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 back end skills players: Defensive Backs.
The Steelhawks currently have a good mix of experienced veterans and exciting rookies on the roster at the defensive back position. Returning from the 2016 season are the leaders of the defensive backfield, James Pitts (6’1, 190lbs, Villanova) and John Williams III (5’10, 185lbs, Tabor). Another back with experience in the arena game is Rodney Hall Jr. (6’1, 185lbs, Benedict). Antonio Penn (6’3, 195lbs, Iowa Wesleyan) and Keith Trumps (6’1, 200lbs, Tuskegee) were found at open tryouts; and DB Jakeem Polk (6’2, 210lbs) is a rookie from Wingate University.
The 2016 ’Hawks were led by the ball-hawking skills of Pitts and Williams III. The two combined for almost 50% of the teams total interceptions; Pitts had five (with 2 pbu’s) and Williams III had a team leading nine (with 10 pbu’s). The duo also led a hard hitting backfield; Pitts led the team with 39 tackles while Williams III was close behind with 37.
Hall Jr. played with the Philadelphia Yellow Jackets in 2016. Penn and Trumps earned contracts after impressing all the coaches the first open tryout held for the upcoming season.
Polk is a rookie coming to the Lehigh Valley. While playing four years at Wingate University, he tallied 156 tackles and eight interceptions.
Head Coach Chris Thompson knows it is important to get this group on the same page quickly. “We are very excited to start working with this group of DB’s. Defensive Coordinator Bob Kohler and I feel we have a great mix of young and experienced DB’s coming into camp. The key will be trying to get these rookies up to speed as quickly as we can and getting everyone on the same page early. There is no doubts this is a position that is very important to our success and we have been fortunate to have some great ones over the last couple of years that have moved up to NFL and AFL teams and we feel this group can keep that tradition going.”
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.
The Steelhawks are a PROFESSIONAL Arena Football team that plays inside the PPL Center in downtown Allentown, PA. Season ticket packages start as low as $8 per game (or $48 for the full season) and games are an exciting event for people of the Lehigh Valley to attend on weekend nights.
Lehigh Valley Health Network includes five hospital campuses - three in Allentown including the region's only facility dedicated to orthopedic surgery, one in Bethlehem and one in Hazleton, Pa.; 13 health centers caring for communities in five counties; numerous primary and specialty care physician practices throughout the region; pharmacy, imaging, home health services and lab services; and preferred provider services through Valley Preferred. Specialty care includes: trauma care at the region’s busiest, most-experienced trauma center treating adults and children, burn care at the regional Burn Center, kidney and pancreas transplants; perinatal/neonatal, cardiac, cancer care, and neurology and complex neurosurgery capabilities including national certification as a Comprehensive Stroke Center. Children’s Hospital at Lehigh Valley Hospital, the only children’s hospital in the region, provides care in 28 specialties and general pediatrics. Lehigh Valley Health Network has been recognized by US News & World Report for 20 consecutive years as one of America’s Best Hospitals and is a national Magnet hospital for excellence in nursing. Lehigh Valley Health Network’s Cancer Center is the only cancer center in the region to have been selected as a National Cancer Center Community Cancer Centers Program (NCCCP, 2010-14). Additional information is available at lvhn.org and by following us on facebook.com/LVHealthNetwork and twitter.com/LVHN.