|2017 STEELHAWKS CAMP PREVIEW SERIES: QUARTERBACKS|
Lehigh Valley Opens Training Camp February 26th
Allentown, PA: The Lehigh Valley Steelhawks are in the midst of finalizing their 2017 preseason training camp roster for the upcoming National Arena League season. The team is allowed to bring forty players into camp to vie for twenty-four roster spots leading into the teams NAL season opener on March 19th. As the team comes together, we’ll start a camp preview series breaking down the team by position. First up, the leaders of the offense.
The Steelhawks have two veteran Quarterbacks on the roster: Warren Smith Jr. (6’, 200lbs., University of Maine) and Ray Wagner (6’3, 220lbs., East Stroudsburg University).
Smith is a five year arena veteran and accompanied the ’Hawks on their playoff run last season. Smith spent the 2015 season in the Arena Football League playing for the Spokane Shock a season after being awarded League MVP of the PIFL while playing for the Trenton Freedom. While in Spokane, Smith threw for 32 touchdowns and 1,816 yards with a 64% completion rate. He also led the team in rushing yards, gaining 121 yards and 5 touchdowns. Athletic under center, Smith is as much a threat with his legs as he is with his arm. In one half of play in last years AIF Conference Championship game for the Steelhawks, Smith passed for 124 yards on 57% completion rate, two touchdowns, and rushed for another score on a diving leap over the goal line. The team is looking forward to having a full season working with Smith.
Wagner has played two seasons of arena football himself, and spent last season playing for the Central Penn Capitals of the AIF where he haunted the Steelhawks secondary and gave the team their only two regular season losses of the 2016 season. While at East Stroudsburg University, Wagner set many school records, and was a candidate for the Harlon Hill trophy given to the best player in Division II. In addition, he is the first player in PSAC History to have consecutive 500 yard passing games. Wagner is a young quarterback with pin-point accuracy who is a proven leader on the field.
Each quarterback brings experience and versatility to the position. They will both be looked to provide leadership to the team, especially on the offensive side of the ball.
Coach Chris Thompson is excited to have two high caliber quarterbacks for camp. “For the first time in my five years here, we have multiple experienced QB’s coming in and competing for the starting spot. We are very fortunate to have both of them here along with other familiar faces coming back from the 2017 season. I know we are all very excited to begin working with them and hopefully picking up where we left off last year. Warren and Ray are no strangers to our fans or the level of competition the NAL will present but we are both confident in what they can bring to the table. They are both great leaders with tremendous work ethics and no doubt that we can not only win games with them but feel we can compete to make a 6th straight post season run.”
Training camp begins Sunday, February 26th for the Steelhawks. It will wrap up with the Annual Lehigh Valley Health Network Black and Vegas Gold Scrimmage on Saturday, March 11th. A full camp schedule will be announced at a later date.
Steelhawks’ 2017 season tickets are on sale now with packages starting as low as $48! All Steelhawks’ games are played on Embassy Bank Field inside the PPL Center in Allentown.
Stay up to date with the Steelhawks by visiting the team website at www.LVSteelhawks.com.