Force Prepares For Final Six Game Push
With a critical divisional contest a mere few days away and the first place position in the South division wide open, the Georgia Force are making preparations for a final six game push. Due to the Force’s loss against the New Orleans VooDoo, the top spot in the South is within grasp for four out of five Southern teams. The Jacksonville Sharks currently hold the top position, with a 6-5 record. The Tampa Bay Storm and Force are tied at second, each with a 6-6 record. The VooDoo are still within reach at 5-6, and Orlando is in last place at 1-10.
The past few weeks have proven to be a tumultuous time for the Force roster. WR Brandon McRae was put on IR after breaking his thumb during the Arizona game. Shortly after, DL Louis Ellis and WR Mike Johnson were both moved to IR during the contest against Pittsburgh, for a MCL sprain and a high ankle sprain, respectively. The roster took a significant hit when DB Tracy Belton was put on injured reserve after ripping his groin during the Tampa Bay game. Starting QB RJ Archer was noticeably absent from the contest against Tampa Bay after accepting an invitation from the NFL’s Detroit Lions to attend their rookie mini-camp. Two weeks later, Archer tied the knot and was not able to participate in the game against the Kansas City Command. As a result, the Force coaching staff made a series of additions, including QB Bryant Moniz and DB Richard Torres, both out of Hawaii, DB Ahmad Hawkins, a former Force player, and WR Shay Hodge, a former Ole Miss star who has had stints with the San Francisco 49ers, the Washington Redskins, and the Cincinnati Bengals.
“The last four or five weeks have been challenging, with all of the sudden and unexpected changes occurring due to injuries along with RJ and Larry Shipp missing games for personal reasons,” explained head coach Dean Cokinos. The coaching staff also lost a valuable member when Willie Gary accepted a full time high school coaching job. Cokinos and his staff remain positive, though: “Many of the first-year AFL players on our roster have received an opportunity to develop and get valuable game experience. Also, we have won three of the last five division contests to keep us in the race; however, losing to New Orleans makes this week’s game against Jacksonville critical to our season and it is imperative that we get back on track,” stated Cokinos.
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.