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Archive for July 17th, 2019

Washington Valor clinches AFL Playoff spot with win over Brigade, 47-40

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The Washington Valor (6-5) defeated the Baltimore Brigade (6-5), 47-40, Saturday night at Royal Farms Arena. Valor quarterback Arvell Nelson threw for 271 yards and totaled seven touchdowns (five passing, two rushing) and was named the game’s Most Valuable Player.


With the win, Washington clinches a postseason berth for the second consecutive season. After closing out the regular season next weekend against Columbus, the Valor will begin postseason play on the weekend of July 26. The 2019 postseason will kick off with a pair of home-and-home series between the top four teams in the league (#1 vs. #4 and #2 vs. #3) with games played on the weekends of July 26 and August 2. Teams will advance to ArenaBowl XXXII based on the aggregate score of the two games played. Unlike the first round of the playoffs, ArenaBowl XXXII will be a traditional single-game matchup on Sunday, August 11 at 3 p.m. ArenaBowl XXXII will be broadcast nationally on ESPN2.


  • Valor wide receiver Josh Reese caught five passes for a season-high 103 receiving yards and a pair of receiving touchdowns, earning Offensive Player of the Game.
  • Valor wideout Douglas McNeil III caught six passes for 45 and two touchdowns, his fourth game this season with multiple receiving touchdowns. McNeil’s first catch of the game was the 100th of his AFL career.
  • After entering halftime down, 26-19, the Valor outscored the Brigade, 14-0, in the third quarter to take a 40-33 lead. Nelson recorded his second rushing touchdown of the game and, just over a minute later, found McNeil III for a 10-yard touchdown pass.
  • Nelson’s seven-touchdown performance marked the seventh time since joining the Valor that he registered 3+ passing touchdowns and 2+ rushing touchdowns in the same game. It was the third time this season Nelson has hit those benchmarks.
  • Valor defensive back Fredrick Obi led the team with six total tackles (all solo), his third game this season with 5+ total tackles.
  • With the win, the Valor are now 7-5 all-time against Baltimore and 2-1 in 2019.



On the win:

“This put us in a playoff spot and gives us an opportunity to compete for a championship again…you always have to take the wins and be happy with them.”


On how defending a championship changes how a team approaches the postseason:

“You have to adopt the mentality knowing that you are going to get everyone’s best game, week in and week out. We have to bring our best game. That in and of itself is challenging, but it puts you in that playoff mentality every week.”


Valor QB Arvell Nelson Valor WR Josh Reese Brigade DB Joe Powell
19-36 passing, 271 passing yards and seven total touchdowns Five receptions, 103 yards and two touchdowns 6.5 total tackles (six solo) and a kickoff return touchdown



Largest crowd of season see Destroyers lose home finale, 49-18 to AFL’s best team in Albany

COLUMBUS – The Columbus Destroyers, presented by, fell to the Albany Empire in the team’s home finale, 49-18, in front of 9,275 fans, the largest crowd at Nationwide Arena this season. With the loss, the Destroyers drop to 1-10 on the season. Wide receivers Fabian Guerra and Rob Wheelwright both scored rushing touchdowns, while back-up quarterback Liam Nadler threw his first touchdown pass of the season, an eight-yard scoring strike to wide receiver Kenny Cook.


After a fumble on the opening possession, the Empire struck first when quarterback Tommy Grady found wide receiver Malachi Jones for a 33-yard touchdown, giving Albany an early 7-0 lead. Columbus responded on the next drive when Guerra rushed it in from nine yards out to trim the Empire lead to 14-6. Albany jumped back in front on their next possession when Grady found Jones for his second score of the day, this one a 40-yard pass to make the score 14-6. After the Empire recovered the onside kick, Grady found wide receiver Quentin Sims on the first play from 32 yards out to increase their lead to 21-6.


In the second quarter, Grady and Jones connected once again for a long score, this one from 37 yards out to increase the Albany lead to 28-6. The Destroyers responded on their ensuing drive, as Wheelwright ran one in from two yards out to make the score 28-12. The Empire extended their lead once again just before the half as fullback Mykel Benson plunged into the end zone from two yards out to give Albany a 35-12 lead at the break.


The Empire further increased their lead to 42-12 when Grady hit Sims for a 45-yard touchdown pass, to give Albany a 42-12 advantage.


Stepping in due to an injury to Russell, Nadler passed for his first touchdown of the season in the fourth quarter, finding wide receiver Kenny Cook for an 8-yard touchdown to trim the Albany lead to 42-18. The Empire capped the scoring for the afternoon when back-up quarterback Mason Espinosa found Sims for a four-yard touchdown, solidifying a 49-18 win for Albany.

Final book and full statistics can be found HERE.


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 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, and on Instagram @AFLDestroyers.





Jay Bruce named to Dayton Dragons “Top 20 Greatest Players”


Jay Bruce running bases as a Dragon

Dayton, Ohio—The Dayton Dragons today announced the next name on their list of “20 Greatest Dragons.” The player recognition is part of the organization’s 20th Season Celebration.  Players selected on the list of 20 are being announced in random order.


Next on the list of the 20 Greatest Dragons is:


Jay Bruce


Bruce spent the 2006 season with the Dragons and enjoyed a huge season after being selected in the first round of the previous June’s draft.  As a 19-year-old, Bruce batted .291 with 16 home runs and 81 runs batted in.  He was the “Star of Stars” (MVP) of the Midwest League All-Star Game after hitting a two-run home run in the game.


Bruce made his much-anticipated Major League debut with the Reds in 2008.  Despite not joining the club that season until May 27, Bruce finished the year with 21 home runs, the third highest total ever by a Reds rookie.  Bruce went on to represent the Reds in three MLB all-star games and won the National League Silver Slugger Award in both 2012 and 2013.  He hit at least 25 home runs for the Reds six times including a high of 34 in 2012.  When Bruce was dealt by the Reds in 2016, he ranked seventh in Reds history in career home runs and was one of only six players in franchise history to have at least 1,000 hits and at least 225 home runs with the team.


Bruce has played for the Mets, Indians, and Mariners over the last three seasons.  His career home run total of 286 entering the 2019 season ranked 10th among active players, and at age 32, he was younger than eight of the nine players ahead of him on the list.


Bruce joins the following players who have been previously announced as the 20 Greatest Dragons:   Austin Kearns, Zack Cozart, Justin Turner, Homer Bailey, Samone Peters, Devin Mesoraco, Didi Gregorius, Tucker Barnhart, Todd Frazier, Wily Mo Peña, Jesse Winker, Edwin Encarnacion, Johnny Cueto, Luis Bolivar, and Jose Siri.


The 20 Greatest Dragons were selected based on a media vote of Dragons television, newspaper, radio, and internet reporters.  Additionally, during the 2019 season, the Dragons will be conducting a fan vote featuring one player per position to announce their all-time greatest lineup.


Additional information on the Dragons 20th Season celebration including videos on the 20 Greatest Dragons, special 20th Season merchandise, and Dragons alumni listings is available here:




Dayton Dragons announce 5K race for Saturday, July 20 at Fifth Third Field


Dragons mascots Heater and Gem

Still time to sign up for one of the largest races in the Miami Valley

Dayton, Ohio The annual Dragons 5K presented by Orthopedic Associates is taking place this Saturday, July 20, at 8:00 a.m. at Fifth Third Field. The event began in 2011 and has become a local tradition as one of the largest races in the Miami Valley region, featuring over 2,000 people each year.


All participants will receive four (4) tickets to a Dragons game, a Dragons 5K neon green shirt, a Dragons hat, NEW finisher’s medal and entry to the post-race party inside the stadium for themselves and their supporters. The cost is $30 for adults and $15 for youth age 17 and under.


Fans can still sign up online at or by visiting the box office at Fifth Third Field between the hours of 10:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. You can also sign up for the race on Saturday starting at 7:00 a.m.


Early race bag and bib pickup for participants will take place on Friday, July 19 from 11am-6pm at Fifth Third Field located in front of the Dragons Box Office. Anyone not able to make early race bag pickup can pick up their bag and race bib before the race beginning at 7:00 a.m. on Saturday, July 20.


2019 Miss Ohio, Caroline Grace Williams, is scheduled to perform the national anthem and will have a meet and greet station close to the start/finish line before the race.


The race will begin at 8:00 a.m. and participants may choose to run or walk the course. Baby strollers are also permitted. The course will move through downtown Dayton and end back at the ballpark for a post-race party. Dragons Green Team and entertainment will once again be featured throughout the racecourse.


The post-race fun includes fruit and water for participants, a kid’s obstacle course, face painters, inflatable games, an appearance by Heater and Gem, health and wellness booths, yoga exercises in centerfield and more activities for the whole family. Concession stand food, Kona Ice and beer will also be available for purchase after the race.


Once race results are finalized, there will be an awards ceremony around 9:30 a.m. where the top three male and female overall finishers will receive a specially engraved baseball bat. Awards will also be given out to the top 3 overall males and females in each age group, top 3 finishing groups and top 3 high school running teams. Top groups will receive great group prizes and the grand prize is a luxury suite to a future Dragons game!


For any Dragons 5K related questions, please visit the Dragons 5K race page or Dragons 5K FAQ.


The 2019 Dragons 5K is being presented by Orthopedic Associates. As the regional leader in comprehensive orthopedic care, Orthopedic Associate’s passion is helping Dayton’s families get back to doing what they love. Orthopedic Associates is proud to be the trusted orthopedic provider serving your Dayton Dragons for more than a decade. Learn more at

More Information: The Dayton Dragons are the Midwest League affiliate of the Cincinnati Reds and play a 70-game home schedule at beautiful Fifth Third Field in downtown Dayton, easily accessible from Interstate 75. Individuals and groups seeking information about Dayton Dragons group tickets, lawn tickets, the season ticket wait list, sponsorship opportunities or booking a Dragons speaker are encouraged to contact the Dragons by calling (937) 228-2287, by email at, or on the web at



NFL Training Camps ready to open this week

NFL clubs this week begin on-field preparations for the 2019 season. The Denver Broncos, whose rookies and veterans report Wednesday, will become the first team to hold a full-squad practice (Thursday morning). Denver meets the Atlanta Falcons in the NFL/Hall of Fame Game (August 1; NBC, 8:00 PM ET) in Canton, OH.

Also on Wednesday, rookies will report for the Arizona Cardinals, Baltimore Ravens and Seattle Seahawks. By the end of the week, the Falcons (Thursday), Detroit Lions (Thursday), New Orleans Saints (Thursday) and New York Jets (Friday) will welcome first-year players. All 32 NFL teams will be in camp by July 26.

In a growing trend, 20 clubs have scheduled joint practices with other teams. The Chargers and Rams (August 1 at the Jack Hammett Sports Complex in Costa Mesa, CA, and August 3 at the University of California-Irvine) are the first teams scheduled to see another color during camp. The two Los Angeles clubs are among six teams that will practice against multiple opponents. Baltimore, Detroit, Houston and New England also will see two foes in camp.

This year, 22 of 32 teams (69 percent) will be “staying home” for training camp. Teams considered to be “staying home” hold camp at their respective practice facility, home stadium or at a site within 10 miles of their team headquarters. In 2000, only 10 of 31 (32 percent) teams stayed close to home.

While several teams are staying close to home for camp, 10 teams still employ the philosophy of holding camp away from their facilities.

Green Bay and Pittsburgh hold the longest active relationships with their respective camp locations. While the Packers hold practice at their primary facilities near Lambeau Field, they’re housing their players at St. Norbert College in De Pere, WI, for a 62nd consecutive summer. The Steelers will train at Saint Vincent College in Latrobe, PA, for the 54th straight season.

The number of NFL teams that stayed home for training camp since 2000:

2000 10 of 31 (32%)   2010 17 of 32 (53%)
2001 9 of 31 (29%)   2011 19 of 32 (59%)
2002 10 of 32 (31%)   2012 19 of 32 (59%)
2003 14 of 32 (44%)   2013 20 of 32 (63%)
2004 15 of 32 (47%)   2014 20 of 32 (63%)
2005 17 of 32 (53%)   2015 21 of 32 (66%)
2006 15 of 32 (47%)   2016 20 of 32 (63%)
2007 16 of 32 (50%)   2017 21 of 32 (66%)
2008 15 of 32 (47%) 2018 21 of 32 (66%)
2009 17 of 32 (53%)   2019 22 of 32 (69%)
Note: Teams considered to be staying home hold camp at their respective practice facility, home stadium or at a site within 10 miles of their m
headquarters. Teams that will hold camp away from home in 2019: Buffalo, Carolina, Chicago, Dallas, Indianapolis, Kansas City, the L.A. Rams,
Oakland, Pittsburgh and Washington.

The following is a list of joint-practice sessions scheduled for 2019:

8/1 L.A. Rams L.A. Chargers Costa Mesa, CA
8/3 L.A. Chargers L.A. Rams Irvine, CA
8/5 Houston Green Bay Green Bay, WI
8/5 Jacksonville Baltimore Owings Mills, MD
8/5 New England Detroit Allen Park, MI
8/7 L.A. Rams Oakland Napa, CA
8/13 Buffalo Carolina Spartanburg, SC
8/13 Miami Tampa Bay Tampa, FL
8/14 Cleveland Indianapolis Westfield, IN
8/14 Detroit Houston Houston, TX
8/14 New England Tennessee Nashville, TN
8/15 New Orleans L.A. Chargers Costa Mesa, CA
8/16 San Francisco Denver Englewood, CO
8/19 Baltimore Philadelphia Philadelphia, PA


The following is a list of training-camp sites and rookie and veteran reporting dates:

Arizona State Farm Stadium Glendale, AZ 7/17 7/24
Atlanta Atlanta Falcons Training Facility Flowery Branch, GA 7/18 7/21
Baltimore Under Armour Performance Center Owings Mills, MD 7/17 7/24
Buffalo St. John Fisher College Rochester, NY 7/22 7/24
Carolina Wofford College Spartanburg, SC 7/24 7/24
Chicago Olivet Nazarene University Bourbonnais, IL 7/22 7/25
Cincinnati Paul Brown Stadium Cincinnati, OH 7/24 7/26
Cleveland Cleveland Browns Training Complex Berea, OH 7/24 7/24
Dallas Marriott Residence Inn Oxnard, CA 7/26 7/26
Denver UCHealth Training Center Englewood, CO 7/17 7/17
Detroit Detroit Lions Training Facility Allen Park, MI 7/18 7/24
Green Bay St. Norbert College De Pere, WI 7/22 7/24
Houston Houston Methodist Training Center Houston, TX 7/21 7/24
Indianapolis Grand Park Westfield, IN 7/21 7/24
Jacksonville TIAA Bank Field Jacksonville, FL 7/22 7/24
Kansas City Missouri Western State University St. Joseph, MO 7/23 7/26
L.A. Chargers Jack Hammett Sports Complex Costa Mesa, CA 7/24 7/24
L.A. Rams University of California, Irvine Irvine, CA 7/24 7/26
Miami Baptist Health Training Facility Davie, FL 7/21 7/24
Minnesota TCO Performance Center Eagan, MN 7/22 7/25
New England Gillette Stadium Foxborough, MA 7/21 7/24
New Orleans Ochsner Sports Performance Center Metairie, LA 7/18 7/25
N.Y. Giants Quest Diagnostics Training Center East Rutherford, NJ 7/22 7/24
N.Y. Jets Atlantic Health Jets Training Center Florham Park, NJ 7/19 7/24
Oakland Napa Valley Marriott Napa, CA 7/23 7/26
Philadelphia NovaCare Complex Philadelphia, PA 7/24 7/24
Pittsburgh Saint Vincent College Latrobe, PA 7/24 7/25
San Francisco SAP Performance Facility Santa Clara, CA 7/26 7/26
Seattle Virginia Mason Athletic Center Renton, WA 7/17 7/24
Tampa Bay AdventHealth Training Center Tampa, FL 7/21 7/25
Tennessee Saint Thomas Sports Park Nashville, TN 7/22 7/25
Washington Bon Secours Washington Redskins Training Center Richmond, VA 7/24 7/24

Note: The first official practice of training camp for each club at the site designated above is generally held the day after the veteran reporting date (Cincinnati will hold its first camp practice in Dayton, OH).



(All times Eastern)


Thursday, August 1 NFL/Hall of Fame Game, Canton, OH

Denver Broncos vs Atlanta Falcons

NBC (8:00 PM)
Preseason Week 1    
Thursday, August 8 N.Y. Jets at N.Y. Giants NFLN (7:00 PM)
Thursday, August 8 L.A. Chargers at Arizona Cardinals NFLN (10:00 PM)
Friday, August 9 Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Pittsburgh Steelers NFLN (7:30 PM)
Saturday, August 10


Dallas Cowboys at San Francisco 49ers NFLN (9:00 PM)
Preseason Week 2
Thursday, August 15 Oakland Raiders at Arizona Cardinals ESPN (8:00 PM)
Friday, August 16 Chicago Bears at N.Y. Giants NFLN (7:30 PM)
Saturday, August 17 Cleveland Browns at Indianapolis Colts NFLN (4:00 PM)
Saturday, August 17 Kansas City Chiefs at Pittsburgh Steelers NFLN (7:30 PM)
Saturday, August 17 Dallas Cowboys vs. L.A. Rams (Hawaii) NFLN (10:00 PM)
Sunday, August 18 New Orleans Saints at L.A. Chargers CBS (4:00 PM)
Sunday, August 18 Seattle Seahawks at Minnesota Vikings FOX (8:00 PM)
Monday, August 19 San Francisco 49ers at Denver Broncos ESPN (8:00 PM)
Preseason Week 3
Thursday, August 22 Jacksonville Jaguars at Miami Dolphins FOX (8:00 PM)
Friday, August 23 Buffalo Bills at Detroit Lions CBS (8:00 PM)
Saturday, August 24 Arizona Cardinals at Minnesota Vikings NFLN (1:00 PM)
Saturday, August 24 Houston Texans at Dallas Cowboys NFLN (7:00 PM)
Saturday, August 24 Seattle Seahawks at L.A. Chargers NFLN (10:00 PM)
Sunday, August 25 Pittsburgh Steelers at Tennessee Titans NBC (8:00 PM)


Preseason Week 4
Thursday, August 29 Philadelphia Eagles at N.Y. Jets NFLN (7:00 PM)
Thursday, August 29 L.A. Chargers at San Francisco 49ers NFLN (10:00 PM)


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