|2017 STEELHAWKS CAMP PREVIEW SERIES: WIDE RECIEVERS|
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 touchdown machines: Wide Receivers.
Coming into the 2017 camp is the entire contingent of wide receivers from the Steelhawks’ winningest season of 2016– WR Brandon Renford (5’9, 185lbs, Niagara C.C.), WR Greg Edwards (6’1, 195lbs, North Carolina Wesleyan), WR Warren Oliver Jr. (6’3, 220lbs, Rowan), WR Darius Prince (6’1, 195lbs), and WR Jerrell Young (5’10, 190lbs, University of St. Mary). Rookies looking to break into the lineup include WR Matthew Tralli (5’10, 190lbs, Marist) and WR F.J. Williams (6’3, 220lbs, Mercyhurst).
Renford, the ’Hawks all-time leading receiver, returns for his fifth season in the Valley after tallying 498 yards on 48 catches and 14 touchdowns adding to his career records: 186 catches for 2,172 yds and 45 touchdowns.
After coming in as a raw rookie, Prince came on strong in the second half of the season to end up the team’s leading receiver with 65 catches for 785 yards and 16 touchdowns. Young was consistent for all ten games in 2016, recording 45 catches for 531 yards and 10 touchdowns. Edwards (11 catches for 125 yds, 3 tds) and Oliver Jr. (28 catches for 271 yds, 8 tds) contributed all season, and starring in multiple games themselves.
A rookie in the arena game, Tralli had a great collegiate career at Marist College, leading the team in receptions three straight seasons, and caught 12 touchdowns. He was also named Second Team All-PFL as a Junior and Honorable Mention All-PFL as a sophomore and senior. Another rookie, Williams had 909 yards on 57 catches and 9 touchdowns during his 2015 season at Mercyhurst.
The experienced wide receiving core will be looked upon for leadership early in camp. Head Coach Chris Thompson is expecting a lot from the Wide Outs. "In my five plus years here we have never had the whole WR core returning from the year before. Last season we finished 8-3 but came up a little short in the playoffs and just about all of them were rookies except for Brandon [Renford]. Now, going into this season, I expect them all to thrive in this offense. Hopefully we can pick up where we left off and force our younger exciting players we have coming in to push one another every day to make us a better football team. We have some unfinished business to attend too in 2017 and we can't wait to start working with each of them come February."
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.