Join Us On Facebook
American Indoor Football
HARRISBURG – Since the age of 13, Keith Stokes can remember walking around with a football in his hands. His fast track to becoming a college wide receiver started right then and there and his experience has been building ever since. After his first collegiate touchdown catch at East Carolina University, Keith knew he always had a nose for the ball and the desire to have the ball in his hands when the game was on the line. Needless to say, that first touchdown catch of his college career was a game winner that propelled ECU over the Hurricanes of Miami.
From this rise in the ranks throughout East Carolina’s depth chart, Keith always pushed himself to go for more, play for a better team, a bigger league. In 2001, he began getting the chance to prove what he could do as a member of an NFL practice squad. As time passed, he moved from an NFL practice squad to the Canadian Football League, a few trips in between the two, and even a stint overseas with the European Football League.
Coach Ramon Robinson of the Stampede professed his need for this experience by saying, “Keith has been there before. He has played in the big game, made the big catch, and knows what it takes to be a winner.” Owner of the team, John Morris followed this up by stating, “His experience is a big plus for Harrisburg. His hands are some of the best I’ve seen and he brings another dominate trait to a deep receiving unit.”
Even with a Grey Cup under his belt from the CFL, his hands and prowess is a defining part of his knack for going to the ball. After all of this however, soft-spoken Keith Stokes said that what he likes best about the opportunity to play in Harrisburg is, “just getting to play football again”.
The Harrisburg Stampede are members of the American Indoor Football Association in the East Conference. Founded in 2008, the Stampede play their home games at the Pennsylvania State Farm Show Area. Currently the AIFA is comprised of 13 teams spanning across the nation. The mission of the American Indoor Football Association is to provide fast paced, fan-friendly professional football at affordable prices.
2009 Playoff Team Looks to Improve in 2010; Bring Championship to Baltimore
BALTIMORE, MD (February 19, 2010) – It was a bittersweet end to the 2009 season for the Baltimore Mariners. The team took great pride in their 9-5 record, earning the first playoff berth in the team’s history, and defeating the eventual American Indoor Football Association (AIFA) champions, the Reading Express, twice during the regular season. However, losing to Reading, 50-20 in the first round of the AIFA playoffs on July 2nd left the team with unfinished business. Now after over seven months of preparation they are set to open camp and “Set Sail for the Ring in 2010,” which has become the team’s battle call for this season.
“I'm ready to get the 2010 season going and I believe the players and the staff feel that itch as well. We'll have a pretty good idea of who has come to compete in the first weekend of training camp. We have some unfinished business left over from last season,” stated Mariners Head Coach Chris Simpson.
As the team prepares to open up camp this weekend, the indoor football team, which calls 1st Mariner Arena home, announced its 40-man training camp roster; 40 men, which will battle for spots on the Mariners’ 20-man active roster and eight to ten practice squad positions.
HARRISBURG -- It has been said that many athletes that play for Coach Paterno at Beaver Stadium bleed blue and white. For one former player though, blue and white truly seems to be in his blood. Former Penn State and Big Ten standout, Kevin Kelly, will take the field this season for the Harrisburg Stampede whose jerseys reflect a very familiar color scheme for Kelly.
As a four year starter at Penn State, Kelly’s experience is something that owner, John Morris, is very pleased about. “Last season, we lost some big games by close margins, one just by uno’s in all honesty. By having a guy like Kelly to come out and kick off and put points on the board, we should have the upper hand in those close games.” One of the differences in this style of indoor football is that during a kickoff, a kick that goes through the uprights scores one point for the kickoff team, known as an uno.
Kickers are expected to have ice in their veins from the pressure of kicking in close games. Kevin Kelly is the epitome of this phrase. His clutch kicks have propelled many a point swing in several decisive Penn State victories over the past four years. “Kelly can help us win ballgames.” Coach Robinson said, “His leg strength, confidence, and composure are something that Harrisburg has been searching for.”
Seven-Season Veteran Added to Mariners League Leading Defensive Backfield
BALTIMORE, MD (February 16, 2010) – The Baltimore Mariners continued to stock their roster as training camp approaches by announcing the signing of Defensive Back Desmond Maul, a veteran of seven indoor and arena football seasons. The Mariners, who are members of the American Indoor Football Association (AIFA) kick off their season March 6th at the Harrisburg Stampede and their home opener is set for March 14th at 4:00 PM against the New Jersey Revolution at 1st Mariner Arena.
Head Coach Chris Simpson looks forward to seeing what Maul can add to the Mariners, who finished the 2009 season at 9-5 and earned the team’s first playoff berth in the franchise’s history. “Desmond is another talented and experienced defensive back we've added to our secondary. Can't wait to see how this talent translates to the football field.”
The Stampede are pleased to announce the signing of local running back, Mike Kitchens, a former Georgia Tech running back and high school standout from the Harrisburg area.
HARRISBURG, PA – February 16, 2010 Ever since he was 8 years old, Mike Kitchens dreamed of playing professional football. Coming out of Lebanon High School, some scouts touted him as the 5th best player leaving for college from Pennsylvania that year, but this wasn’t enough for Mike. The high school all state nominations and other accolades were not to go unnoticed, but his dream had always been to play professionally. As a journeyman searching for someone to give him a chance, he bounced around from Georgia Tech, an ACC powerhouse, to smaller schools that would allow him to be the feature back and showcase his talent.
As an All-Conference performer at both Lackawanna College and Frostburg State University, where he finished his college career, Kitchens proved that he has what it takes to play at that next level and Harrisburg decided to finally give him a shot to earn that chance. “Kitchens is the kind of player we are looking for. His leadership, while not always vocal, is shown through his work ethic and his dedication on the field.” John Morris, owner of the Harrisburg Stampede said.
READING, PA, February 15, 2010 – The Reading Express is proud to announce a new partnership with Clear Channel Broadcasting stations, Y102 and WRAW. The two companies have reached an agreement to broadcast all fourteen games for the 2010 Express season. As our Official Broadcast Station, Y102 via WRAW will air all Express games based on a schedule to be announced at a later date.
“Our fans will come to know where to listen to our games, and we look forward to building on this relationship with Y102 over the coming season”, commented Ted Lavender, President and Owner of the 2009 National Champions – Reading Express.
“We are very excited about this new opportunity to work more closely with the number one station in Berks County, and bring greater media coverage to our fans”, added Lavender.
John Rizzuto, GM of Y102 said “we see this as more than just a production event, but as an opportunity to grow the Express fan base across our coverage area.”
Baltimore Earns First Win of 2010 Campaign Powered by Six TDs by Nemeth
HARRISBURG, PA (March 6, 2010) – A couple of standouts from last season and two new team members vaulted the Baltimore Mariners to a 55-48 win over the Harrisburg Stampede in their 2010 season opener at the Pennsylvania Farm Show Complex on Saturday Night.
Baltimore quarterback E.J. Nemeth making his 16th consecutive start for the Mariners enjoyed his best game in a Baltimore uniform connecting on 19 of 25 passes for 258 yards, four touchdown tosses, and no interceptions for a QB rating of 157.08. The New Jersey native also added two rushing scores and 16 yards on the ground. The recipient of three of his scoring strikes was Scorpio Brown, Baltimore’s all-time leader in touchdown receptions (with 22), who totaled five catches for 66 yards.
Two newcomers, defensive lineman Melik Brown and defensive back Jermaine Thaxton, both members of the Stampede last season, made their presence felt in their new uniforms. Brown, a former North Carolina Tar Heel, was constantly in the Stampede backfield and registered 4.5 tackles, 2.5 sacks, and 2.5 tackles for a loss. After leading the American Indoor Football Association (AIFA) with 42 interceptions the Mariners defensive backfield stayed quiet most of the night, but Thaxton sealed the 55-48 victory with an interception deep in Mariners territory with just 2:23 remaining in the contest.
Quarterback Kelvin Robinson is the newest addition to the Harrisburg Stampede’s 2010 roster. An incredible presence under center, Robinson will help add mobility and superb athleticism to the Stampede’s already dynamic offense.
Robinson played college football at the University of Central Florida and Alabama A&M University. Following graduation, Kelvin joined the Hamilton Tiger Cats before moving on to play in AF2 for the Mobile Wizards and the Wilkes Barre/Scranton Pioneers. After spending a few years playing in the CFL, and AF2, he has come to Harrisburg with an increased desire to win and the expectation to do just that.
When asked about coming to Harrisburg, Robinson said, “This is a great opportunity for me to contribute and help a team win. There are a lot of great players on this team and I think we will be able to make a run this season.”
The Harrisburg Stampede’s season begins on Saturday, March 6, when they take on their Eastern Conference rivals, the Baltimore Mariners at the Pennsylvania Farm Show Complex. The game begins at 7:30pm. Tickets start at $15. For more information, please call 717-889-5061.
Reading, PA - January 26, 2010 - The Reading Express and The Reading Hospital Medical Group (TRHMG) announced a multi-year strategic partnership designed to benefit the greater Reading and surrounding areas in the advancement of sports medicine. TRHMG has partnered with the 2009 National Champions – Reading Express for the naming rights to our field. All home games will be played on the TRHMG Field inside the Sovereign Center, Reading. The Express organization is very excited to embark on this new season with this business and medical industry leader.
“Our players will benefit from the knowledge and expertise of the TRHMG medical staff, while providing them with the best possible care and education to prevent game related injuries” said GM / Head Coach Nowotarski. This partnership also provides the Express a greater opportunity to further impact our community and charitable efforts with TRHMG’s long standing philanthropic reputation in Berks County.
“This is a great chance to work more closely with our Sports Medicine provider. I feel this agreement represents a mutually beneficial opportunity to benefit our communities and grow our businesses together,” commented Express owner Ted Lavender.
We welcome TRHMG to the Express family and look forward to a long, prosperous partnership.
2010 Squad Selected After Extensive Audition Process,
BALTIMORE, MD (February 3, 2010) – The Baltimore Mariners announced their 2010 Cheerleading Team after an extensive audition process held at 1st Mariner Arena on January 31st. The auditions tested the cheerleaders in physical fitness, performance and speaking ability. This year’s team will include 19 members and will be led by Elizabeth Guaraldo the Director of the Baltimore Mariners Cheerleaders.
Guaraldo noted, “I am confident that the Mariners selected 19 outstanding women to represent the Baltimore Mariners Organization. The ladies will add a crucial fan interaction element to the games as well as working hard to establish a youth cheerleading program and up their involvement in the community overall. The Baltimore Mariners Cheerleaders will unveil a new uniform for the 2010 season to compliment the Navy Blue and Vegas Gold!”
To select the team members applicants were taught a short routine to perform in front of a panel of judges. In groups of four, the ladies performed their choreography, a short kick routine and answered an interview question. The ladies were scored on their physical fitness, performance and speaking ability. Judges had a tough job of selecting the Baltimore Mariners Cheerleaders due to the incredible women that auditioned.
This season’s team members are: Aricia (Baltimore, MD), Barbara (Bel Air, MD), Catrina (Baltimore, MD), Danielle (Charlestown, WV), Jane (Columbia, MD), Kari (Baltimore, MD), Karyn (Severn, MD), Keishawna (Baltimore, MD), Kelly (Baltimore, MD), Kelsey (Westminster, MD), Marty (Washington, D.C.), Megan (Westminster, MD), Michelle (Springfield, VA), Nikki (Baltimore, MD), Renee (Jarrettsville, MD), Sheena (Germantown, MD), Tia (Laurel, MD), Tierra (Severn, MD), and Whitney, Bear, DE).
Photos of the 2010 Baltimore Mariners Cheerleading Team will be available soon and the team will be performing at the Mariners home opener on March 14th at 4:00 PM at 1st Mariner Arena when Baltimore takes on the New Jersey Revolution.
For more information about the Baltimore Mariners go to www.baltimoremariners.com.