Arena Football Update November 15

Gearing Up for Arena Football

The Colder weather is just starting to kick in down in Sunny Florida, and now its starting to feel like Arena Football Season. Teams are starting to sign players and owners and working to get their teams ready for another BIG YEAR. Right out of the box lets say GOOD BYE to the Professional Arena Football League. A great Idea. But just to many little wheels to get in motion in such a short time.

In a facebook post the other day, Gregg Fornario announced that he is closing the doors on the PAF and working on building a championship for his team in Wheeling West Virginia. The Roughriders are rumored to be rejoining the  American Arena League, but at this moment that is just RUMOR! But you can TAKE THAT TO THE BANK!

As for RUMORS!  No word from the National Arena League on the Orlando Terminator situation. WE reported last week that the paperwork was ready and the lease signed, but there seems to be a tie up somewhere and we are working on finding out. More on this is due at any time.

As for players, Tons of signings and here is some of the biggies:

The Massachusetts Pirates announced the signing of former Oklahoma defensive lineman Charles Walker, nose tackle Du’Vonta Lampkin and Devonn Brown.

Walker, 6’4”- 310 lbs. from New Orleans, Louisiana, had a tryout with the Philadelphia Eagles in 2017 but was waived when a knee injury slowed his progress.

Lampkin was most recently in camp with the Tennessee Titans as an undrafted free agent. This will be his first taste of arena football.

The Massachusetts Pirates leading receiver and All-National Arena League First Team offensive performer, Brown has re-signed with the team for the 2019 season. Brown led the Pirates with 24 touchdown receptions and was tops in the NAL averaging 19 yards per catch.  Brown can’t wait to be back in Worcester.

The Columbus Lions organization and Bones Bagaunte have agreed to terms for the 2019 NAL season.  Bagaunte becomes the latest wide receiver to join an organization known for elite wide receiver play.  A short peek into the recent history of the Lions shows how wide receivers in Columbus flourish, including one Rookie of the Year award (London Crawford – 2012), 4 Offensive Player of the Year awards (Maurice Dupree – 2012, Terrence Ebagua – 2015, Michael Reeve – 2016/2017), and a bevy of statistical champions (Jarmon Fortson – 2018 NAL leader in receptions/TDs & Durron Neal – 2018 NAL in receiving yards).

The Jacksonville Sharks announced the signing of Offensive lineman D’Angelo McCray, Defensive Back Paul Robinson,  Durron Neals and defensive end Marquis Smith .

During his arena football career, McCray played for the Iowa Barnstormers (2017), where he earned Second-Team All-IFL honors. McCray played one season with the Green Bay Blizzard (2015), He spent two seasons with the Nebraska Danger (2013, 2014) where he played in back to back United Bowl championship games. Before his career in arena football,  McCray was signed to the New York Giants roster as an undrafted free agent.

Robinson (5’10”, 183) spent the 2018 season in the Champions Indoor Football League where he played three games with the Wichita Force and 10 games with the CIF Champions the Duke City Gladiators. Combined he landed 47 tackles, 20 pass breakups, 3.5 tackles for a loss, and two interceptions. In 2017, Robinson played for the Omaha Beef playing in 13 games recording 31 tackles and three interceptions. During his time with the Beef, he was named First Team All-Northern Conference. Prior to the 2017 season, Robinson had stints with the Tampa Bay Storm of the Arena Football League (2015), Dodge City Law (2014), and the Sioux City Bandits (2013).

Last season, Neal played in 14 games with the Columbus Lions, where he led the Lions in receiving yards (1085) and average yard per catch (13.7) and earned Second Team All-NAL honors. Neal also finished the season ranking second in catches (79) and touchdowns (25). In 2017, Neal began his arena football career with the Lions, playing in nine games. In those nine games, he had 37 receptions for 309 yards and seven touchdowns. Neal was an undrafted free agent entering the 2016 season when he signed with the Denver Broncos for training camp. Neal played for the Broncos the pre-season, recording three catches for 21 yards and one touchdown but was not with the team for the regular season.

Smith (6’3”, 235) signed with the Bismarck Bucks of the Champions Indoor Football League in 2018, where he played in 13 games making 50 tackles, four sacks and five forced fumbles in during his rookie year. Prior to his pro career, he was a undrafted free agent who attended a Green Bay Packers mini camp in 2017.

Over in the American Arena League, the Carolina Havoc started an initiative with Savannah Grove Elementary School students Nov. 1  challenging the kids to read and log six books in 35 days for a chance to win free tickets to the first Carolina Havoc Arena League football game, scheduled for March.  The school-wide reading initiative’s goal is for students to enjoy reading books, newspapers, magazines and other printed material and to share their love of reading.

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