Category Archives: coaches

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.

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Youth Football Camp

On Friday morning, approximately thirty-three young football enthusiasts between the ages of six and thirteen participated in the official 2012 Georgia Force Youth Football Camp at The Arena at Gwinnett Center in Duluth, Georgia. For four hours, the young Force fans learned the fundamentals of football from current Georgia Force coaches and players. The children worked on their offensive and defensive skills, enjoyed a lunch catered by Papa John’s, and received autographs signed by their favorite Force players!

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.

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.

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.

Calling The Shots

This week, head coach Dean Cokinos beefed up his coaching staff with two new additions: Cosmo Dematteo as defensive coordinator, and Demetrius Derico as defensive backs and special teams coach. Dematteo and Derico will join Cokinos and line coach James Clark for the remainder of the 2012 season.

A 2001 graduate of the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga, DeMatteo spent 2010 and 2011 as a Receivers Coach for the Toronto Argonauts. Prior to that, DeMatteo held the position as Assistant Head Coach, Offensive Coordinator and Director of Player Personnel for the Tennessee Valley Vipers from 2008 to 2009. Additionally, DeMatteo was the Wide Receiver and and Passing Game Coordinator Coach at the Baylor School during that time. Most recently, he assisted the Force coaching staff at the 2012 training camp.

Derico, an arena football veteran, signed with the Alabama Hammers during their inaugural Southern Indoor Football League season. Prior to that, Derico led the af2’s Vipers in tackles during the 2008 and 2009 seasons, before joining the AFL’s Alabama Vipers as defensive backs coach in 2010. Derico played collegiately for Alabama State, before posting 44.5 tackles for the AFL’s New Orleans VooDoo in 2007. In 2008, Derico became an integral member of the Tennessee Valley Vipers on defense, completing 85 tackles and 10 interceptions on the teams’ run to the Arena Cup championship. Derico posted 94 tackles and a pair of interceptions for the Vipers before he was given the position as defensive backs coach.