Sioux Falls Storm And Section 0 Ready
Sioux Falls Storm & Section O Ready For Home Opener
Are you ready for some football!!!!
The last year of Section O in the areana as the new Premier Center is being built in the wings. Tonight is the home opener for the Storm. Friday night and Section O will be primed and ready to rumble! Looking forward to a great Season!
The Storm begin their quest for a fourth consecutive indoor football championship tonight. Again.
Winners of three straight IFL titles, garnering a fourth would give the Storm their second batch of four in a row, sandwiched around the 2009 and 2010 seasons, when they were denied by Chris Dixon and the Billings Outlaws.
Of course, Dixon migrated to the Storm the following year and led Sioux Falls to the first two championships in its most recent run, and now he’s back.
Terrance Bryant came out of retirement to lead the Storm to a 12-4 record last season and a 43-40 win over the Nebraska Danger in the Indoor Bowl, while Dixon spent a year in the Arena Football League. But now Dixon returns to Sioux Falls looking every bit the multi-dimensional weapon he was in his first go-round.
The 32-year-old won IFL MVP honors in each of his two years with the Storm, leading them to a 27-1 record in that time. There are lots of new faces that Dixon will be going into battle with this time around, but enough familiar ones that Sioux Falls remains the heavy favorite to recapture the crown.
“We’ve got the talent to win the championship, there’s no doubt about that,” Dixon said. “But it’s going to be a process. A lot of these guys are new to me, and I’m new to a lot of them. We’ve made a lot of strides in camp and guys are focusing in on getting on the same page. But I don’t think we’ve scratched the surface of how good we can be yet.”
Dixon threw for 29 touchdowns and ran for 10 more last year in the AFL, and he doesn’t appear to have lost a step. Martevious Young, who opened last year as the Storm’s quarterback, returns to serve as a backup and spare receiver, while veterans James Terry and Blake Wilson are back to give Dixon familiar targets.
Corey Surrency, a 6-foot-6 wideout from Florida State who played for the Nebraska Danger last year, has also come aboard.
Tailback Tory Harrison is back after rushing for 555 yards last year, while Myniya Smith and Charlie Sanders are back on th
e offensive line, joined by indoor veteran Rashaud Mungro and former SDSU Jackrabbit Jon Fick.
While Harrison and Young gave the Storm their primary running threats last year, with Bryant operating a quick-strike passing game, the more mobile Dixon gives Sioux Falls more pre-snap options. Dixon led the IFL in rushing in 2012.
“When we’d switch from Terrance to Martevious last year, we had to change our offense,” said coach Kurtiss Riggs, who brings a 153-32 record into his 12th season at the helm. “We’d become predictable and lose that element of surprise. That’s where Chris adds so much to our offense. It may take a while to adjust, but we’ll be a lot more dynamic.”
Defensively, the Storm said goodbye to veteran linemen Rachman Crable (who has joined the coaching staff) and Jeremiah Price, as well as safety Dan O’Keefe, but they return key players on that side of the ball as well. Tyler Knight, last year’s IFL defensive player of the year, is back at linebacker after making 153 stops in 2013. Cory Johnsen is back at defensive tackle after dropping more than 50 pounds in the offseason, while starters Roy Polite and Patrick Wells are back in the secondary.
James Dunlap also returns on the defensive line looking to take on a larger role. Former Jackrabbit Chris Tracy, Akeem Ward and former Iowa Barnstormer (and Iowa State Cyclone) Rony Nelson provide depth on the defensive line.
Former Minnesota Gopher Kyle Theret returns to the secondary, while Jermaine Robinson, a 6-foot-3 rookie out of Toledo, has shown signs of being an impact player in the defensive backfield. The defense will work under new (and former) defensive coordinator Brian Hermanson, who’s won over the players with enthusiasm and energy.
“It’s a new team and it’s been very competitive in practice,” Knight said. “We have some new guys that have really looked good and pushed the returning guys to get better. We’re not as big as we were, but we have more speed. We definitely have what it takes to be a dominant team.”