|2017 CAMP PREVIEW SERIES: DEFENSIVE BACKS|
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. Up today, are the back end skills players: Defensive Backs.
The Steelhawks currently have a good mix of experienced veterans and exciting rookies on the roster at the defensive back position. Returning from the 2016 season are the leaders of the defensive backfield, James Pitts (6’1, 190lbs, Villanova) and John Williams III (5’10, 185lbs, Tabor). Another back with experience in the arena game is Rodney Hall Jr. (6’1, 185lbs, Benedict). Antonio Penn (6’3, 195lbs, Iowa Wesleyan) and Keith Trumps (6’1, 200lbs, Tuskegee) were found at open tryouts; and DB Jakeem Polk (6’2, 210lbs) is a rookie from Wingate University.
The 2016 ’Hawks were led by the ball-hawking skills of Pitts and Williams III. The two combined for almost 50% of the teams total interceptions; Pitts had five (with 2 pbu’s) and Williams III had a team leading nine (with 10 pbu’s). The duo also led a hard hitting backfield; Pitts led the team with 39 tackles while Williams III was close behind with 37.
Hall Jr. played with the Philadelphia Yellow Jackets in 2016. Penn and Trumps earned contracts after impressing all the coaches the first open tryout held for the upcoming season.
Polk is a rookie coming to the Lehigh Valley. While playing four years at Wingate University, he tallied 156 tackles and eight interceptions.
Head Coach Chris Thompson knows it is important to get this group on the same page quickly. “We are very excited to start working with this group of DB’s. Defensive Coordinator Bob Kohler and I feel we have a great mix of young and experienced DB’s coming into camp. The key will be trying to get these rookies up to speed as quickly as we can and getting everyone on the same page early. There is no doubts this is a position that is very important to our success and we have been fortunate to have some great ones over the last couple of years that have moved up to NFL and AFL teams and we feel this group can keep that tradition going.”
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.