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.
After nearly a month of fan voting, the Arena Football League announced the winners of “NET10 Dream Team” Monday afternoon.
“NET10 Dream Team” is composed of one dancer from each AFL team who will perform at ArenaBowl XXV. “NET10 Dream Team” will also make appearances during the ArenaBowl Championship Week.
Thirty-four dancers (two in each market) competed for a spot on “NET10 Dream Team.” Fans could vote on one dancer per team, once a day on ArenaFootball.com. The dancer with the most votes on each team was selected as a member of “NET10 Dream Team.” Macy was chosen as the Georgia representative, and will make the journey New Orleans to dance at the ArenaBowl XXV.
“After hearing the news of being selected to the Dream Team, I experienced a rush of nervous excitement,” explained Macy. “Cheerleading is one of my passions and I am very fortunate to represent a dynamic organization such as the Georgia Force. I look forward to the Net10 ArenaBowl and sharing this experience with both my teammates and my Force family. GO FORCE!”
“Of course, I am very excited for Macy to have this experience because it’s truly one of those once-in-a-lifetime moments that she will treasure for years to come,” stated Joie Ashworth, Director of the Georgia Force Cheerleaders. “Her Net10 AFL Dream Teammates are in for a treat too! Macy is a hard worker, a powerhouse dancer and her teammates love her sense of humor.”
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.
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.
CHICAGO – Arizona WR MAURICE PURIFY has been awarded the Russell Athletic Offensive Player of the Week award, while Spokane DB TERRANCE SANDERS has been named the Riddell Defensive Player of the Week and Georgia WR CJ JOHNSON has been named JLS Ironman of the Week for Week 11 of the 2012 AFL season. In addition to these three awards, the AFL is also awarding the Cutters Catch of the Week, AFL Playmaker of the Week and Spalding Highlight of the Week. The Cutters Catch of the Week award winner for Week 11 is DB JEREMY KELLEM of the New Orleans VooDoo. Arizona QB NICK DAVILA has been awarded the AFL Playmaker of the Week award, while the Spalding Highlight of the Week award winner is Jacksonville FB RENDRICK TAYLOR.
JLS IRONMAN OF THE WEEK
Johnson (5-10, 180, Tennessee State University) shined as a receiver and return man in Week 11, hauling in 11 balls for 171 yards and two scores on offense, including a 49-yard touchdown reception, while totaling 201 return yards and a 55-yard kickoff return touchdown on special teams. Johnson will receive a timepiece crafted by JLS for his efforts.
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!
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.
On Friday, March 16th, Georgia Force OL Kevin McAlmont was named the Week 1 National Guard Community MVP by the Arena Football League for his stellar philanthropic efforts.
“It’s important to everyone in our organization that we make the most of the platform we’ve been given and serve our community the best we can,” stated Georgia Force President Corey Remillard. “We’re excited and honored that Kevin has been chosen as the Week One National Guard Community MVP.”
“I’m truly grateful to have a player like Kevin,” commented Barbie Bufford, Community Relations Director for the Force. “His eagerness to volunteer in the community and help teach kids that education should be their number one priority, then sports. It is an absolute dream.”
Most recently, McAlmont read to the children of Alcova Elementary School in Dacula, Georgia and Rockbridge Elementary School in Norcross, Georgia. McAlmont also recently paid a visit to the Zone at Scottish Rite Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta, and spent time volunteering alongside the Force front office staff at the Georgia Lions Lighthouse Foundation on Martin Luther King, Jr. Day. Today, McAlmont will visit a pre-K class at Discovery Point Child Development Center.
The National Guard Community MVP is awarded to one player each week to recognize their commitment to community service. Following the 2012 season, players will be voted on by fans to become the National Guard Community MVP of the Year.
The Force take on the Jacksonville Sharks in Jacksonville, Florida this Friday at the Sea Best Field at Jacksonville Veterans Memorial Arena at 7:00 PM EST. The game will be televised locally on WSBTV 2.2.
The Georgia Force of the Arena Football League increase stability to their defense with the addition of veteran defensive back Tracy Belton.
Belton (6’1″, 185 lbs) played collegiately at the University of Massachusetts, where he was part of a Division 1-AA National Championship team. Belton was signed by the Milwaukee Mustangs of the AFL in 2010 and spent two seasons with Green Bay in the now defunct af2 prior to joining the Force. While with Georgia in 2011, Belton had ninety-two solo tackles, nineteen assist tackles, and nine interceptions for one hundred and twenty-four yards with one resulting in a touchdown.
The signing of Belton will strengthen an already deep group of defensive backs for Georgia, which was a priority for Coach Dean Cokinos heading into the 2012 season.
“Getting Tracy back is big for us as he is as good as it gets in the AFL,” stated Cokinos. “He is a true cover guy who is extremely smart and can play all three spots back there for us. Most importantly, he makes game-changing plays with his ability to be around the football on a consistent basis.”
The schedule for the 2012 season is out with an exciting, family-friendly slate of promotions and entertainment. For more information on how to reserve your seats for the Force’s 2012 run to the Arena Bowl, please call the front office at 770.609.1300. For more information, please visit http://www.georgiaforce.com. Be sure to follow the Force on Twitter and Facebook for all the latest updates and events!
In conjunction with the Arena Football League’s “Year of the Fan,” the AFL has recently announced a new fan-centric program, deemed “Fanographies.” The program encourages AFL fans to share their personal experiences as a fan of the AFL in one-to-two page essays of 250-500 words in length, photos, and even 30 to 60 second videos. Each submission must illustrate why they love the AFL and what makes them the most devoted fans.
Select fan submissions will be featured throughout the 2012 AFL season leading up to the Arena Bowl XXV. Fans that submit their story will be eligible for giveaways during the 2102 season.