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Archive for April, 2019

Destroyers are back and ready to roll at Albany Empire tonight

PORTIONS OF GAME PREVIEW FROM COLUMBUS DESTROYERS, ALBANY EMPIRE, WIRE AND STAFF REPORTS

 

 

 

The Arena Football League has been around for 32 long years with various degrees of success and much excitement, confused and disorderly action. But one thing is a constant, the league treats the fans to pass-happy teams, high-scoring shootouts, free footballs kicked or thrown into the stands and inaction with the players.

Tonight, the new Columbus Destroyers go to upstate New York to begin the 2019 season.

Columbus had a very successful run in the AFL from 2004 to 2008. That is why the league brought them back into the fold. The Destroyers will play home games at Nationwide Arena.

The AFL, now with more local ownership and run by more successful businessmen instead of people who just want to run a team, will add four more franchises in 2020. The league has six teams and runs from April through late July with the top four teams making the playoffs.

Columbus has a young offensive unit which is still a work in progress. So the coaching staff, led by head coach Matthew Sauk, expects the defense to lead the way in the early games.

The defensive unit is the strength of the team. They have four players who have been All-Arena Football League in the past.

After a long offseason, the Empire are ready to get back on the field and settle unfinished business in the team’s sophomore season.  The road to ArenaBowl XXXII begins against the League’s newest franchise, the Columbus Destroyers, who return to the AFL after an 11-year hiatus. Kickoff will be at 7 p.m. in the Times Union Center.

The first matchup to come into play is the Empire’s loud and pumped up crowd versus the Destroyers.  Last season, Albany averaged nearly 10,000 fans per game – more than any other team in the League.  The Times Union Center would be deafening at times during Empire home games last year, making it a tall task for opponents to come out of the Capital Region with a win.  Columbus’ trip to Albany will be their first game for the franchise in over a decade.

The next matchup to lookout for is between the Empire offensive line against the Destroyers’ defensive line.  Albany returns the entire offensive line from the end of the 2018 regular season.  Last year, the Empire surrendered a mere four sacks all season – a League low.  Hayworth Hicks secured Offensive Lineman of the Year and was joined by Ryan Cave on the First Team All-Arena list.  Mo Ruffins joined the unit late last season, but made his presence known as the Empire did not allow a single sack since Ruffins was inserted into the lineup.  In the backfield stands fullback Mykel Benson who provides quarterback, Tommy Grady, protection from the opposing mac linebackers.  Benson also gives the Empire a running game making the Albany offense a dual threat.  The Empire also acquired offensive lineman, Jordan Mudge, the League’s 2016 Offensive Lineman of the Year to help out in the trenches.

The key to victory in this matchup is to keep a clean pocket for Grady.  The offensive line was a wall for Grady last year which was a key reason to the Empire’s success, boasting the most potent offense in the League.  Grady’s MVP campaign is in large part to hardly getting touched as the offensive line stood tall while Grady hurled 81 touchdowns on the season.  It won’t be an easy task however, as Columbus has stacked up on the defensive line position, adding a good mix of League veterans and rookies.  Starting at the mac linebacker position, the Destroyers picked up Derrick Summers, who spent 2018 with the Empire and earned Second Team All-Arena honors.  Summers has a knack for getting to the quarterback as the eight-year veteran finds himself inside of the top ten on the all-time sack list. More veterans such as Khreem Smith, KC Obi, and Terrance Taylor will be part of the defensive unit lined up in the trenches, all of which have made careers out of making opposing quarterback’s lives difficult.  If the Empire offensive line can keep a clean pocket for Grady, he will have time to find and utilize all of his weapons, picking up right where he left off a season ago.

The Columbus Destroyers’ 24-man roster is set for the 2019 season. Check out the roster below to see who will be taking the field Saturday against the Albany Empire!

POS # NAME HT. WT. DOB COLLEGE HOMETOWN
DB 1 Brandon Stephens 5’11 200 12/4/1987 Miami, OH Strongsville, OH
WR 2 Donovan Morgan 6’2 210 7/29/1982 Pearl River CC New Orleans, LA
WR 5 Anthony Amos 5’11 185 8/2/1990 Middle Tennessee Fayetteville, NC
DL 6 Sydney Omameh 6’3 250 2/21/1993 Grand Valley State Columbus, OH
QB 7 Danny Southwick 6’1 200 9/28/1981 Occidental Provo, UT
MAC 8 K.C. Obi 6’2 250 9/14/1990 North Texas Mission Hills, CA
WR 9 Jenson Stoshak 6’1 195 4/1/1994 Florida Atlantic Jacksonville, FL
DB 10 Varmah Sonie 5’8 180 7/8/1990 Northern Iowa Burnsville, MN
DB 11 Jordan Thomas 6’0 185 1/12/1996 Oklahoma Klein, TX
QB 12 Grant Russell 6’3 200 9/26/1995 Ohio Dominican Newark, OH
WR 13 Paul Revis 5’7 170 8/20/1994 Western Oregon Scappoose, OR
WR 15 Kenny Cook 6’4 209 5/20/1992 Gardner Webb Cross Hill, SC
K 19 Craig Peterson 6’3 220 7/18/1985 Cortland Burnt Hills, NY
DB 21 Aaron Ivory 6’1 202 4/21/1996 Findlay Cleveland, OH
DB 23 LaRico Stevenson 5’11 205 8/22/1984 West Georgia Olive Branch, MS
OL 25 Miles Mason 6’4 305 8/25/1989 Utah Los Angeles, CA
OL 43 Jovann Letuli 6’3 340 8/18/1996 Akron San Diego, CA
OL 44 Faleaoga Russell 6’5 345 9/14/1992 Lincoln University Compton, CA
MAC 50 Derrick Summers 6’1 260 6/19/1988 Toledo Southfield, MI
DL 58 Khreem Smith 6’3 270 7/7/1979 Oklahoma State St. James Parish, Jamaica
OL 65 Daronte Bouldin 6’6 341 12/14/1994 Mississippi Canton, MS
DL 67 Terrance Taylor 6’0 320 5/14/1986 Michigan Muskegon, MI
OL 75 Nathan Isles 6’6 350 1/4/1992 North Carolina A&T Atlanta, GA
DL 99 Nick Seither 6’3 290 3/2/1993 Georgetown College Hamilton, OH

 

Additional players include WR Julian Lowe from Gahanna/Otterbein and Trevon Saunders from Africentric/Urbana will start the season on injured reserve. Another WR, Garry Brown from Westerville South/California, Pa. is suspended.

New Sports Fantasy Game launched by Draft Kings and Arena Football League

PRESS RELEASE WRITTEN BY THE AFL, DRAFT KINGS; COURTESY COLUMBUS DESTROYERS COMMUNICATIONS

 

(courtesy Draft Kings)

 

 

 

 

 

 

BOSTON, MA – DraftKings and the Arena Football League (AFL) have partnered to launch a new daily fantasy sports game ahead of the AFL’s 2019 season. Customers can now submit contest entries and get even closer to the fast-paced action on the turf that begins April 26th. This AFL offering is the 12th daily fantasy sports category for DraftKings, making the company the leader in available sports among fantasy operators.

 

“The fast-paced games of the AFL and zeal of its fans will enable a new customer base that loves sports just as much as we do to interact with our products,” said Greg Karamitis, SVP of Fantasy Sports at DraftKings. “The AFL is, and will continue to be, excellent partners in enhancing the entertainment experience for these dedicated fans every weekend for the 2019 season.”

 

With the AFL expanding its presence from four to six teams in 2019, DraftKings’ data capabilities will source game and player information at every moment of play for fans to leverage in their daily fantasy selections. Customers can enjoy special DraftKings Classic and Showdown modes for AFL contests, constructing lineups of six players while staying within a $50,000 salary cap range and designating a “captain” slot that grants one player a bonus multiplier. Classic contests will require selecting players from more than one game, while Showdown contests must include players from each team.

 

“We are very excited to be working with DraftKings and know our fans will love playing the fantasy football games DraftKings developed for the AFL,” said Randall Boe, AFL Commissioner. “We want the AFL to be the most innovative league in sports and working with leaders and pioneers like DraftKings is a great fit.”

 

As football represents the most popular sport on DraftKings, this expansion into Arena Football League daily fantasy contests helps further diversify offerings and address customer demand. Additionally, the DraftKings Sportsbook will offer fans the opportunity to wager on games throughout the AFL season. To engage with the new product, players can either head to www.draftkings.com or download the DraftKings app via iOS and Android.

 

ABOUT DRAFTKINGS

DraftKings is a global sports technology and entertainment company that believes life is more fun with skin in the game. Its mission is to bring fans closer to the games they love via a unique combination of daily fantasy sports, sports betting and media platforms that, combined, deliver “The Game Inside The Game.” Founded in 2012 by Matt Kalish, Paul Liberman and Jason Robins, DraftKings is headquartered in Boston, MA, and offers daily fantasy sports contests across 12 professional sports in 8 countries including the U.S., Canada, U.K. and Australia. Operating pursuant to state regulations in New Jersey and Mississippi, DraftKings Sportsbook mobile and retail, allows players in the state to engage in betting for major U.S. and international sports.

 

ABOUT THE ARENA FOOTBALL LEAGUE

The Arena Football League (AFL) enters its 32nd season in 2019. Since its inception in 1987, the AFL showcases a fast-paced, exciting game to a significant number of fans in a myriad of markets. With the addition of two new teams in Atlantic City, N.J., and Columbus, OH, the League totals six teams, all of which will play 12 regular-season games in2019: Albany, Atlantic City, Columbus, Baltimore, Philadelphia and Washington D.C. The League can be found on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook using the handle @OfficialAFL.

 

The Columbus Destroyers are members of the Arena Football League (AFL) and make their return to Nationwide Arena this summer! Interested in purchasing tickets? Call (614) 228-5518, visit ColumbusDestroyers.com or stop by the Big Lots! Box Office at Nationwide Arena to get your seats today! For partnership opportunities, please click HERE. Be sure to follow the Destroyers on Twitter @AFLDestroyers, on Facebook at www.facebook.com/AFLDestroyers, and on Instagram @AFLDestroyers.

 

2019 Destroyers Games to be broadcast on WWHO CW TV Columbus

PRESS RELEASE WRITTEN BY & COURTESY OF COLUMBUS DESTROYERS COMMUNICATIONS

 

 

(courtesy WWHO TV)

COLUMBUS – The Columbus Destroyers have a new broadcast television home when they take the field in 2019. All twelve games will be televised.   The “CW Columbus” WWHO-TV 53 will be broadcasting seven of the team’s twelve games live.  The remaining five games will air live on the CW’s sister station WSYX-TV 6.2.

 

 

“This is a very exciting announcement for Columbus Destroyer and Arena Football fans across central Ohio.” commented Tony D’Angelo, General Manager of ABC 6, FOX 28, and the CW Columbus.  “We are all looking forward to the return of the Destroyers, and now fans have the opportunity to watch every regular season game on television this season.”

 

The Destroyers first game kicks off at 7pm on Saturday April 27, 2019 at the Albany Empire.  Saturday’s game will be broadcast on WSYX-TV 6.2.  The “CW Columbus” WWHO-TV and WSYX-TV 6.2 are always available to be watched over the air.  The CW Columbus is also available through all local cable and satellite providers.  Viewers are encouraged to check their local listings for time and channel.

 

ABOUT SINCLAIR BROADCAST GROUP

Sinclair Broadcast Group owns (WSYX-TV) and operates Cunningham-owned (WTTE-TV) through a Local Marketing Agreement.  Manhan Media-owned WWHO-TV is managed by a Shared Services Agreement.  Sinclair is one of the largest and most diversified television broadcasting companies in the country. The Company owns, operates and/or provides services to 191 television stations in 89 markets. Sinclair is a leading local news provider in the country and operates the greatest number of award-winning news rooms in the industry and is dedicated to impactful journalism with a local focus. The Company has multiple national networks, live local sports production, as well as stations affiliated with all the major networks. Sinclair’s content is delivered via multiple-platforms, including over-the-air, multi-channel video program distributors, and digital platforms. The Company regularly uses its website as a key source of Company information which can be accessed at www.sbgi.net

 

ABOUT THE ARENA FOOTBALL LEAGUE

The Arena Football League (AFL) enters its 32nd season in 2019. Since its inception in 1987, the AFL showcases a fast-paced, exciting game to a significant number of fans in a myriad of markets. With the addition of two new teams in Atlantic City, N.J., and Columbus, OH, the League totals six teams, all of which will play 12 regular-season games in2019: Albany, Atlantic City, Columbus, Baltimore, Philadelphia and Washington D.C. The League can be found on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook using the handle @OfficialAFL.

 

The Columbus Destroyers are members of the Arena Football League (AFL) and make their return to Nationwide Arena this summer! Interested in purchasing tickets? Call (614) 228-5518, visit ColumbusDestroyers.com or stop by the Big Lots! Box Office at Nationwide Arena to get your seats today! For partnership opportunities, please click HERE. Be sure to follow the Destroyers on Twitter @AFLDestroyers, on Facebook at www.facebook.com/AFLDestroyers, and on Instagram @AFLDestroyers.

 

NFL releases updated list of Legends and Active Players scheduled to announce 2019 draft picks

PRESS RELEASE WRITTEN BY Taylor Kielpinski-Rogers, NFL; COURTESY NHLmedia.com

 

In the NFL’s continuing effort to connect the game’s greats with the next generation of stars, NFL Legends and active players will add to the excitement of the 2019 NFL Draft by announcing various selections and participating in festivities in Nashville.

 

Pro Football Hall of Famer and the 1979 NFL Man of the Year JOE GREENE will announce the Pittsburgh Steelers 2019 NFL Draft Round 1 selection.

 

Round 2 Draft selections will be announced by previous NFL club first-round picks, while Round 3 will be announced by players who were drafted in later rounds. Players will represent their clubs regardless of whether the team possesses a Round 2 or Round 3 pick.

 

In addition to announcing NFL Draft selections, players are on-site to mentor the Draft prospects and give back to the city of Nashville through a variety of service-driven events to celebrate this momentous occasion as the NFL commemorates its 100th season.

 

On Tuesday, April 23, NFL Legends MARK BRUNELLTRENT DILFERMAURICE JONES-DREW, JORDAN PALMER, CHAD PENNINGTON, MICHAEL ROBINSON, and BOBBY TAYLOR led breakout sessions for 200 high school student-athletes to discuss important values on and off the field, the role of athletes in the community and career opportunities in the sports industry. As part of the NFL Legends Youth Advisory Committee, these players will generate inspiring conversations with youth and high school football communities about the values learned from playing football.

 

Prior to the Draft on Thursday, April 25, NFL Legends led middle school participants in an hour-long clinic focusing on fundamental football drills, skills and technique at the Play Football Legends Clinic.

 

Below is the list of players scheduled to make selections in Rounds 2 and 3 of this year’s NFL Draft:

TEAM PLAYER ANNOUNCEMENT ROUND
Arizona Cardinals Karlos Dansby Round 2
Atlanta Falcons Keith Brooking Round 2
Baltimore Ravens Jamal Lewis Round 2
Buffalo Bills Eric Wood Round 2
Carolina Panthers Jon Beason Round 2
Chicago Bears Charles Tillman Round 2
Cincinnati Bengals Willie Anderson Round 2
Cleveland Browns Jim Brown Round 2
Dallas Cowboys Ed Jones Round 2
Denver Broncos Al Wilson Round 2
Detroit Lions Billy Sims Round 2
Green Bay Packers James Lofton Round 2
Houston Texans DeAndre Hopkins Round 2
Indianapolis Colts Reggie Wayne Round 2
Jacksonville Jaguars Kevin Hardy Round 2
Kansas City Chiefs Gary Green Round 2
Los Angeles Chargers Shawne Merriman Round 2
Los Angeles Rams Orlando Pace Round 2
Miami Dolphins Richmond Webb Round 2
Minnesota Vikings Carl Eller Round 2
New England Patriots Dont’a Hightower Round 2
New Orleans Saints Deuce McAllister Round 2
New York Giants Carl Banks Round 2
New York Jets Nick Mangold Round 2
Oakland Raiders Charles Woodson Round 2
Philadelphia Eagles Mike Quick Round 2
Pittsburgh Steelers Santonio Holmes Round 2
San Francisco 49ers Earl Cooper Round 2
Seattle Seahawks Shaun Alexander Round 2
Tampa Bay Buccaneers Trent Dilfer Round 2
Tennessee Titans Eddie George Round 2
Washington Redskins Darrell Green Round 2
Arizona Cardinals Larry Centers Round 3
Atlanta Falcons Jessie Tuggle Round 3
Baltimore Ravens Adalius Thomas Round 3
Buffalo Bills Coy Wire Round 3
Carolina Panthers Charles Johnson Round 3
Chicago Bears Olin Kreutz Round 3
Cincinnati Bengals Geno Atkins Round 3
Cleveland Browns Christian Kirksey Round 3
Dallas Cowboys Rayfield Wright Round 3
Denver Broncos Karl Mecklenburg Round 3
Detroit Lions Cory Schlesinger Round 3
Green Bay Packers Aaron Kampman Round 3
Houston Texans TJ Yates Round 3
Indianapolis Colts Pat McAfee Round 3
Jacksonville Jaguars Josh Scobee Round 3
Kansas City Chiefs Dante Hall Round 3
Los Angeles Chargers Rodney Harrison Round 3
Los Angeles Rams Jackie Slater Round 3
Miami Dolphins Kenyan Drake Round 3
Minnesota Vikings Steve Jordan Round 3
New England Patriots David Andrews Round 3
New Orleans Saints Jahri Evans Round 3
New York Giants David Tyree Round 3
New York Jets Brad Smith Round 3
Oakland Raiders Shane Lechler Round 3
Philadelphia Eagles Brent Celek Round 3
Pittsburgh Steelers Brett Keisel Round 3
San Francisco 49ers Terrell Owens Round 3
Seattle Seahawks Kam Chancellor Round 3
Tampa Bay Buccaneers Dexter Jackson Round 3
Tennessee Titans Jurrell Casey Round 3
Washington Redskins Joe Jacoby Round 3

*Bold designates Hall of Famers​

 

NFL Teams during Day 3 of 2019 Draft to announce picks from unique locations

PRESS RELEASE WRITTEN BY NFL COMMUNICATIONS; COURTESY NFLmedia.com

 

 

4/24/19​

Beginning on Saturday, April 27th at 12:00 PM ET, NFL teams will announce their Day 3 selections for Rounds 4 through 6 of the 2019 NFL Draft from special local locations of their choosing. Clubs will make their picks from across the country and around the world, including military bases, state landmarks, and major attractions.

To honor the NFL’s 100th season, Round 6 will also highlight the League’s 13 “Original Towns,” and with that, its 14 charter teams. To do so, select pick announcements on Day 3 will be coming from these historic cities.

All picks in Round 7 will be made on-site in Nashville by local fans.

Here is a sampling of special team announcements during Day 3 of the NFL Draft:

  • ARIZONA CARDINALS: Picks will be announced from the famed O.K. CORRAL in Tombstone, Arizona.
  • BUFALLO BILLS: In celebration of the League’s 100 season, the team is partnering with ROCHESTER, NY, one of the NFL’s Original Towns
  • CLEVELAND BROWNS: Former Browns players will make picks from the ROCK and ROLL HALL OF FAME.
  • DENVER BRONCOS: Draft picks will be announced at the WINTER PARK SKI MOUNTAIN.
  • DETROIT LIONS: Team selections will be announced from the HENRY FORD MUSEUM OF AMERICAN INNOVATION in Dearborn, Michigan.
  • LOS ANGELES CHARGERS: Picks will be made internationally from MEXICO CITY
  • LOS ANGELES RAMS: The team will showcase their NEW STADIUM CONSTRUCTION SITE in Los Angeles, CA
  • NEW YORK GIANTS: Draft pick announcements to be made by children from the “MAKE-A-WISH” CASTLE in Monroe, New Jersey.
  • NEW YORK JETS: Picks will be made by Black Knights parachuting into the WEST POINT MILITARY BASE.
  • OAKLAND RAIDERS: The team will showcase their NEW STADIUM CONSTRUCTION SITE in Las Vegas, NV
  • WASHINGTON REDSKINS: Picks will be made directly from the nation’s capital along THE NATIONAL MALL.

The 2019 NFL Draft will be held Thursday, April 25 – Saturday, April 27 and televised nationally by NFL network, ABC, ESPN and ESPN Deportes, and can be heard nationwide on Westwood One Radio, SiriusXM NFL Radio, TuneIn Radio and ESPN Radio. Live streaming will also be available across devices (smartphone, PC, tablet and connected TVs) through the NFL app or NFL.com.

 

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