JACKSONVILLE – The Jacksonville Sharks in the midst of training camp will take the road Thursday to face the Georgia Firebirds in a preseason scrimmage in Albany Georgia. The game will kick off at 7:30 p.m. at the Albany Civic Center. This is the first preseason game for the Sharks in three seasons, first exhibition in the National Arena League and the first matchup against the Georgia Firebirds. The Sharks are returning for blood following their exciting post season run and AFL American Conference Championship appearance in 2016, while the Firebirds look for a fresh start following their 3-5 season in the American Indoor Football League in 2016.
The Sharks and Firebirds will compete on the field but will join forces for a good cause as the Sharks host a food / clothing drive that will allow the visiting Sharks to bring food, clothing and supplies to those in South Georgia who were affected by the tornadoes that struck the region earlier this year. Sharks Fans are encouraged to help in this cause by bringing non-perishable food items, clothes, sheets, towels, school supplies and personal hygiene items to 1000 W. Bay Street at the Prime Osborne Convention Center between 8:30 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. the cut off for donations will be Wednesday at 5:00 p.m. All donations will be delivered with the Sharks when they take the road to Albany, GA on Thursday for the preseason scrimmage.
The Sharks entire training camp roster will take the road, including returning stars quarterback Tommy Grady, fullback Derrick Ross, defensive back Laroche Jackson and lineman Cornelius Lewis and Mo Ruffins. In addition to the Sharks veterans, new additions to the Sharks roster including IFL Rookie of the Year defensive back Jabari Gorman, AFL Rookie of the Year Marvin Ross, IFL Defensive Linemen of the Year Jeremiah Price and All-IFL offensive linemen AJ Harmon will put on the Sharks uniform for the first time. The preseason game marks the first public chance for all Sharks on the roster to battle for a spot on the final roster as the Sharks will return to Jacksonville following the preseason game. Returning from the preseason scrimmage the Sharks will continue training camp which will conclude March 11 for the Sharks final intrasquad scrimmage and season ticket holder pickup party. This is a crucial time for Head Coach Mark Stoute to evaluate the players’ performances and make decisions to finalize the 2017 roster deadline on March 12 allowing the team to prepare for their season debut against the Columbus Lions on March 17.
About the Jacksonville Sharks
The Jacksonville Sharks are members of the National Arena League (NAL). The ArenaBowl XXIV and four-time South Division Champions play all home games at the Jacksonville Veterans Memorial Arena. Sharks Nation Memberships for the 2017 season are now available. Shark Nation Memberships start as low as $99. To become a Shark Nation member or for more information please call (904) 621-0700. Follow the Sharks on facebook at facebook.com/jaxsharks and on Twitter and Instagram @jaxsharks, as well as the Attack Dance Team at facebook.com/sharkattackdance and Chum at facebook.com/chumsharks