Written by Chris Mabry
As we wait for more indoor football to take place thanks to the Coronavirus, many teams are reaching out in their communities. Many teams help by giving out food to families in need, meal deliveries to local businesses, and having some fun along the way.
This week in the IFL, the Frisco Fighters and the Sioux Falls Storm were supposed to play this coming weekend. Instead, they are going to play each other on a virtual football field. Right now on the team’s twitter account, they put out a poll asking which team they would like to be on Madden. The result will be revealed this Sunday evening when the game will be streamed on YouTube via the IFL’s YouTube page.
For more information on what’s going on in the IFL or in any indoor/area league, stay with Arena Football Talk.
Written by Chris Mabry
Since March 12, 2020 the Coronavirus has impacted indoor/arena football. This has impacted the Indoor Football League's season as it just kicked off a few weeks ago. Now there is word as the season will resume in...May? That is what the Quad City Steamwheelers are stay in a press release posted on the Steamwheelers Twitter page.
Keep it here to Arena Football Talk for the latest news on Indoor/Arena Football.
As the Frisco Fighters start to take flight in the Indoor Football League, I was grateful for the opportunity to interview not only a Dallas Cowboys legend but also a legend in the indoor football circuit... number 88 Drew Pearson.
Here is our conversation he other yesterday.
Christopher: you were a football football head coach for the Dallas Texans how did you get the job for that team
Drew: Well I went off after it I kind of was watching the indoor game especially since it had been in Dallas and had some success with Ernie stoutner the head coach and so I had been watching it and said I like what I see so maybe I'd like to be a part of that. so I… after Ernie stautner decided to retire the position was open I decided to apply for it and go after it and before you know it I was able to secure the head coaching job and in the process of doing that beat out. I was told I could say beat out cuz I have too much respect for them I was chosen the head of dick Nolan former NFL coach who had known because he was wide receiver coach took a while with the Dallas Cowboys and I worked with him when I was a receiver coach with the Cowboys so you know I was surprised I got the position over him cuz I have so much respect for him and once I got the position the first thing I wanted to do is hire get knowing that it's my assistant head coach and I told his job was to teach me how to be a head coach cuz that was my first head coaching job.
Christopher: how did you enjoy being a head coach
Drew: I enjoyed it a lot you know dealing with the players are saying everything else surrounding the game the head coach of course have to deal with more things than just coached football team and with the Arena Football League head coach you know is there pretty much the promoter big as much as we can in any way that it came with my name recognition you know we try to use that as much as possible to promote the game around Dallas and it worked because we had some great crowds there my first year of four and six disappointed with that I believe 4 and 6 but disappointed wasn't a winning season I know that disappointed with that but I enjoy the experience that's for sure
Christopher: would you ever be in a head coach in the indoor game again?
Drew: oh no no I'm done with that tremendous responsibility to be a coach at any level and you have to be totally committed to to want to do that and even in the indoor game you know I'm not as familiar with that game as the people that have been in that gate most of their adult life so I respect that and I'm not coming into this situation with the IFL even though I get involved with the entire game I'm not coming into this situation like I know it off I'm coming into it with my eyes open and wanting to learn as much about this game as much as possible on this level and try to promote it as much as possible in Frisco cuz this is a football minded area from high schools or right on through the Cowboys and we want to be part of that. We want to be part of that and the fans should come out for XFL Games, they certainly can come out for I IFL games right.
Christopher: You did mention you're a general manager or not a manager but you were in the IFL as a general manager that was that experience?
Drew: well that was a good experience that was different you know most of my time in that position was spent promoting the team trying to sell tickets trying to gain a sponsor ships and things like that and trying to make a mark in the community we were in Allen at the time Alan Wranglers and we were trying to make a mark in that community and Thursday we felt the way to do that was to get out and to the community so we would go into schools and build deal with Charity I get the players to show up or events and things like that and even though these at these events and charity events or whatever it might be you know these players aren't well-known if you tell them their football players in the National Football players and people just seem to go crazy they don't never heard of them or whatever but they still want their autographs and things like that they still want to take pictures with them so we still have that connection even on this level of the IFL we still have that kind of impact on the community and we need to take advantage of that.
Christopher: How do you think the IFL or any indoor league can grow and expand?
Drew: well you know you got a first of all they got a recognize who they are you know and here's what we can do here is a limitations of what we can do and so everything under that we got to make it as great as possible we're going to make it entertaining we going to make it exciting we got a we can't pull people again especially in this area you know football and so we gotta get quality product out there on the field and I think he do it that way and you know, football is an expanding game it's a game that people never get tired of so if we do it the right way and take care of the responsibilities that you bring to the community trying to be part of the community I think of each franchise grows within the community then they'll become solid in that Community off and it'll be a fixture in that community and then you'll be able to have the success that say the NFL has had over the years that's to say the least
Christopher: Who on the current Frisco fighters roster do you think has a good shot at making a NFL roster?
Drew: You know I really can't get into that because I don't know these guys that well I've been only been out to a couple of practices and from what I see you know we're are very experienced with all beings but I don't know what level of these guys are as far as we're thinking you know the age the age they might be and if that long time to get into the NFL has passed them by and they have to accept that reality if it has but if you know the point is that they don't they're not accepting the reality that they have to give up football just because they can't go into the NFL and so they want to continue their careers as long as they can and at the opportunity of the NFL presents itself month in advance you know these they have some current video current Cape current game times experiences and things of that nature to show both teams if they're interested in them but from what I find in my experience is at this level like these guys play mainly For the Love of the Game. Yeah they see that carried out there maybe one day play in the NFL because that's their dream but they know to reach that dream they're still got to play the game and play the game the right way and you know that's just that to me that for me gives them a lot of respect for what they do when I spoke to the team I totally admire them I appreciate them not just because they play football but cuz they play it in an environment of the 50-yard football field where it's off the little different in plain on a hundred yards. So you got to be a special person you got to really love the game of football to play it at that level because ain't nowhere to hide dead now okay.
Christopher: for those that are new to the game watching it or or going to a game what can fans experience or get out of the indoor game?
Drew: Well they're going to get a lot of scoring it's usually a lot of scoring it's an offensive-minded football games a lot of defense that has been you know over the years has been team coaches have been coming up with all kinds of schemes that slow day off and down but there's no way to run to come up with schemes to stop the offense so that's the number one thing it'll be excitement out there on the on Palm yeah football field and then you know the promotion of the game everything surrounding the game you know whether it's autograph sessions with taking advantage of it the pro athletes that are in this area again writing into the games and doing autograph sessions with them having VIP pregame parties with some the sponsors making myself through. It's very acceptable to the band and stuff like that I'm not going to be sitting in the in the Box the whole game I'm going to be getting out in the stands and hanging out and doing a job. pregame tailgate stuff that so we want to make an experience for for the band it's much like the Cowboys if we learn anything we got the Cowboys right there to learn from home and you go to a Cowboy game it's like a Super Bowl everything going on the excitement around the stadium the tailgating the bands going on and playing and you know the bulb just the excitement the bugs well that's what we want to try to create that excitement that bugs and if you can create that and that's something that people want to be a part of you know just like Dallas Cowboys so hopefully we can create that in Frisco you know we got we're digging ourselves out of a hole a little bit from what happened last year with the frisco team but I think we got the right ownership is no question about that but her main family definitely the right ownership and we got the right management the team managing and we got the right personnel as administrative staff and the coaching staff and the players so this team is in a great position to be around this community for a long time and just like anything else Chris we got to win you know we win people will show up and want to be associated with that so hopefully we'll come out to shoot on Thursday and beat the Gladiators
Christopher: I heard that you're doing some of the TV broadcasts where can fans see the game at
Drew: I don't even know we haven't we haven't had a production meeting or anything yet cuz the first games not going to be on the radio or TV off so um uh we don't know where we're going to land at this point as far as I know and as soon as we do we'll let that be known for sure
The Frisco Fighters kick off their 2020 season This Thursday, March 12 at 7:05 pm when. they host the Duke City Gladiators who are 2-time champions of the Champions Indoor Football league. You can watch that game on YouTube.
Written by Chris Mabry
Yesterday in the Indoor Football League, the San Diego Strike Force traveled to Bismarck, North Dakota to take on the Bucks to close out week one of the 2020 IFL regular season. If Saturday nights high scoring game was a vision into the future? Then this game was going to be awesome.
Before the start of the game, the Bismarck Bucks were the favorites but at halftime the San Diego Strike Force were ahead 21-17. In the third quarter, the Bismarck Bucks quickly caught up with a 22-7 third quarter victory brining the score to 43-24 Bucks ahead. In the final quarter, the Strike Force showed that they wanted this win more than the Bismarck Bucks as they won with a final score of 50-36.
Michael Carrillo the quarterback for San Diego had a heck of a night when his final stats showed 9-17, 132 Yards passing, three passing touchdowns, and two rushing touchdowns, However, he did have two interceptions during the game. #14 Zuril Hendrick and #24 Marcus Green were credited with the INT today.
The Bismarck Bucks next game is March 14 when they take on the Sioux Falls Storm. That game is at 3:05 PM CT. As for the San Diego Strike Force, they play the Cedar Rapids River Kings at home on March 14. That game is at 6:05 PM Pacific Time. Both games can be seen on YouTube
By Chris Mabry
Last night the 2020 Indoor Football League season kicked off between the Quad City Steamwheelers and the Cedar Rapids Riverkings. After last years heated matchup on March of 2019 showed that even though the rivalry is young, it's very intense.
Let's begin with the Steamwheelers. E.J. Hillard returned as starting quarterback for the Quad City after an impressive 2019 that just saw them falling short of making the playoffs. Last night they started off. strong by beginning the game with a 40-yard kick return for a touchdown. The scoring didn't stop there. The Quad City Steamwheelers continued to score tallying a total of 54 points. Hillard only missed four passes, passed for 125-yards and rushed for 47-yards for three touchdowns.
The Quad City Steamwheelers next game is at home against the Arizona Rattlers. That game is on March 21, 2020 at 7:05 PM CT on YouTube.
Now let's talk about the home team Cedar Rapids Riverkings. With new owners and a brand new head coach in Victor Mann, who previously coached the Texas Revolution of the CIF he hopes to lead the River Kings to the promiseland. In the first three quarters of the game, Cedar Rapids struggled to score falling behind fast. In the Fourth quarter they tried to rally back from behind but continued to go nowhere. They got illavised penalties at the absolute wrong time. Derrick Bernard, the Cedar Rapids River Kings quarterback struggled last night going 9-23, 74 Passing Yds, 45 rushing yards, two passing touchdowns, a rushing touchdown, and an interception.
The Cedar Rapids Riverkings play their next game on March 14, 2020 at 8:05 PM CT against the San Diego Strike Force on the road. This game can be seen on YouTube.
Quad City Steamwheelers @ Cedar Rapids River Kings
March 7, 2020, @ 7:05 PM
U.S. Cellular Center
What do you get when a historic franchise travels a mere 85 miles to take on a revamped, hungry team that dons the IFL’s best looking uniforms?
Short answer: A colorful blast!
Long answer: To quote a former AFL ad: a lightning fast; up and down, side-to-side, whiplash inducing roller-coaster! You’re guaranteed to enjoy the ride!
To kickoff the Indoor Football League's best season to date, it’s a battle for the Mississippi River!
Cedar Rapids prides themselves as “River Kings”, but that won’t stop the Quad Squad from seeking to Steamwheel last years’ punching bag! Cedar Rapids was shut out twice going down the stretch last year--leading to speculation that they wouldn’t be back for another year. But they are! Despite their 1-13 season a year ago, expectations are high. The signing of Head Coach Victor Mann and Defensive Coordinator Trae Ivory has River Kings fans hyped! What’s more, is the offense is expected to shine with Derrick Bernard coming over from the Omaha Beef, looking to sling the ball to the likes of the great Michael Dyer (Auburn) at running back, Tamarick Vanover and Bones Bagaunte, who tore it up for the Columbus Lions a year ago!
The defenses for both teams have improved on paper, but how that translates to the field will be revealed this Saturday night! Quad City just missed the playoffs last year, but boasted the leagues best offense, led by E.J. Hilliard. He’s back! He still has Quintin Pedroza and Keyvan Rudd to throw to, but the Steamwheelers added Speedy Noil to the squad, so this offense looks to soar again! The defense has been improved with the additions of Kafara Valentine and former Washington Redskin Ondre Pipkins to that D-line. Malik Duncan and Antonio Marshall have the secondary covered.
Match-up to watch: The battle between the River Kings receivers and Steamwheelers defensive backs is most intriguing here. Bones Baguante vs. Malik Duncan! Tamarick Vanover vs. Antonio Marshall! Wow!
Prediction: Michael Dyer could be the X-factor in this match-up, however Quad City’s offense is a superpower in this league, and Cedar Rapids defense doesn’t appear to be enough of a match. E.J. Hilliard is a football magician whose tricks dazzle the viewer leaving them to say, "How'd he do that!?" The Mississippi River trophy belongs in Moline for now.
By Ducon Williams
Written by Chris Mabry
By: Anthony Miller
Frisco has had many arena football teams come in and out of the city over the years. This time around, fans hope to see their team stick around for good in the Indoor Football League when it was announced last month that the new team would be called the Fighters.
The major addition to this team was bringing in one of the most successful coaches in arena football right now with Clint Dolezel. Dolezel has a proven track record of winning as he has never recorded a losing record as head coach. So far in his head coaching career, he has compliled a 102-43 record including winning two Arena Bowls with the Philadelphia Soul in 2016 and 2017. Not only that, but twice he has taken teams (San Angelo Stampede Express and Dallas Vigilantes) from losing records to winning records and playoff appearances.
This will be a new challenge for the ball coach as he and President/General Manager Stephen Evans are responsible for building a franchise from scratch. The first thing they did was build out the coaching staff and brought in names that should be familiar to arena football fans. They made additions to their staff by announcing that former AFL quarterback Dan Raudabaugh who will be offensive coordinator, former AFL Defensive back James Romain who will coach Defensive Backs and Special Teams, and coach Dave Ewart joining Dolezel in Frisco.
Raudabaugh had a successful career as quarterback as he was with Dolezel as his quarterback in Dallas and Philadelphia putting up huge numbers passing for 35,872 yards, 788 touchdowns, and 117 interceptions in 10 seasons. This will be his first coaching job which should present a new challenge with him, but since he has a great understanding of what Dolezel wants out of his team, he should be able to adapt easily.
Romain spent five seasons with Dolezel in Philadelphia as he recorded 28 interceptions and had three special team returns for touchdowns. Ewart will also help out with the coaching staff as he has coached both offense and defense in his career. He was a head coach for nine seasons with three different arena teams producing a 46-65 record in that time.
So far, there have been a few players on Twitter that have confirmed that they will be joining the team this season:
De'Vante Kincade, QB
Caleb Stennis, RB
Sean Jones, LB/DB
Herbert Moore, DL
Mark Munson, WR (Invite Only)
Kincade was the first player to announce his signing with the Fighters as he has plenty of success on the field. He played at Ole Miss to start his college career before transferring to Grambling State where he threw for 5,904 yards, 54 touchdowns and eight interceptions in two seasons. He found a home with the Hamilton Tiger-Cats of the CFL a couple of times before hitting free agency. He should be the favorite for the starting job as he has proven to have protected the football and has a great arm.
Moore announced his signing a few days after Kincade did on Twitter as he also played at Ole Miss in his college career. Last year, he played for the New York Streets and was invited to the XFL Showcase in the summer. His experience as a defensive lineman in arena football should help his chances on making the team and starting in the process.
Last weekend, the team held their first tryouts to find new talent to be brought onto the team for their first game of the franchise's existence on March 12th. The full roster has not been announced, but we should be hearing from them in the upcoming weeks.
By Chris Mabry