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Week 1 Preview

03/20/2013 4:56 PM -

Week 1 Preview

Iowa Barnstormers vs. Chicago Rush

Saturday, March 23, 2012

Kickoff: 8 p.m. EST

 

Allstate Arena

Chicago, Illinois

 

2012 Record: 7-11

 

The Iowa Barnstormers enter the 2013 season with excitement after the return and addition of many key players to the team roster. After a year of rebuilding and a squad with majority of new players to the league, the ‘Stormers, led by Hall of Fame Coach Mike Hohensee, look forward to a very competitive and successful season. The team will open up the year on the road against the Chicago Rush on Saturday, March 23, 2013.

 

After a disappointing overtime loss and another midseason home game loss to the Rush last year, the ‘Stormers are looking to start strong with a win. The Chicago Rush finished 2012 with a 10 and 8 record, only losing two games at home. The Rush have returned wide receiver Reggie Gray to the roster who led the team in receiving yards per game last year, finishing 4th in the league.  The Rush do not have many returners to their roster and have also gained a new quarterback.

 

This year’s Barnstormers roster includes 14 returners from last year, leaving the organization, coaching staff and players hopeful for great progression from last season.

 

Notable Losses

 

Jesse Schmidt- A leading receiver in the league and record holder for the team in points scored, receptions, receiving yards and receiving touchdowns last season, has not resigned to play this year. First in the AFL for scoring in 2012, 3rd for receptions and 3rd in receiving yards averaging 123 yards per game, Schmidt will be a missed addition to the team.

 

Rodney Filer- A veteran fullback, Filer was ranked 5th in the league last year in rushing with 167 total yards. Filer finished the 2012 season with 16 touchdowns and averaging 14 yards per game.

 

Cameron McGlenn- As a great defensive back, McGlenn led the league last year in tackles with 107, while assisting in 37. McGlenn also had the second most interceptions for the Barnstormers in 2012.

 

Notable Returners

 

J.J. Raterink- Raterink is an exceptional quarterback who broke several team records in the 2012 season and was voted MVP of the Barnstormer team last year. Raterink threw for 4,870 yards and 93 touchdowns last year and finished 3rd in the league in passing efficiency.

 

Marco Thomas- Thomas finished the 2012 season with a total of 138 receptions for 1,523 yards and 21 touchdowns.  As an experienced receiver, Thomas is expected to be a valuable member of the team.

 

Jason Simpson- Simpson led the Barnstormers in interceptions with 10 last season. He was also named All AFL First Team, set the franchise record for return yards with 1,711 and finished the season with 91 tackles for 106 yards.

 

‘Stormers to Watch

 

Michael Lewis- Playing the last two years for the Utah Blaze, Lewis was awarded All Arena First Team 2012 and All Arena Second Team in 2011. He held the Blaze record for sacks in a season with 12.5. Lewis is expected to play a large role in the Barnstormer defense this upcoming season.

 

Odrick Ray- Ray is an AFL rookie out of The University of Tulsa. As an extremely versatile and athletic player, Ray will be an important addition to the Barnstormers’ squad and the defensive line this year.

 

Kai Brown- Brown joins the Barnstormers from the Sacramento Mountain Lions in the UFL. Brown played for Brown University and was honored as a two-time All-Ivy League Defensive End. Brown will be a large asset as the teams’ new fullback, and is expected to be beneficial to the success of the team this season.

 

 

 

~Written By: Shari Saunders~



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