Arena Football Update July 19

Lets Chat About Whats Coming Up In Arena Football

It Thursday and that means its time to turn our attention back to Arena Football. Playoff action in the Arena Football League, Playoff Picture in the National Arena League, and Rumors in the American Arena League.

Let’s kick it off in the Arena Football League(AFL), and the Baltimore Brigade announced earlier this week the signing of Hall of Fame defensive back Clevan Thomas. The 11-year Arena Football League veteran last played for the LA KISS in 2016. Thomas’ career accolades include four ArenaBowl titles, three Defensive Player of the Year awards, one Defensive Back of the Year award, four First Team All-Arena seasons, two Second Team All-Arena season and a Rookie of the Year Award.

The Arena Football League then announced the 2018 All-Arena First and Second Teams. Of the 36 players named, 11 earn their way on to a 2018 All-Arena Team for the first-time in their career.

Headlining the First-Team All-Arena is Albany Empire quarterback Tommy Grady who was named to an All-Arena team for the second-time in his career as he led the League in passing yards (2,960) and passing touchdowns (81). Teammates Joe Hills and Malachi Jones join Hills as the pair of Empire players were among the League leaders in receiving categories; Hills led the AFL with 33 receiving touchdowns and third in receiving yards with 1,045 while Jones was first in receiving yards with 1,156 and second in touchdown receptions, hauling in 24. Center Ryan Cave, offensive lineman Hayworth Hicks, defensive end Joe Sykes, linebacker Terence Moore, and defensive back Marrio Norman round out the Empire players on the First-Team.

The Baltimore Brigade are well represented on the First-Team All-Arena list with six players; offensive lineman Jordan McCray (1st time First-Team honoree), defensive lineman Justin Lawrence (2nd straight First-Team All-Arena), linebacker Dexter Jackson, defensive back Virgil Gray, kicker Mark Lewis, and special teams Brandon Thompkins.

Rounding out the First-Team All Arena are four players from the Philadelphia Soul. Wide receiver Darius Prince earns his first selection to the All-Arena First Team and is joined by fullback Jeramie Richardson (1st time First-Team selection, Second-Team last two seasons), defensive end Jake Metz and defensive back James Romain.

2018 FIRST TEAM ALL-ARENA                                        2018 SECOND TEAM ALL-ARENA
QB Tommy Grady – Albany                                                             QB Randy Hippeard – Baltimore
FB Jeramie Richardson – Philadelphia                                         FB Rory Nixon – Baltimore
WR Joe Hills – Albany                                                                      WR Reggie Gray – Washington
WR Malachi Jones –Albany                                                             WR Brandon Thompkins – Baltimore
WR Darius Prince – Philadelphia                                                   WR Aaron Wascha – Philadelphia
C Ryan Cave – Albany                                                                       C PhillipKeith Manley – Philadelphia
OL Hayworth Hicks – Albany                                                          OL Neal Tivis – Philadelphia
OL Jordan McCray – Baltimore                                                      OL Wayne Tribue – Philadelphia
DE Joe Sykes – Albany                                                                     DE Darryl Cato-Bishop – Albany
DE Jake Metz – Philadelphia                                                          DE Rodney Fritz – Baltimore
DT Justin Lawrence – Baltimore                                                   DT Brandon Sesay – Albany
MLB Dexter Jackson – Baltimore                                                  MLB Derrick Summers – Albany
JLB Terence Moore – Albany                                                         JLB Joe Goosby – Philadelphia
DB Marrio Norman – Albany                                                         DB Dwayne Hollis – Philadelphia
DB James Romain – Philadelphia                                                 DB Joe Powell – Baltimore
DB Virgil Gray – Baltimore                                                            DB Varmah Sonie – Albany
K Mark Lewis – Baltimore                                                              K Adrian Trevino – Philadelphia
ST Brandon Thompkins – Baltimore                                            ST Chris Duvalt – Washington

In the National Arena League(NAL), The Jacksonville Sharks announced the launch of their Shark Nation Membership Program for the 2019 season. The program is designed to provide exclusive benefits to the team’s loyal fans and start as low as $75!

“We are excited for our 10th Anniversary Season! We’re always looking for unique ways to give our fans a great value,” Sharks Executive Vice President Steve Curran said. Our latest promotion is something that I don’t believe has ever been done before in Jacksonville or in other markets around the country. FREE kids season tickets. We have been “family affordable fun” for a decade and now we are just taking the “affordable” to another level.”

Fans just need to purchase a Sharks Nation White Membership (red section only) and your family will get a FREE kids season ticket. Your child must be 12 years and under to qualify. It is that easy! For more information about season tickets or Shark Nation Memberships, please call the Sharks Membership activation office at 904.621.0700 or visit jaxsharks.com

The Battle ground this week is the  SHARK TANK at the Jacksonville Veterans Memorial Arena as the 2nd Place Columbus Lions come to Jacksonville to take on the Sharks with the playoffs on the horizon. Its Star Wars Night, FREE JEDI LIGHTSABERS for the first 1,000 kids (12&Under) In attendance. Save $44 on Family Four Packs or Get Tickets for as Low as $13.50! Get Your Tickets Right Here: www.naltickets.com/sharksstarwarsnight OR CALL: 904-621-0700. My9oh4 will be on hand making sure you stay #lockedIN. Make sure you use that lightsaber on our photographer!

The fight for first place happens in Massachusetts as the Carolina Cobras are in town taking on the NAL Leaders Massachusetts Pirates.

And up in Portland Maine the Maine Mammoths are trying to keep their streak alive and to keep the Lehigh Valley Steelhawks winless. My4one3 will be live at the Cross Insurance Arena where it is also Star Wars Night!  Kids, let’s have a light saber fight after the game!

Congratulations to Rob Brown, Anthony Ellis and Craig Peterson for the Players of the Week Nods from Week 15!

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And in the American Arena League rumors of a Late August All Star Game are surfacing… and it looks like its going to be at a brand new arena…  more as that comes in….

Remember that Voting for the LockedIN Magazine AAL All-Star team Continues…

 

The Richmond Roughriders do not plan on returning to Richmond and have begun looking for a new home, in anticipation that the Richmond Coliseum will be torn down, according to team owner Gregg Fornario. He expects any possible new arena to be too big and too expensive for an Arena League team to afford.

The organization has already begun exploring relocation options in other cities, including Norfolk, Hershey, PA, and Salisbury, MD. Fornario says they plan to visit a few other places as well.

Fornario brought the arena football team to the River City prior to the 2017 season. Richmond would go undefeated and win the Arena Pro Football championship. The Roughriders moved to the American Arena League for 2018, advancing to the championship game before falling to the Atlanta Havoc. They’ll depart having lost just two games in two seasons.

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