Off the heels of their most successful season ever, including their first playoff appearance, the Austin Wranglers of the venerable Arena Football League open training camp this Sunday, Feb. 4. Competition will be fierce for most positions, with the Wranglers inviting 37 players to camp. The roster will eventually be thinned down to 24. Returning Wranglers include Kevin Nickerson, Damon Mason, Sedrick Robinson, Dane Krager, Aaron Humphrey, and flashy wide receiver Derrick Lewis returning from his stint with the NFL's Houston Texans. Lewis is an exciting playmaker who will certainly make the Wranglers starting lineup. Austin also acquired defensive back Nate Coggins from the Georgia Force and fullback/linebacker Chad Dukes from the Philadelphia Soul from the AFL's free-agent pool.
The Wranglers enter camp with a new head coach, Brian Partlow, at the helm. In my humble, never-having-played-football opinion last year's coach, Skip Foster, called a poor game against the Philadelphia Soul in the Wranglers sole playoff appearance and needed to be shown the door. Time for some fresh ideas on the chalkboard.
Running from Feb. 4 to Feb. 24, training camp, unless otherwise noted, is open to the public and will feature an inner-squad scrimmage on Feb. 10 and a two-day practice in Dallas with the Desperados and another two-day practice in Austin hosting the Colorado Crush Feb. 22-23.
The Wranglers season begins Sunday, March 4 against the Las Vegas Gladiators at 3pm at the Frank Erwin Center. For tickets and the training camp schedule, make a virtual trip to www.austinwranglers.com.
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