|2017 STEELHAWKS CAMP PREVIEW SERIES: DEFENSIVE LINEMAN|
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. Next up, the big men along the Defensive Line.
The Steelhawks have a young and exciting group coming into camp to compete for the starting defensive line positions. Tim Hume (6’2, 265lbs, Cheyney) is the only returning ’Hawks veteran of the group. However, the following have played in other arena leagues: Tommy Dover (6’3, 265lbs, Edinboro), Eric Ducksworth (6’5, 330lbs, Belhaven), Eddie McClam (6’5, 300lbs, Old Dominion), and Devon McKinney (6’2, 290lbs, Louisiana Tech). There are two true rookies that impressed at open tryouts that are also challenging for active roster spots: Earl Davis (6’2, 245lbs) and Joshua Bradley (6’4, 280lbs, Benedict).
Hume is back for his third season in the Valley and his fifth overall (played in the IFL with the Green Bay Blizzard). Last season he tallied three sacks, 15 tackles, an interception, five pass break ups, and scored two defensive touchdowns. Hume has 7.5 sacks in his career with the Steelhawks.
A number of defensive linemen also have the versatility to be able to play at linebacker also. Davis, Dover, and Hume all possess this ability and skill set if the need arises. As a group, there is great mix of youth, size, speed, and experience to choose from.
McClam was in NFL camp with the Eagles. Dover and Ducksworth played in the AIF for the Central Penn Capitals and Harrisburg Stampede respectively, and McKinney played for the Cedar Rapid Titans of the IFL.
Tough decisions will have to be made over the two weeks of camp as the roster gets trimmed down; only 5-6 defensive lineman will remain on the roster for the home opener on March 19th.
Head Coach Chris Thompson is excited to see the competition play out, “We are very excited for this group of men we have coming to compete for our starting Defensive Line positions this year. We feel that we have a great mix of youth, size, strength, and experience and hope we can find the right combination to get after it every play and put some pressure on these talented NAL Quarterbacks this season that we will face each week. There is no doubt camp will be extremely competitive and we can't wait to get this 2017 season underway.”
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.