The Good The Bad And Arena Football
Well, Well, Well. The new year is here and as the calendar moves forward, the Arena Football Season comes closer! Teams are signing players and some teams are still working on Arenas to play in. What are your teams doing?
With the National Arena League will bring hard hitting action to 7 cities this year, and it going to be interesting. The West Virginia Roughriders, new to the NAL, bring winning football to the league. The Roughriders Champions of the American Arena League(AAL) last year, know how to win. And they are signing some good players. The Jacksonville Sharks, Columbus Lions and Carolina Cobras all know how to win.
What the Orlando Predators and Jersey Flight will bring to the arena is still up in the air.
The American Arena League is what it is, and that is all due to the lack of communication between the teams and the fans. Don’t look for anything fantastic this year…. The Carolina Energy are the favorite to win it all.. but that like we said… is what it is.
Let’s take a look into the Transactions in the National Arena League, American Arena League and more….
The National Arena League announced the addition of Emily Bondi as the Director of Media Relations for the NAL. Emily is a native of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania and graduated from Franklin Regional High School in 2015. She graduated from Westminster College in December 2018 with a degree in Broadcasting and Digital Communications and a minor in social media. While at Westminster Emily covered many different sporting events and was the sideline reporter for the Westminster College Network. She had her own weekly sports segment on WCN 24/7 and produced the “PAC Report” for Joe Onderko, the Commissioner of the Presidents’ Athletic Conference which was a weekly audio segment highlighting the football games for the week.
Wilson re-signs with the Jacksonville Sharks for his sixth year of arena football and third year with the Sharks. Wilson (6’3, 210) is returning from a career season in 2019 with Jacksonville. The Sharks star receiver recorded 112 receptions for 1,340 yards and 32 touchdowns. Wilson was named First-Team All-NAL after helping the Sharks to another NAL Championship, leading the team in receptions, yards, touchdowns, and average yards per game. During the 2019 NAL Championship game, Wilson hauled in seven receptions for 89 yards and one touchdown helping the Sharks stun the defending champion Carolina Cobras and allowing Jacksonville to earn it’s second National Arena League Championship title.
Christian (6’1, 290) from Orange Park spent his rookie year as an offensive lineman with the Cedar Rapids River Kings of the Indoor Football League. This is the second local FB/OL product that Coach Fuller has signed for 2020, earlier in the off-season the Sharks re-signed FB/OL Jaeel Brown (6’2, 307) from Starke, FL both dual-purpose lineman will compete in the Sharks 2020 training camp along with Sharks fullback Alstevis Squirewell and LB/FB Zack Brown. Last season the Sharks had the best rushing offense in the league.
Lewis (6’1, 205) spent the 2019 season with the Quad City Steamwheelers where he played in five-game recording 12 tackles and one interception. In 2018, Lewis helped the Carolina Cobras to their first National Arena League Championship title playing in 10 regular season games totaling 30 tackles, six pass breakups, one tackle for loss, and two interceptions. In 2017, he signed with the Winnipeg Blue Bombers of the Canadian Football League but did not see any regular-season action. In 2016, Lewis got a workout with the Kansas City Chiefs and shortly after was signed by Kansas City. During training camp, Lewis was released by the Chiefs and then signed by the Detroit Lions where he played in two preseason games for Detroit.
Hardy (6’6, 335) was selected by the XFL for regional workouts last year in preparation for their October 2019 draft. Hardy finished his college career as an offensive lineman for West Virginia University. During his last season as a Mountaineer, he played 10 games at right guard helping a WVU offense that ranked second in the Big 12 and 8th nationally averaging 512 offensive yards per game. Hardy and the Mountaineers offense rushed for more than 150 yards in seven games and had two 200 yard games in 2018. During his junior year, he played in 12 games at both guards and tackle seeing action in over 116 plays.
Trussell (6’ 3” 314, Carthage College) was a four-year player for Carthage and was named Most Valuable Performer (Offense) during his senior year.
McKinney (6’4” 241, Western Michigan) was a three-year starter at Western Michigan where he totaled 124 tackles and 5.5 sacks. He was signed as an undrafted free agent by the Houston Texans for their rookie camp.
Long (6’ 2” 215, Shaw University) after a red-shirt year at NC A&T and a transfer he was a three year starter at Shaw and after graduating left as the school all-time record holder for receptions (146), second in yards (1,544) and is the only player in Shaw history to have a catch in every game he played in.
Russell (6’ 4” 225, Ohio Dominican) did not play much in his freshman campaign but was a three-year starter after that. He was a Harlon Hill Trophy candidate in his junior season and was named Great Midwest Athletic Conference Player of the Year as a senior. In college he was 700/1022 (68.5% completion percentage) with 73 TDs throwing and another 14 TDs rushing. He signed with the Columbus Destroyers of the AFL and for the expansion franchise he was a highlight, going 222-369 for 2,614 yards and 36 TDs passing, as well as having six more TDs rushing. The QB competition for the 2020 Carolina Cobras has now reached nuclear level in how competitive it is going to be in training camp.
Harris (6’ 3” 327, Carson-Newman University) made his professional debut with the Cobras as an early signing of the original team back in 2017. He played for the Cobras in all of 2018 during the Championship year and was back for 2019, where sadly he was injured and finished the 2019 season on the Injured Reserve. Known for his big play as well as his big smile, he is very much a fan favorite of Cobra Nation. He lives by the motto “Everything you do in life is for experience and order for you to
have a legacy of your own.”
Per West Virginia Roughriders policy, no media releases are sent out so, it is what it is.