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. Next up, the big men along the Defensive Line.
The Steelhawks have a young and exciting group coming into camp to compete for the starting defensive line positions. Tim Hume (6’2, 265lbs, Cheyney) is the only returning ’Hawks veteran of the group. However, the following have played in other arena leagues: Tommy Dover (6’3, 265lbs, Edinboro), Eric Ducksworth (6’5, 330lbs, Belhaven), Eddie McClam (6’5, 300lbs, Old Dominion), and Devon McKinney (6’2, 290lbs, Louisiana Tech). There are two true rookies that impressed at open tryouts that are also challenging for active roster spots: Earl Davis (6’2, 245lbs) and Joshua Bradley (6’4, 280lbs, Benedict).
Hume is back for his third season in the Valley and his fifth overall (played in the IFL with the Green Bay Blizzard). Last season he tallied three sacks, 15 tackles, an interception, five pass break ups, and scored two defensive touchdowns. Hume has 7.5 sacks in his career with the Steelhawks.
A number of defensive linemen also have the versatility to be able to play at linebacker also. Davis, Dover, and Hume all possess this ability and skill set if the need arises. As a group, there is great mix of youth, size, speed, and experience to choose from.
McClam was in NFL camp with the Eagles. Dover and Ducksworth played in the AIF for the Central Penn Capitals and Harrisburg Stampede respectively, and McKinney played for the Cedar Rapid Titans of the IFL.
Tough decisions will have to be made over the two weeks of camp as the roster gets trimmed down; only 5-6 defensive lineman will remain on the roster for the home opener on March 19th.
Head Coach Chris Thompson is excited to see the competition play out, “We are very excited for this group of men we have coming to compete for our starting Defensive Line positions this year. We feel that we have a great mix of youth, size, strength, and experience and hope we can find the right combination to get after it every play and put some pressure on these talented NAL Quarterbacks this season that we will face each week. There is no doubt camp will be extremely competitive and we can't wait to get this 2017 season underway.”
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.