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Around our Town...Sports

03/01/2005 - Wyoming Cavalry returns for action between the boards

Most people encounter a couple of surprises the first time they see indoor football in person. The first is something like, "I can't believe how close we are to the game." The second is, "Did you see them hit the boards?"

That's why the Wyoming Cavalry have adopted the slogan—"you're not just at the game, you're in the game". In addition to the high-scoring National Indoor Football League (NIFL) action on the 50-yard field, there's plenty of action during timeouts and breaks with a variety of fan participation contests and games.

"We complement the fast-paced game action with fast-paced and exciting fan participation events as well," says Argeri Layton, Director of Business Operations. "The whole family has a chance to get involved." Among the game contests are The Bud Ball "Human Gerbil" race, the Mossholder's/Mattress Stop bed race and the RhinoLinings wheelbarrow race. The Coliseum Crowd "9th Man" provides motivation for the team and the Big Wyoming Game Ball goes out to a fan each game.

The team's new mascot, Custer, will be introduced this season and will host the Pepsi-sponsored "Custer's Kids Club". Kids can enter a contest to "tell the story" behind the new mascot . Entry forms may be printed from the Cav's website at www.wyomingcavalry.com.

Head Coach Chris Stein returns to lead a team with a batch of new players. General Manager Mike Layton reports the team made a number of off-season acquisitions that strengthen the squad for the 2005 campaign. When returning quarterback Mike Strand went down for 2 games last season, the squad was left without a capable backup. This year, Dustin Short from Rocky Mountain College in Montana will play wide receiver but provide needed insurance at quarterback as well. Dustin is joined by twin brother David on the team.

Several former Division I collegians have been signed including gargantuan offensive lineman Artavious Williams from the University of Alabama-Birmingham (UAB). Artavious stands an imposing 6'6'' and weighs in at 360 lbs. Jegil Dugger, also from UAB, was on the team for only 2 games last season but flourished at running back.

Perhaps even more impressive is the roster of new defensive players beginning with Terrell Paul, an all-conference star from the University of Southern Mississippi, who will line up at defensive end. NIFL veteran Warren Lott (Ronnie's nephew) will play middle linebacker and Sandy Fletcher will back him up at strong safety. Sandy hails from a California program that has enjoyed recent gridiron success...the school's initials are USC. Phil Jackson from Colorado plays cornerback. Returnees include the NIFL's leading tackler from a year ago, Coz Abercrombie along with Scott Young, Andre Rowe and Joey Longoria.

The NIFL has upgraded during the off-season as well. Expansion brings visiting teams from San Angelo, Texas and Kissimmee, Florida while the Cav's will play on the road as far away as Daytona Beach, Florida and the Continental Airlines Arena, home court for the New Jersey Nets.

In addition, through a new partnership, the NFL officiating department is now involved in the recruiting, training and evaluation of NIFL officials.

Home games begin March 25 as the Cavalry host the San Angelo Stampede. Season tickets can be ordered by calling 307-577-3030 or 1-800-442-2256.

You'll find a discount coupon on page 27 of this magazine!

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