The bigger the crowd for the Iowa Barnstormers’ game against Grand Rapids on Saturday night, the more money for Special Olympics Iowa. The Arena Football League team will donate part of the proceeds from every ticket sold above the season average to the Special Olympics.Rich Fellingham, President of Special Olympics Iowa. He says it is a perfect week for this promotion as it’s the first Saturday game since May.Former Iowa State coaches Jim Walden is Director of Business Development for the Barnstormers and he says they have a similar agreement with Variety Club for next week’s game. Walden says with a division title on the line, there is an opportunity to draw a large crowd.
Former Northern Iowa center Brad Meester says he is enjoying a little time away from football before heading to training camp with the N-F-L’s Jacksonville Jaguars. Meester was a second round pick of the Jaguars and has already gone through several mini-camps.Meester says he learned quickly the pro game is much more intense.Meester says just learning the offense will be a chore as there are so many things to learn. He says the terminology is all different, but the veterans have been helpful.Meester says he has been impressed with coach Tom Coughlin. Meester says he’s a strict coach and you learn to not show up late for meetings.Meester is a native of Parkersburg.
The Iowa Barnstormers play their final road game of the regular season tonight when they visit the Nashville Kats in Arena Football League action. After separating his left shoulder in last week’s loss at Oklahoma, Barnstormer quarterback Aaron Garcia is expected to start the game.Iowa coach John Gregory who says while he has confidence in back up Matt Sherman, the Barnstormers need their leader for the stretch run.Garcia says this is a big game for the Barnstormers as they still feel the Arena Bowl is within their grasp.
Iowa Barnstormer quarterback Aaron Garcia returned to practice on Tuesday, just three days after suffering a separated shoulder in a loss at Oklahoma. Garcia plans on playing Friday when the Barnstormers visit Nashville. He says they’re fighting to get into the playoffs, so he’ll have to play with the pain.Garcia says he plans on starting the game and will play as long as he can.Garcia says right now he is not sure how the shoulder will hold up during a game.Iowa coach John Gregory said Garcia looked good in practice.Gregory says if Garcia starts the game he plans on having him finish it.
Iowa Barnstormer coach John Gregory says despite a five game winning streak, he feels the time is right for an off week for his club. The Barnstormers improved to 6-3 with a victory over Houston on Thursday night and return to action June 24th at Oklahoma.Eddie Brown returned from an injury and along with Mike Horacek gives the Barnstormers a talented receiving corps.Quarterback Aaron Garcia says the week off comes at the right time. He says it’s tough to stop when they’re hot, but he says it will let them rest up for the stretch run.
Iowa Barnstormers officials say nearly three-thousand tickets remain for tomorrow night’s Arena Football League game against Houston. The game will be televised by T-N-N and ticket manager Michelle Mickelson says while that is good for the franchise, it also can make it tougher to fill seats as some people stay home to watch the game.
The number of indoor football teams in the state will be increasing next year. Officials with the Indoor Football League say they will place a franchise in Cedar Rapids beginning next year that will play in the Five Seasons Center. League Vice President Greg Griffith says they have also looked at Dubuque but are concerned the size of the Five Flags Center would force them to charge too much for tickets. He says they have to be able to sell enough tickets to cover costs.Griffith says they would like to pursue a franchise in Dubuque.The I-F-L currently operates a franchise in Sioux City and Griffith says most of the teams are located in the Midwest.Currently in the state, the Iowa Barnstormers of the Arena Football League play in Des Moines and the Quad City Steamwheelers play in Arena Football2 across the river in Moline.
The Iowa Barnstormers return to Arena Football League action tomorrow night at Milwaukee. The Barnstormers have won three straight games after opening the season one-and-three and now only trail Grand Rapids by a game in the Central Division standings. Receiver/defensive back Carlos James says while they have momentum on their side, there is still plenty of room for improvement. He says they can play a lot better defensively and says he’s not personally proud of his effort thus far on defense.James says the way the Iowa offense is playing, the defense needs to only make a handful of stops to be successful.James says with only two road games remaining after this week, Friday’s game would be a big one to win.James took part in rivalry games while in high school and during his years at the University of Iowa. He says the series with Milwaukee is no different.
Iowa Barnstormer receiver Mike Horacek has been named the Arena Football League’s co-offensive player of the week. Horacek had six touchdown receptions in last week’s victory over Tampa Bay and in the last three games had 16 touchdowns. The Iowa State product took over the spot at offensive specialist after Kevin Swayne signed with the N-F-L’s San Diego Chargers prior to the season and Eddie Brown was sidelined this season with an injury. Iowa coach John Gregory says Horacek has become their go-to receiver.Gregory says Horacek has taken advantage of the opportunity.Horacek says moving to offensive specialist gave him a chance to concentrate on that side of the ball.Horacek says while his confidence has increased, he is not alone. He says the whole team is playing well offensively.
Just a few years ago, Kurt Warner could walk to Veterans Auditorium and not be recognized. Thursday upon his return he got a police escort. Warner had his jersey retired by the Iowa Barnstormers last night and is trying to adapt to the changes that have come about since being named the N-F-L Most Valuable Player and earning the M-V-P award in Super Bowl thirty-four.Warner says he has great memories of his three years with the Barnstormers. He says it really kept his career going and says it’s nice to get his jersey retired while he’s still playing.Warner says he will be ready for a Rams’ mini-camp after undergoing an appendectomy last week.