Category Archives: players

Georgia Force QB RJ Archer Signed By Detroit Lions

Force starting QB RJ Archer (6’2, 225, William and Mary) was added to the Detroit Lions roster on Thursday. Archer attended the Lions mini camp last month and caught the eye of the Detroit coaches.

“It is a good opportunity for RJ,” stated head coach Dean Cokinos. “Helping players move up is what the Arena Football League is about. He was a total professional and team guy with us. This is well deserved; we wish him nothing but the best.”

Georgia has bumped up former Hawaii standout Bryant Moniz (6’0, 215, Hawaii) to fill the void, along with Tony Colston (6’4, 215, Tusculum).

The Force will be on the road again this weekend, facing the Utah Blaze on Saturday, June 23rd at 9 p.m. EST at the EnergySolutions Arena in Salt Lake City, Utah. The game will be streamed live on Ustream.

Weekly Report: Force Prepares For Utah Amidst Injuries

After falling to the Chicago Rush in Rosemont, Illinois this past weekend, the Force coaches and players are making the necessary adjustments to push for a successful next four games. These last four games against Utah, Orlando, Pittsburgh, and New Orleans are each critical match-ups for the Force; losing just one game could potentially put an end to Georgia’s run to the ArenaBowl XXV. Despite the loss to the Rush, the Force are currently in first place in the South Division, with the Jacksonville Sharks, New Orleans VooDoo, and Tampa Bay Storm all trailing closely behind at a tie for second place.

The Force were faced with a significant amount of injuries during the contest against the Rush on Saturday. On defense, DB’s Ahmad Hawkins and Marrio Norman were both forced to leave the game at different times. On offense, WR CJ Johnson had to leave the game in the third quarter, and QB RJ Archer dealt with an injury that forced him to miss two series. Despite the injury, Johnson was still able to earn the Spalding Highlight of the Week award from the Arena Football League for his 53 yard kickoff return for a touchdown to open the second half of the game. On another positive note, QB Bryant Moniz was cleared from injured reserve at the end of last week and has been added back to the active roster. The coaches are now anxiously awaiting to hear the prognosis of Hawkins, CJ Johnson, Norman, and Mike Johnson from the team’s medical staff.

“The bottom line is that we now have a four game season and we control our own destiny,” explained head coach Dean Cokinos. “We have lacked continuity with the roster and have been very inconsistent throughout the year. We have had steady play and growth on defense, even with all the injuries in the secondary. However, this is arena football, and it is vital that our offense executes at a higher and more consistent level for the remainder of the season for
us to have a chance to compete for the division and the #2 play-off seed.”

The Force will remain on the road this weekend, facing the Utah Blaze on Saturday, June 23rd at 9 p.m. EST at the EnergySolutions Arena in Salt Lake City, Utah. The showdown will be streamed live on Ustream.

WR/DB Larry Shipp Earns AFL’s Russell Athletic Offensive Player of the Week

The Arena Football League has announced that Force WR/DB Larry Shipp (5’10, 200, Tennessee Tech) has earned the Russell Athletic Offensive Player of the Week for his performance during the week 14 contest against the Jacksonville Sharks.

Shipp had a stellar game against the Sharks, and was an integral piece in the Force’s 56-39 victory over Jacksonville. Shipp had 13 receptions for 167 yards and three receiving touchdowns. He also had a one-yard rushing touchdown and 38 kick return yards. Shipp has now collected 106 receptions for 1,268 yards and 26 touchdowns in addition to four rushing touchdowns on five carries this season. He leads the Force in scoring with 182 points.

Shipp was voted the National Guard MVP for his performance during the AFL’s Week 3 earlier this season. Shipp tied a Georgia franchise record with six receiving touchdowns, including five in the first half, during the team’s victory over Jacksonville on March 24th, 2012. The Force WR/DB notched 12 catches for 144 yards in the 69-41 rout of the defending champs. This is Shipp’s second league award for the 2012 season.

“With WR CJ Johnson out for the Jacksonville game, we turned to Larry to shoulder the load and he answered the bell with a memorable performance,” stated head coach Dean Cokinos. “He impacted the outcome of the game. This award is well deserved.”

The Force will be on the road this weekend, facing the Chicago Rush on Saturday, June 16th at 8 p.m. EST at the Allstate Arena Center in Rosemont, Illinois. The game will be streamed live on Ustream.

Force WR Brandon McRae Activated Off Of IR

WR Brandon McRae has been activated off of IR after starting WR CJ Johnson strained his hamstring in the contest against the New Orleans VooDoo on June 2nd. Before being placed on IR for a broken thumb, McRae accomplished 41 receptions for 361 yards resulting in 12 touchdowns in just seven games with the Force.

“CJ contibutes to the team in so many different ways,” stated head coach Dean Cokinos. “Losing him for this this game leaves a void to fill. We will count on Shipp and the young receivers (Jake Allen, Brandon McRae, and Shay Hodge) to pick up the slack.”

The Force will remain home this weekend, facing the Jacksonville Sharks on Saturday, June 9th at 7 p.m. EST at the The Arena at Gwinnett Center in Duluth, Georgia. When the Force met the Sharks earlier this season, they dominated the game, with a final score of 69-41. The Sharks will no doubt be looking for revenge and to keep their 3-game winning streak alive. The showdown will be streamed live on Ustream as well as televised on WSB’s MeTV 2.2, Comcast channel 248 and Charter channel 126.

The 2012 is in full-swing with an exciting, family-friendly slate of promotions and entertainment. For more information on how to reserve your single game tickets, please call the front office at 770.609.1300. For more information, please visit http://www.georgiaforce.com. Be sure to follow the Force Blog as well as Twitter and Facebook for all the latest updates.

American Red Cross Blood Drive

On Friday, June 1st from 1-6 p.m., the American Red Cross will be holding a blood drive in conjunction with the Georgia Force at the Gwinnett Arena Box Office Building! All presenting donors will receive 25% off sideline seats, a voucher for a free round of putt putt from the Georgia Trail at Sugarloaf, and a Papa John’s $10 discount card eligible for any online order. Donors will also be entered into a raffle for a chance to win a Georgia Force autographed jersey and football!

Bonus: the Force players will be at the arena from 1-6 p.m. signing autographs for all generous donors!

WHAT: American Red Cross Blood Drive in conjunction with the Georgia Force

WHEN: Friday, June 1st from 1- 6 p.m.

WHERE: Gwinnett Arena Box Office Building
6400 Sugarloaf Parkway
Duluth, GA 30097

HOW: Schedule online at redcrossblood.org and enter sponsor code: georgiaforce

For additional information, please contact Henry Levin by calling 770.609.1311 or emailing hlevin@georgiaforce.com

CJ Johnson Wins Cutters Catch of the Week and AFL Playmaker of the Week

WR CJ Johnson (5’10, 180, Tennessee State) was an integral part in the Force’s 55-52 defeat of the Pittsburgh Power last Saturday. The Arena Football League took note of Johnson’s exemplary performance and awarded him two league-wide awards: the Cutters Catch of the Week and the AFL PLaymaker of the Week. Congratulations, CJ!

CUTTERS CATCH OF THE WEEK
Johnson made a spectacular one-handed touchdown catch in the Force’s 55-52 victory over the Pittsburgh Power in Week 9. The touchdown was one of three Johnson recorded in the game. He will receive a Cutters t-shirt and hat for his efforts in Week 9.

AFL PLAYMAKER OF THE WEEK
Johnson was also named AFL Playmaker of the Week for his efforts on both offense and special teams. Johnson accumulated 304 all-purpose yards in Week 9, with 116 coming in the receiving game and 188 yards off kick returns. He has four straight games with an all-purpose yardage total in triple digits.

The Force will be home this weekend, facing the Tampa Bay Storm on Saturday, May 12th at 7 p.m. EST at the The Arena at Gwinnett Center in Duluth, Georgia. The game will be televised on WSB MeTV 2.2 Atlanta, as well as streamed live on Ustream. Call 770.609.1300 to purchase your tickets today!

QB RJ Archer Heading To Detroit Lions Mini Camp

Force starting QB RJ Archer (6’2, 225, William and Mary) has been invited to attend the NFL’s 2012 Detroit Lions Mini Camp. Archer leaves for Detroit Thursday morning, and will participate in practices and meeting with the Lions on Friday and Saturday before returning to Georgia on Sunday. Mini Camps are designed to give rookies an opportunity to showcase their skills to NFL coaches and staff, potentially earning them a position on the roster.

“It’s definitely a good opportunity; it’s always great when an NFL team wants to take a look at you,” stated Archer. “I’m just ready to get up there and get on the field and show them what I can do.”

Head Coach Dean Cokinos agrees that this is an advantageous opportunity for Archer. “This is part of the deal in the AFL,” explained Cokinos. “It is our goal to develop and promote as many players as possible to get them to the next level. RJ deserves this opportunity.”

Archer is not the only Force player to get a chance to pursue his NFL dreams in recent months: WR Rodney Bradley signed with the Baltimore Ravens back in September. Additionally, WR Justin Harper and DB Jamar Wall signed with the Canadian Football League in January.

The Force will be home this weekend, facing the Tampa Bay Storm on Saturday, May 12th at 7 p.m. EST at the The Arena at Gwinnett Center in Duluth, Georgia. The game will be televised on WSB MeTV 2.2 Atlanta, as well as streamed live on Ustream.

Second Annual Georgia Force Youth Camp

The Georgia Force is thrilled to announce that the date for the second annual youth football camp has been set for Friday, June 8th beginning at 8 a.m. at The Arena at Gwinnett Center. All youth between the ages of 6 and 13 are invited to attend the camp and learn the fundamentals of football from current Force players. Registration will begin at 8 a.m., with camp promptly kicking off at 9 a.m. A catered lunch by Papa John’s will be served at 11 a.m., followed by an autograph session with the Force players at 12 p.m. Attendees should wear athletic gear fit for Astro Turf.

The cost of the camp is $40 per camper until Wednesday, June 6th. The price will be $50 the day of the camp. Cost includes a youth t-shirt, a ticket to the June 9th Georgia Force versus Jacksonville Sharks game at The Arena at Gwinnett Center, a post-camp meal provided by Papa John’s, and the post-camp autograph session. To register online, please visit http://www.georgiaforce.com/fans-kids/football-camp/.

WHAT: Second Annual Georgia Force Youth Football Camp

WHEN: Friday, June 8th from 8 a.m. until 12 p.m.

WHERE: The Arena at Gwinnett Center
6400 Sugarloaf Parkway
Duluth, GA 30097

COST: $40 Until June 6th, 2012
$50 Day of Camp

For additional information, please contact Brad Graham by calling 404.966.3180 or emailing bgraham@georgiaforce.com.

In addition to being an active member of the roster, FB Benji McDowell is in the midst of instructing his own fitness camp for high school age students in Suwanee, Georgia. For eight days, Benji taught critical techniques to help the young athletes unleash their full speed potential. McDowell also helped the students train and learn in a small group environment, improve their running efficiency, and taught them the drills and exercises that are crucial to building speed and enhancing their flexibility and mobility. The student athletes boosted their start efficiency through learning proper technique.

Benji has served as a personal trainer for the last three years and has offered his knowledge to high school and collegiate athletes in North Carolina,
Georgia and Alabama. At Lenoir Rhyne University, he was a three year starter, and for two years, he served as team captain of the football team. While attending Lenior Rhyne, he set multiple defensive records and became an All-American. McDowell graduated in the Spring of 2007.

McDowell draws from a myriad of experience, including competing at the collegiate and professional levels. McDowell also draws from the techniques
he learned during his combine preparation with NFL, and his time spent playing professionally in the CFL and AFL.

He has become familiar with success both as a three year AFL veteran with the Alabama Vipers, who won an Arena Cup and with his current team,
Georgia Force, who also reached the Championship game. All these experiences helped McDowell to successfully create camps and programs to develop
both young athletes and adults.

Larry Shipp Wins Week 3 National Guard MVP from the AFL

On Saturday, April 7th at 7 p.m. the Georgia Force will take on the Philadelphia Soul in The Arena at Gwinnett Center in Duluth, Georgia. After coming off of a bye week, the Georgia Force have their work cut out for them with the Soul as their Week 5 competitor.

The team is hoping to continue the momentum of the win earned in Week 3 against the Jacksonville Sharks, the reigning ArenaBowl XXIV champions. The 69-41 Force victory was the first win against the Sharks in franchise history. A major contributor to the victory was WR Larry Shipp (5-10, 200, Tennessee Tech), and his performance did not go unnoticed. Shipp earned the Week 3 National Guard MVP from the Arena Football League for his stellar game against the Sharks. Shipp received 50 percent of the fans’ votes on ArenaFootball.com after tying a Georgia franchise record with six receiving touchdowns, including five in the first half, during the team’s Week 3 victory over Jacksonville. Shipp notched 12 catches for 144 yards in the victory against defending champs.

Other candidates for the award included Utah Blaze QB Tommy Grady and Chicago Rush WR Reggie Gray.

To reserve your single game tickets for the contest against the Soul on Saturday for as low as $10, please call the front office at 770.609.1300.

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