|Hawks at the Next Level|
The Lehigh Valley Steelhawks have served as a springboard for several former players who have gone on to play football at other levels. Read some of their success stories here!
Brian Brikowski - Cleveland Gladiators (AFL)
After a 3-year hiatus from football attended an open tryout for the Philadelphia Soul (AFL) and earned a waiver invitation to training camp. In week 4 of the AFL season and upon further evaluation was sent to the Lehigh Valley Steelhawks by the Philadelphia Soul coaching staff. Played with the Lehigh Valley Steelhawks (IFL) in 7 of 14 regular season games. Recorded 40 tackles including 8 for a loss. Recorded a team high 5 sacks. Also forced a fumble, recovered a fumble, and intercepted a pass, all while playing the defensive end position. Finished second in IFL defensive rookie of the year voting despite playing in only 7 of 14 games. With one week left in the IFL season was given a contract with the Cleveland Gladiators (AFL). With the Gladiators played and started in the final five games of the season. Recorded 26 tackles including 6 for loss (leader had 7 TFLs through 17 games). Also recorded a forced fumble, and a fumble recovery for a touchdown. Ended the season with the third highest sack-game average in the league. Was touted by ESPN Cleveland as the biggest impact player for Cleveland's defensive front.
2012-2013 and beyond
In serious discussions with AllStarInc about making the jump to the CFL or NFL for the 2013 season. Was granted permission from Monmouth University to attend their official 2013 NFL Pro-Day in January.
My experience with the Steelhawks was one I will cherish for the rest of my life. The coaching staff, players, player personel, and fans embraced me from the moment I became a Steelhawk and made me feel right at home. The Steelhawks took a risk in playing me, after having been out of football for 3 years, and I couldn't be more thankful for that opportunity. My time in Lehigh Valley not only helped me regain familiarity with the game I love so much but also helped me improve my skill set and allowed me to take my game to the next level. Before playing with the Steelhawks I had zero opportunities to advance my football career, but after I now have numerous. The Steelhawk organization kickstarted my a professional career, a career I intend to finish in the NFL. Without the help of my coaches and teammates, and the loving embrace from the Lehigh Valley community I'm not sure where in life I'd be; the 7 week experience I had as a Steelhawk was, is, and always will be one of my fondest memories.
High school - 2006 - Standout 4-sport varsity athlete from Freehold Township, most notably in football. Senior season registered 90 tackles, 10 for a loss, 5 sacks, and an interception for a touchdown as a middle linebacker. As a tight end recorded 30 catches for 400 yards and 6 tocuhdowns. Earned All-Shore, All-County, All-Division, and NJ All-State Super 100 honors. Accepted a full scholarship to the University of Akron.
College 2007 (The University of Akron)- Freshman - Red-shirted at the University of Akron, played in two games against UCONN and Western Michigan registering 2 tackles, transferred to Monmouth University.
College 2008 (Monmouth University)- Red-shirt Freshman - Served as a back-up outside linebacker and special teams player. Played in 10 games and recorded 16 tackles, also had a blocked punt against Coastal Carolina.
College 2009 (Monmouth University)-
Red-shirt Sophomore - Started and played in the first 7 games of the season as an outside linebacker. Was the team leader in tackles with 46 through the first 7 games of the season. Recorded 4 tackles for a loss and also had a 53-yard interception against Coastal Carolina. Left the team mid-season due to personal reasons.
Mike Byrne - Manheim, PA
College: University of Delaware
NFL Experience: Miami Dolphins 08
CFL Experience: Calgary Stampders CFL, 08,09
Indoor Experience - Pittsburgh Power, AFL, 2011, LV SteelHawks 2012
2013 Off Season
I am a trainer with Power Train Sports Institute in Lancaster. All Power Train programs are individually tailored to each athlete’s needs and implemented with ONE-ON-ONE personal training to ensure safety and maximal results. I use our system to train myself. It includes eccentric weight training, and both training the lactic and alactic energy systems for speed and conditioning.
I have already played my highest level of football, now I am focused on joining a state or federal level police organization.
The best thing about the SteelHawks organization is the family feeling I get from the front office, through the coaches, and down to the players. I always feel like I am wanted here. I also know that everyone within the organization cares about taking this team to a Championship
Ian Simon is a versatile pass rusher who lined up at either defensive end or linebacker for Monmouth University. Simon led the NEC with 9 sacks in 2011, as he earned First Team All-Conference honors. After finishing his senior season on a high note, Ian also dominated in the FCS Senior Scout Bowl in Myrtle Beach, SC. Simon was credited with nine tackles and two quarterback hurries as his North team defeated the South team 7-3.
Will be attending a combine in Pittsburgh, September 22, 2012 for multiple CFL and AFL teams that have expressed interest in Ian. Currently Ian is coaching at his high school team as the defensive line coach.
-My experience with the Steelhawks was a great experience for me. I got my first taste of being a professional football player and the organization treated their players with the utmost respect and got the best out of their players. I have nothing but positive things to say about Steelhawk nation and the support from the fans and the entire Lehigh Valley area. After playing for the Steelhawks I've received multiple calls from teams in the AFL expressing interest in me and I hope to further my football career and reach the ultimate goal of playing in the NFL. My coaches helped fine tune my skills and I will continue to better myself as a professional on and off the field. My best experience playing for Lehigh was having the team rally around each other and make the IFL playoffs. Unfortunately the end result wasn't in our favor, but I will always remember the group of guys I went to battle with on Saturdays.
• Position: C/G
• College: Temple University
• High School: Wicomico
A 2007 graduate of Wicomico High School in Salisbury, MD, Schonbrunner earned Honorable Mention Small School All-State selection as a senior, while playing both offensive and defensive tackle. As team captain, he helped the team to an 11-1 overall record and the state playoffs in 2006. He also competed in track in field as a senior and finished No. 6 in the state shot put championship.
Jeremy Schonbrunner was a three year letterman for the Temple Owls. Jeremy was a force on an offensive line that blocked for two thousand yard rushers and a rushing attach that averaged over 2,500 yards per season! Throughout his time at Temple, Jeremy has seen action at both center and guard in 30 games. This former walk-on has dominated play, not only against MAC opponents, but also against powerhouses such as Penn State and Maryland!
Jeremy has spent time with the Philadelphia Soul and Georgia Force in 2012.
Bryan Randall - (QB) PITTSBURG POWER AFL
College: Virginia Tech
Bryan Randall had a storied college career as the starting quarterback of the Virginia Tech Hokies. As a senior, Randall led Virginia Tech to their first ACC Championship and a berth in the Sugar Bowl. His 170 completions for 2,264 yards and 21 touchdowns earned him ACC Player of the Year honors in 2004. Randall has set the Big East single game passing record, Virginia Tech’s career passing record and has the most total offense in Hokie history.
Coming out of Virginia Tech, Randall spent time on the practice squads of the Atlanta Falcons, Tampa Bay Buccaneers and the Pittsburgh Steelers. Randall made his pro debut with the Winnipeg Blue Bombers of the Canadian Football league in 2008. In 2010, Randall was signed by the IFL’s Richmond Revolution in their inaugural season and was named the league’s MVP after his 58 touchdown and 2,033 passing yard season. Since his IFL MVP season, Randall has played with the Richmond Raiders, the Allen Wranglers and the Lehigh Valley Steelhawks. Randall now brings a vast wealth of experience to the Pittsburgh Power.