise.”

Hills (6-foot-5, 215 lbs., Tennessee State) joined the team late in the 2012 season after appearing in three games with the Spokane Shock during his rookie year. He made an immediate impact as he appeared in five games and collected 39 receptions for 648 yards with 13 touchdowns. Hills, a local product from Palmetto H.S., had two four-touchdown performances and set a rookie single-game mark with 215 yards receiving against his former team, the Shock, in the season finale.

Bongarra (6-3, 190, Albany State, GA) returns to the Storm for his second season after kicking in all 18 games for Tampa Bay. In 2012, he set new franchise marks for PATs attempted (135) and converted (116), surpassing the numbers set by Seth Marler in 2008. Bongarra made an impact on special teams as he finished tied for third in the AFL with 41 touchbacks on kickoffs. He also added five field goals, including one against New Orleans on July 14 on the final play of regulation to send the game to overtime as the Storm won 78-77 at the Tampa Bay Times Forum.

Crosby (6-2, 315, Catawba, NC) joined the Storm shortly after the start of the 2012 season. He returns for his third season in the AFL, after having played for the Iowa Barnstormers in 2011. During the past season Crosby saw action at fullback and on the offensive and defensive lines. He finished the 2012 season with two catches for 16 yards, 11 rushes for 24 yards with three touchdowns and three tackles.

Rutledge (6-2, 325, Toledo) returns for his second season in the AFL and with the Storm. He appeared in nine games prior to suffering a season-ending groin injury. He lined up at several positions including fullback, nose guard and can play at the center position. Rutledge, recorded 11 rushes for 28 yards on offense and defensively had seven tackles and a fumble recovery for a touchdown in a, 63-46, victory over Kansas City on April 30th.

AFL free-agency begins Monday, October 29 at 12:01 AM. Teams will be free to sign any player excluding those that ended the 2012 season on injured reserve and have not yet been medically cleared.
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