Hawks Flocking to Nest for 2016 Season
Bethlehem, PA: The Lehigh Valley Steelhawks have some exciting roster additions to announce. Since joining the American Indoor Football League, the staff has been hard at work scouting talent and there are already a cast of Hawks flocking to the Valley to be a part of the Black and Vegas Gold.
Highlighting recent signings are returning All-League Steelhawks DL Larry Ford (6’4, 240lbs, West Virginia) and WR Brandon Renford (5’9, 185lbs, Niagara C.C.). Ford was voted to 1st Team All-PIFL and was League MVP Honorable Mention. A veteran defensive leader, he also holds the franchise record in sacks. Renford was named to the 2nd Team All-PIFL. He returns with a ton of experience as Hawk’s all-time leading receiver (holding team records in receptions, receiving yards, receiving tds, scoring).
Lehigh Valley has also signed the reigning AIF Defensive MVP DB John Williams (5’10, 185lbs, Tabor). He led the league with 16 interceptions; he also tallied six touchdowns. Williams was named to 1st Team All-AIF. Joining him on the 1st Team is another newly signed Hawk, LB Herschel Thornton (6’2, 215lbs, East Stroudsburg University).
Several other new Steelhawks were also recognized by the AIF for their performance last season. Named to the AIF 2nd team were: former York players WR Rob Wright (6’3, 220lbs, Delaware St.) and DB James Pitts (6’, 190lbs, Villanova), and previous ASI defensive linemen Alim (Abe) Koroma (6’4, 300lbs, Penn St.) and Tim Hume (6’2, 265lbs, Cheyney). Hume played his 2014 season in the Valley.
Another Wildcat turned Steelhawk is WR Norm White Jr. (6’4, 220lbs, Villanova). White has arena experience playing with the Harrisburg Stampede two years ago. Joining White and Renford in the receiving core is Terrill Barnes (6’3, 215lbs, IUP), Greg Edwards (6’1, 195lbs, North Carolina Wesleyan), and Jerrell Young (5’10, 190lbs, St. Mary).
Currently the only quarterback on the roster, QB Clay Belton (6’6, 230lbs, Findlay), will be the man airing the ball for the Hawks. He has spent time in camps with the NFL, AFL, as well as playing overseas in Europe.
Other returning Steelhawks we are excited to have back are DL Tahir Basil (6’2, 285lbs, Lafayette), OL/FB John Alvarez (6’2, 315lbs, Delaware St.), DB David Castillo (5’8, 180lbs, East Stroudsburg), DB Olando Fisher (5’11, 205lbs, Syracuse), and DB Tristan Simms (6’, 200lbs, Western Arizona); all of whom were in the Lehigh Valley last season.
The rest of the roster is filled out with War Daddy’s waiting to fight in the trenches – OL Lloyd Morrison (6’3, 330lbs, Fordham), OL Jeff Braun (6’5, 320lbs, West Virginia), OL/FB Josh Kamenas (6’4, 305lbs, Trenton Freedom), OL Rustin Mayorga (6’, 290lbs, Concordia), and OL/FB Darrin Love (6’2, 290lbs, Kean).
Head coach Chris Thompson is pleased with the roster so far, “These last couple of months has brought some exciting change for the Steelhawks Nation as we get ready to take on the teams in the American Indoor Football League and build some new exciting rivalries. We are thrilled to sign Larry and Brandon back along with so many other familiar faces from the past Steelhawks seasons. We are also thrilled to welcome so many other young talented athletes and a 6’5” QB in Clay Belton that our fans are going to enjoy watching for our return to the PPL Center this March! However, we are only about half way to the number of Steelhawks we can bring into camp, so stay tuned for some more exciting signings in the coming months.”
Do you want to be part of the Black and Vegas Gold? Your chance to prove you have what it takes is coming up! The Steelhawks first 2016 open tryout will be held Saturday, October 10th at The Rink at the Lehigh Valley (3323 7th Street, Whitehall, PA), 1:00-4:00pm. Discounted registration is available at the Steelhawks website now.
Keep checking for the latest news and events from the Steelhawks! For further information please call Lehigh Valley Steelhawks Executive Vice President and General Manager Mike Clark at (610) 282-3100, or visit our website at www.LVSteelhawks.com for the latest Steelhawks news! 2016 Season Ticket packages are now on sale! Reserve your seat now by calling the Steelhawks office at 610-282-3100. The Steelhawks play all of their home games on Embassy Bank Field inside the PPL Center.
The Steelhawks are a PROFESSIONAL Arena Football team that plays in The American Indoor Football League. The AIF (www.aifprofootball.com) is a fourteen team league with franchises in nine states. The league holds a 10-game regular season schedule that runs March through June. The AIF’s playoffs culminate in late June with the AIF Championship Game. Season ticket packages start as low as $8 per game (or $48 for the full season) and games are an exciting event for people of the Lehigh Valley to attend on weekend nights.