Sioux Falls, SD – The Sioux Falls Storm are set to start their season at home on Friday, Feb. 17th against the Arizona Rattlers, one of two new franchises to join the Indoor Football League for the 2017 season.
Boyer Trucks will serve as the Presenting Sponsor of the game and help give away 5,000 large Storm Posters that will highlight each of the team's ten (10) championship-winning seasons. Opening kick-off is set for 7:05 PM at the Denny Sanford Premier Center.
The Storm will open up this year's campaign as the reigning six-time IFL United Bowl Champions. Last season, the Storm recorded a 15-1 regular season record and swept the two-playoff games in route to the title.
For the 2017 season, the Storm will return some very familiar faces with veterans like linebacker Tyler Knight, wide receiver Mike Tatum, Quarterback Lorenzo Brown, Defensive back Elijah Fields and defensive lineman Claude Davis. At the head of it all, Head Coach Kurtiss Riggs, who recently signed a three-year extension with the team.
Among the new faces taking to the field include running back Robbie Rouse, who played at Cal State Fresno where he ranks as the school's all-time leading rusher at 4,647 yards. Defensive back Rashard Smith who spent time with the Miami Dolphins of the National Football League (NFL). He also had a stint with the B.C Lions of the Canadian Football League (CFL).
The Storm's home opener against Arizona will feature two of the greatest Indoor Football franchises of all-time. The Storm's Championship Pedigree is well documented. The Rattlers departed the AFL with ten (10) Division Titles while playing in nine (9) Arena Bowl Championship Games and taking home the Top Prize five (5) times (1994, 1997, 2012, 2013, 2014).
The Rattlers will come into their inaugural IFL season with just five returning players from last season's roster; while the Storm will have 15 returning players from last season. Arizona also will be looking to see who will step in as their new quarterback. Quarterbacks, Darron Thomas, Jon Wolf and Cody Sokol are all looking to show their talents and step-up to be the franchises new starter under center.
On the other hand, from the Storm's perspective, they will have Lorenzo Brown returning as their starting quarterback Brown will have to face returning members of the secondary for the Rattlers, defensive backs Arkeith Brown and Allen Chapman. Last season in the AFL the two combined for total of 9 interceptions in the regular season. They will for sure be looking to get their hands on the ball in the season opener; while the young Rattlers defensive line will be looking to pressure Brown all game long.