• Way-Too-Early Fantasy Football Rankings: QB Edition

    June 6, 2017 • Fantasy, Front Page, ListsComments (0)

    I get it, it’s June.

    But, like you (since you’re reading this post), I cannot wait for the 2017-2018 NFL season to start. So, that is why I present to you the first installment of my Way-Too-Early Fantasy Football Rankings. First up: QB Edition.

    1) Aaron Rodgers

    2016: 4,428 Passing Yards, 40 Passing TDs, 7 Interceptions, 369 Rushing Yards, 4 Rushing TDs = 380.02 FP (QB1) (16 Games Played) ( Standard Scoring)

    Analysis: If there is anybody you would rather have commanding your fantasy football roster than Aaron Rodgers, let me know. Rodgers is an artist in the pocket, capable of making any throw on the gridiron. His ability to throw for so many touchdowns with so few interceptions is what makes him unparalleled at his position. Plus, having Jordy Nelson, Randall Cobb, Davante Adams, and Martellus Bennett doesn’t hurt. As long as Rodgers plays all 16 games, he’ll be the top signal caller in fantasy.

    2) Tom Brady

    2016: 3,554 Passing Yards, 28 Passing TDs, 2 Interceptions, 64 Rushing Yards, 0 Rushing TDs = 258.56 (QB15) (12 GP)

    Analysis: The 28:2 TD-Interception ratio is a ridiculous figure and Brady will not repeat that. Regardless, even at his age, he is still an elite option at the QB position. Thanks to the acquisition of the speedy Brandin Cooks, Brady has even more weapons at his disposal to dismantle defenses. Look for Brady to continue posting remarkable numbers, somewhere in the range of 35 TDs and 10 interceptions with over 4,400 yards through the air.

    3) Drew Brees

    2016: 5,208 Passing Yards, 37 Passing TDs, 15 Interceptions, 20 Rushing yards, 2 Rushing TDs = 332.32 (QB3) (16 GP)

    Analysis: Brees just keeps on rolling. He had yet another 5,000+ yard season last year and doesn’t look like he’s slowing down any time soon. With the emergence of star wideout Michael Thomas, Brees heads into the season with a bonafide WR1, something he has yet to really have in New Orleans. I know Marques Colston and even Brandin Cooks were very good players, but besides Jimmy Graham, Brees hasn’t had a dominant pass-catcher…until now. So, the sky is the limit with Brees this year, at the ripe age of 38. I think he narrowly misses out on another 5,000-yard season with around 4,800 yards with 37 TDs.

    4) Andrew Luck

    2016: 4,240 Passing Yards, 31 Passing TDs, 13 Interceptions, 341 Rushing Yards, 2 Rushing TDs = 307.70 (QB4) (15 GP)

    Analysis: The talent has always been there for Luck, it’s just a matter of staying healthy for the Stanford product because he can sling it with the best of them. Also, the Colts are stocked with talented pass-catchers with the likes of the receiving yard king in TY Hilton and the talented red-zone threat, Donte Moncrief. If Luck can put it all together this year, he has the talent to be the top fantasy fantasy QB. Huge ceiling pick, with a bit of risk.

    5) Cam Newton

    2016: 3,509 Passing Yards, 19 Passing TDs, 14 Interceptions, 359 Rushing Yards, 5 Rushing TDs = 254.26 (QB17) (15 GP)

    Analysis: Oh how the mighty have fallen. Newton, a year ago was the near consensus top QB in fantasy due to his rocket arm and valuable legs. And, after finishing a very disappointing 17th among signal-callers, he finds himself in the middle of several early QB rankings. Coming in at number 5, he is somewhat high on my list compared to others, but I have confidence in the former MVP to rebound. With Greg Olsen, Kelvin Benjamin, Devin Funchess, and newcomer Christian McCaffrey, Newton should be able to put up top-5 fantasy numbers.

    6) Russell Wilson

    2016: 4,219 Passing Yards, 21 Passing TDs, 11 Interceptions, 259 Rushing Yards, 1 Rushing TD, 14 Receiving Yards, 1 Receiving TD = 268.06 (QB11) (16 GP)

    Analysis: Wilson was somewhat underrated last year, as most saw his numbers as disappointing and considered his season a down year. But the guy still placed as the 11th best fantasy QB despite his lowest rushing totals in his career, which are sure to spike up back to his averages of over 500 rushing yards. Especially with the sneaky talented backfield of Thomas Rawls, CJ Procise, and Eddie Lacy, Wilson should have more room to operate and boost his numbers from a season ago. He should be able to get to 4,100 yards through the air and 24 touchdowns with another 500 yards on the ground and 3 scores.

    7) Matt Ryan

    2016: 4,944 Passing Yards, 38 Passing TDs, 7 Interceptions, 117 Rushing Yards, 0 Rushing TDs = 347.46 (QB2) (16 GP)

    Analysis: Ryan had a spectacular year in 2016, posting career marks in completion percentage, yards, yards per attempt, touchdowns, QBR, and QB Rating, all with a career low in interceptions. However, I do not think Ryan’s numbers are repeatable this season, as evidenced by his ranking at number 7 on my list. Ryan has always been a roller coaster of a fantasy commodity, lacking the consistency to be an elite fantasy option. But, respect has to be given to the reigning MVP, but I wouldn’t reach to far for him in my draft. I see a solid season with around 4,600 yards and 31 TDs.

    8) Ben Roethlisberger

    2016: 3,819 Passing Yards, 29 Passing TDs, 13 Interceptions, 14 Rushing Yards, 1 Rushing TD = 252.16 (QB18) (14 GP)

    Analysis: There may not be a more polarizing QB option in fantasy this year. Roethlisberger no doubt has the arm and the weapons to deliver top-5 fantasy numbers, but the injuries always seem to pile up. However, with Antonio Brown, Le’Veon Bell, and Martavis Bryant lining up next to him, Big Ben might be worth the gamble. If he plays all 16 games, which is a big “if,” Roethlisberger has as much upside as anyone at the position. But, there is always the chance of missed games, so you have to weigh the risks with this pick. Nevertheless, I see him posting around 4,400 yards and 30 TDs.

    9) Marcus Mariota

    2016: 3,426 Passing Yards, 26 Passing TDs, 9 Interceptions, 349 Rushing Yards, 2 Rushing TDs = 259.94 (QB13) (15 GP)

    Analysis: Mariota seemingly came out of nowhere last year, finishing 13th among all signal-callers despite a slow start (16.8 fantasy points or less in first four games), a bad end (combined 21.02 fantasy points in final three games), and missing a game. Especially with the addition of fifth overall pick, WR Corey Davis, Mariota might be thrusted into the elite echelon of QBs, as long as he stays just as efficient as he did in 2016. Don’t be surprised if Mariota finishes in the top-7 this year, because the Titans should hand the offense over to Mariota and trust the talented third year out of Oregon.

    10) Blake Bortles

    2016: 3,905 Passing Yards, 23 Passing TDs, 16 Interceptions, 359 Rushing Yards, 3 Rushing TDs, 20 Receiving Yards, 1 Receiving TD = 270.10 (QB9) (16 GP)

    Analysis: This may be my most surprising pick in my list, as Bortles seems to be violated and insulted by most everyone that knows football. But lucky for us, we care about fantasy football, a game in which Bortles is quite helpful in. After finishing 4th among QBs in 2015, Bortles fell a few spots to 9th, despite a season where he was supposedly one of the worst quarterbacks in the game. So, I guess that means as long as Bortles plays a little better than his disastrous year last season, he should do a little better in fantasy. Also, I think the Jaguars’ pick of Leonard Fournette will pay huge dividends for Bortles and the team as a whole this year. I just read a stat on the other day which said that teams that pick a RB in the first five picks in the NFL draft since 2000 have increased their win totals the following year by an average of 5 wins. 5 wins! That’s a huge difference from one year to the next, and I think that continues this year with the Jaguars. And if the Jaguars stay competitive in more games this year, then Bortles may return to a slightly above average quarterback.

    Photo: Tom Pennington/Getty Images

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  • New York Jets Continue to Clean House this Off-Season

    June 6, 2017 • AFC, AFC East, Free Agency, Front Page, New York JetsComments (0)

    The New York Jets very well may be unrecognizable this fall.

    The franchise has finally made the conscious decision to clean house and go all-in on rebuilding for the future. Two more cuts have been added to the long list of veteran cuts this off-season.

    Ryan Fitzpatrick: gone.
    Brandon Marshall: gone.
    Eric Decker: soon to be gone.
    Nick Mangold: gone.
    Darrelle Revis: gone.
    Breno Giacomini: gone.
    David Harris: gone.
    Nick Folk: gone

    The average age of this large group of veteran players is 32.1 years old.

    So yes, it’s time for them to hit the road if the Jets have any plans in rebuilding this roster from top to bottom.

    Maybe they’ll even “tank” this season to put themselves in position to snag a top five pick and draft a real franchise quarterback in 2018. With veteran Josh McCown signed to a one-year deal, he’ll steer the ship just long enough for the Jets to either groom Bryce Petty or Christian Hackenberg, or bring in a franchise quarterback in the 2018 NFL Draft.

    Clearing cap space and getting younger across the board is exactly what this franchise needs to do at this point, so it’s hard to find anything bad to say about the move.

    But without Marshall and Decker on offense, it appears McCown/Petty/Hackenberg will be forced to throw passes to No. 1 receiver … Quincy Enunwa??

    The offense is in for a rough 2017, but the Jets organization hopes this will pay off in the long run.

    Harris has been the heart and soul of the Jets’ defense since 2007, so Jets fans will be sad to see him go. Ten solid years in the green and white. But all good things must come to an end at some point, and now is as good a time as any.

    Photo: Maddie Meyer/Getty Images

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  • Arena Football League: Week 9 Players of the Week

    June 6, 2017 • Arena Football League, Front PageComments (0)

    LAS VEGAS – The Arena Football League has announced that Cleveland Gladiators quarterback Arvell Nelson and Gladiators defensive back Rayshaun Kizer have been named the offensive and defensive players of the week for Week 9 respectively.

    OFFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE WEEK – Nelson (6’5”, 225, Texas Southern) tossed five touchdowns in a 59-35 victory over the Washington Valor in Week 9. Completing 75% of his passes (21-of-28), he threw for 260 yards and no interceptions while leading his team to their second victory of the season. The league’s leading rusher, Nelson added four yards to his season total (166).

    DEFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE WEEK – Kizer (5’10”, 190, Walsh) corralled 5.5 tackles and intercepted Valor quarterback Sean Brackett in the end zone thwarting a response to a Gladiators touchdown early in the game. The Gladiators led from wire-to-wire after the play, as they scored on the subsequent drive.

    WEEK 1 – Washington’s Mike Washington (Offensive) and Tampa Bay’s Ceasar Rayford (Defensive)
    WEEK 2 – Philadelphia’s Darius Reynolds (Offensive) and Baltimore’s Dexter Davis Jr. (Defensive)
    WEEK 3 – Tampa Bay’s Randy Hippeard (Offensive) and Alvin Ray Jackson (Defensive)
    WEEK 4 – Philadelphia’s Ryan McDaniel (Offensive) and Dwayne Hollis (Defensive)
    WEEK 5 – Tampa Bay’s Randy Hippeard (Offensive) and Paul Stephens (Defensive)
    WEEK 6 – Tampa Bay’s Joe Hills (Offensive) and Philadelphia’s Sean Daniels (Defensive)
    WEEK 7 – Tampa Bay’s Joe Hills (Offensive) and Philadelphia’s Joe Goosby (Defensive)
    WEEK 8 – Baltimore’s Shane Carden (Offensive) and Josh Victorian (Defensive)

    Photo and press release courtesy of

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  • Pro Football Hall of Famer Cortez Kennedy Passes Away

    May 24, 2017 • Breaking News, Features, Front Page, History, NFC, NFC West, Seattle SeahawksComments (0)

    Pro Football Hall of Fame member Cortez Kennedy has tragically passed away at the young age of 48 on Tuesday, May 23.

    The defensive tackle played 11 seasons with the Seattle Seahawks (1990-2000), tallying 668 total tackles, 58.0 sacks, 3 interceptions and 11 forced fumbles in 153 starts (167 total games played).

    The eight-time Pro Bowler and five-time All-Pro was a force to be reckoned with in offensive backfields, wrecking opposing offensive lines throughout the 1990s.

    UPDATE: Seattle will wear a #96 helmet decal honoring Kennedy throughout the 2017-18 season.

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  • Are the Seahawks Eyeing Colin Kaepernick as Backup QB?

    May 16, 2017 • Features, Free Agency, Front Page, NFC West, Rumors, San Francisco 49ers, Seattle SeahawksComments (0)

    When the name Colin Kaepernick comes up it comes with two very conversations.

    On one side, people say he is getting what he deserves, On the other, people say that he is being black-balled.

    I just feel like if people that have been accused of sexual assault can come back and quarterback a team then Kaepernick should have been signed by now.

    Yes I’m a little biased, but how can you be punished by an entire league because he simply takes a stance against police brutality? Anyway, that is an entirely different story and will be written at a different time.

    Yesterday, Seattle Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll said that they are in the market for a No. 2 quarterback to back-up Russell Wilson. Kaepernick is the best available quarterback left on the market. Kaep threw 16 touchdowns passes last season with just four interceptions.

    The quarterback position is the hardest position to play in the National Football League, and having a quality backup can prove to be vital down the stretch. The Seahawks have a good one in Russell Wilson, but having a former starter ready to fill in could be big.

    You may also check this article out at Big Game’s Sports Buzz.

    Photo: Ezra Shaw/Getty Images

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  • NFL Draft: Top Prospects Available After Day 1

    April 28, 2017 • Front Page, Lists, NFL DraftComments (0)

    There’s still a lot of talent left on the big board after last night’s first round. Here’s a list of the top 10 guys still on the board heading into the second round of the 2017 NFL Draft:

    10. CB Sidney Jones — Washington

    I have put Jones here even with the injury concern, because he is a talented cornerback and may be able to suit up by week 7.  Jones would have easily been a top 15 pick if not for the injury he suffered.

    9. DL Malik McDowell — Michigan State

    McDowell is a physical player who can line up in a 4-3 DT or a 3-4 End, His character flaws caused him to slide a bit, but a team is going to get a force on their defensive line with McDowell. (fits the Raiders perfectly)

    8. G/T Cam Robinson — Alabama

    Robinson is a player who may fit as a RT or Guard in the NFL, he doesn’t possess the feet to play on the left side against speed rushers.  I expect him to go early in the Second Round especially if you see a run on offensive lineman.

    7. QB DeShone Kizer — Notre Dame

    Many pundits mocked Kizer in the first round after the college season, but after reviewing of tape and workouts found him needing a bit more coaching to reach his potential.  Kizer has all the tools with his Size, Arm Strength, and Mobility as a starting signal caller in the NFL.

    6. RB Joe Mixon — Oklahoma

    Character is the real reason Mixon is here, the talked about video of him is what hurt his stock, but if you look at his tape and watch him, he is a first round talent.  A team will take a chance on him and hope he realizes the privilege he has and it can be taken away.

    5. WR Zay Jones — East Carolina

    Jones does nothing but produces at the collegiate level and excelled at the Senior Bowl, Jones may be best suited in the slot and can produce because of his size and work ethic are exceptional.

    4. RB Alvin Kamara — Tennessee

    Kamara brings a dual combination of catching and running the ball.  Kamara is a back who blossomed after Jalen Hurd decided to transfer and showed scouts he can be a feature back in an offense.

    3. RB Dalvin Cook — Florida State

    Cook has some red flags but you cannot deny the talent he has, a three down back who can run routes and run between the tackles.  He showed up in big games, especially the bowl game versus a stout Michigan defense.  I classify him as a steal in the second round.

    2. G Forrest Lamp — Western Kentucky

    Lamp is a blue collar player who will work his tail off.  I could see him playing RT but may be best suited to play the guard position in the NFL, he may be the first OL drafted on Day2.

    1. CB Chidobe Awuzie — Colorado

    Physical is the best word to describe Awuzie, will stick his nose into the running game.  The control he has for coverage and ability to stick receivers makes him a possible starter year one.

    Photo: Marc Serota/Getty Images

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  • AFL: Philadelphia Soul Shuts Down Valor, 49-31

    April 22, 2017 • Arena Football League, Front Page, Game Recap, Philadelphia SoulComments (1)

    Strong Soul Defense Holds Valor to Scoreless Second Half 

    WASHINGTON— The Philadelphia Soul (2-0) defeated the Washington Valor (1-1), with the final score 49-31 in front of 12,122 fans at the Verizon Center in Washington, D.C. on Saturday night.

    “Tonight was not one of our strongest performances,” said Soul head coach Clint Dolezel.  “We held the Valor to a scoreless second half but there is still some more work to do.”

    Soul WR Shaun Kauleinamoku led the receivers with 12 receptions for 125 yards and two touchdowns.  WR Darius Reynolds added six receptions for 76 yards and three touchdowns and WR Ryan McDaniel tallied five receptions for 46 yards.  Washington WR Mike Washington led the Valor receivers with nine receptions for 125 yards and two touchdowns.

    Philadelphia QB Dan Raudabaugh completed 23-of-36 passes for 247 yards and five touchdowns.  Washington QB Erik Meyer completed 21-of-34 passes for 268 yards and two touchdowns. 

    The Soul won the coin toss and elected to kick off to the Valor.  The Valor got their first touchdown of the night on a 2-yard run by QB Bernard Morris and they jumped out to a 7-0 lead.  The Soul tried to get on the board but Raudabaugh’s pass was intercepted by Tracy Belton for another Valor touchdown.  Steven’s kick was good and the Soul trailed 14-0.  The Soul fired back with a 34-yard touchdown from Raudabaugh to Reynolds.  Trevino’s kick was good and with 8:27 to go in the first quarter, the Soul closed the gap 14-7.  Meyer responded with a 16-yard touchdown pass to Washington and at the end of the first quarter, the Soul trailed 21-7. 

    The Soul opened the second quarter with a quick 5-yard touchdown pass by Reynolds.  Trevino’s kick was good and the Soul remained behind 21-14.  The Valor opted for a 23-yard field goal and were successful, increasing their lead 24-14.  Soul FB Mykel Benson contributed his first touchdown of the night with a 4-yard touchdown.  Kick was good and with 7:31 to play in the half, the Soul were behind 24-21.  An unsuccessful field goal attempt by the Valor was returned for a touchdown by James Romain and with 56 seconds left in the half, the Soul took the lead 28-24.  Unfortunately the lead did not last long as Meyer found Washington for a 12-yard Valor touchdown and at the end of the first half, the Soul trailed 31-28.

    The Soul capitalized on a slow third quarter with a 13-yard touchdown pass from Raudabaugh to Kauleinamoku.  Trevino’s kick was good and the Soul finished out the quarter with a 35-31 lead over the Valor.

    To kick off the final quarter, Raudabaugh connected with Reynolds for his third touchdown of the night.  The Soul stretched their lead, 42-31 with 9:51 remaining in the game.  The Soul ran down the clock and in the final minute, Raudabaugh found Kauleinamoku for his second touchdown of the night and at the end of the game, the Soul defeated the Valor 49-31.

    Next week, the Soul will host the Baltimore Brigade in their home opener, presented by Independence Blue Cross on Saturday, April 29 at 7:00 p.m.  The game will be broadcast on CBS Sports and 97.5 The Fanatic.

    Offensive Player of the Game: Washington WR Mike Washington
    Defensive Player of the Game: Philadelphia DB James Romain
    MVP of the Game: Philadelphia QB Dan Raudabaugh

    Photo: Philadelphia Soul’s official Instagram page

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  • Philadelphia’s Darius Reynolds Earns AFL Weekly Award

    April 19, 2017 • Arena Football League, Front Page, Philadelphia Soul, Press ReleaseComments (0)

    PHILADELPHIA – The Arena Football League today announced that Soul WR Darius Reynolds (6’2, 205, Iowa State) has been awarded Offensive Player of the Week for his performance in Week 2 against the Tampa Bay Storm.  The Soul’s top receiver last year earns his first award for the 2017 season.

    “This is a great start to the season for Darius,” said Soul head coach Clint Dolezel. “If he continues to perform the way he did in these upcoming weeks, he can help bring this team to another ArenaBowl Championship.”

    Reynolds led the Soul receivers with five catches for 78 yards and three touchdowns against the Storm.  He also tallied his first kickoff return for an 11-yard touchdown helping the Soul to defeat Tampa Bay in a 56-52 victory.

    The Soul will head to Washington, D.C. to face-off against the Washington Valor on Saturday, April 22 at the Verizon Center. The game will be broadcast by TCN and 97.5 The Fanatic. Kick-off set for 7 p.m.


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  • Voice of Blue Hens Named 2016 Delaware Sportscaster of the Year

    April 18, 2017 • Front Page, NCAA, Press Release, University of DelawareComments (0)

    Press release from

    NEWARK, Del. — iHeartMedia-Delaware and the University of Delaware proudly announce that “Voice of the Blue Hens,” Scott Klatzkin, has been named the 2016 Delaware Sportscaster of the Year by the National Sports Media Association.

    It marks the third time he has won the honor, joining the elite company of Bob Kelley, Bill Pheiffer, and Mike Corey as the only other radio broadcasters to win the award three or more times since it was first handed out in 1959. Each served as play-by-play voice of the Delaware Blue Hens.

    “I am so proud of Scott for receiving this award for the third time,” said iHeartMedia Area President, Chris Walus. “His dedication to iHeartMedia-Delaware and our partnership with University of Delaware sports is unparalleled.”

    In 2016, Klatzkin completed his fifth season as play-by-play broadcaster for Delaware football and began his fifth season in the same role with Delaware men’s basketball. All broadcasts air on 94.7 WDSD-FM, the flagship station of University of Delaware sports. He also worked as host of the Blue Hens Football Coach’s Show for the fifth consecutive season this past fall and debuted the Blue Hens Basketball Coaches Show in November.

    “Congratulations to Scott on this well-deserved award,” said Delaware men’s basketball head coach Martin Ingelsby. “It’s been great to work with Scott during my first season at Delaware this year. He is a true professional who knows his stuff and delivers that to our fans. We are fortunate to have him on our Blue Hens team.”

    Beyond his play-by-play broadcasts for the University of Delaware, he also served as host of Blue Hens All-Access football show, “Under The Lights,” and basketball show, “Beyond the Arc.” Klatzkin served as emcee and host of the 2016 University of Delaware Athletics Hall of Fame Banquet featuring Joe Flacco of the Baltimore Ravens.

    The University of Delaware alumnus added freelance assignments with the Colonial Athletic Association as host of CAA Football Media Day airing on ESPN’s online/mobile platform, ESPN3. Klatzkin also worked as broadcaster for multiple NBA Developmental League broadcasts for the Delaware 87ers and had the call for Elena Delle Donne’s return to the Bob Carpenter Center in Newark as the WNBA’s Chicago Sky played an exhibition game against the New York Liberty.

    Headquartered in Winston Salem, N.C., the National Sports Media Association membership consists of approximately 800 leading sportscasters and sportswriters from throughout the country. More than 80 sports media legends have been inducted into the organization’s Hall of Fame, which began in 1962 with the induction of Grantland Rice.

    The NSMA hosts an awards weekend each spring that honors a Sportscaster of the Year and Sportswriter of the Year from each state, as well as a National Sportscaster and Sportswriter of the Year. A Hall of Fame induction ceremony takes place at this time as well.

    The News Journal’s Kevin Tresolini claimed Delaware Sportswriter of the Year honors from the organization for the 10th time in his outstanding career. Sportscasters Linda Cohn of ESPN and the late Frank Gifford of ABC’s Monday Night Football were elected to the NSMA’s Hall of Fame along with sportswriters Mike Lupica of the New York Daily News and the late Sam Lacy of Baltimore’s Afro-American.

    National Sportscaster of the Year Vin Scully, legendary Voice of the Brooklyn and Los Angeles Dodgers, and National Sportswriter of the Year Tom Verducci of Sports Illustrated, along with Cohn, Gifford, Lupica, Lacy, Klatzkin and all of the other state victors, will be honored at the 58th Annual NSMA Awards Banquet on June 26, 2017 in Winston-Salem, N.C.

    Klatzkin’s award-winning work will continue this fall when Delaware football opens the 2017 campaign against Delaware State on August 31. Every Blue Hens game airs on 94.7 WDSD-FM and online at or by using the iHeartRadio mobile app. Coverage begins 60 minutes before kickoff with the Blue Hens Gameday pre-game show.

    Photo: courtesy of Mark Campbell

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  • Mike Washington Named AFL Offensive Player Of The Week

    April 11, 2017 • Arena Football League, Front Page, Press Release, Washington ValorComments (0)

    Press release from

    The Arena Football League announced today that  Mike Washington has been named Offensive Player of the Week for Week 1. Washington hauled in nine receptions for 112 yards and three touchdowns in the teams 51-38 season-opening win over the Baltimore Brigade, which was both team’s inaugural game.

    “Mike [Washington] is a special player,” Valor head coach Dean Cokinos said after the win. “Trying to match up one-on-one with him is really hard. We just took advantage of that.”

    All three of Washington’s touchdown receptions came within in the first 20 minutes of the game, leading the Valor to an early 27-0 lead. The first of Washington’s trio of scores, a 34-yard catch-and-run, came just 2:49 into the game and marked the first touchdown in franchise history. Washington gathered his second touchdown on an eight-yard reception as time expired in the first quarter and his third on an 18-yard strike from QB Erik Meyer with 10:39 remaining in the second quarter.

    “It’s a great start,” said Washington. “It’s one of many firsts for the Washington Valor and the DMV area – much like the first game, first touchdown and more. It’s a great start for what we think will be a great season.”

    Playing in his eighth AFL season, Washington has amassed career totals of 569 receptions, 7,020 receiving yards and 144 touchdowns in stints with the Pittsburgh Power, Spokane Shock, Tampa Bay Storm, Arizona Rattlers and Washington Valor.

    Photo: Washington Valor

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