Five Pioneers Make the Move to AFL
(Wilkes-Barre, PA) The 2007 American Conference Champion Wilkes-Barre/ Scranton Pioneers have graduated five players to the Arena Football League. Amazing seasons put together by Ryan Vena, David Davis, Beau Elliott, Larry Kendrick and Chris Royal have led to Arena Football League contracts.
Schutt Offensive Player of the Year Ryan Vena has signed with the New York Dragons. Vena had an extraordinary season for the Pioneers in 2007 writing his name all over the franchise's record books. Destroying the team record for touchdown passes with 92, ten better than the previous record of 82. He also ran for 16 touchdowns besting the former record of nine. Vena also set single game records with 10 touchdowns against the Alabama Steeldogs in the tenth game of the year and added the single game rushing record with 50 yards rushing against the Mahoning Valley Thunder in the twelfth game.
Havoc Kicker of the Year David Davis signed with the LA Avengers. Davis has been a fan favorite and one of the best kickers in arenafootball2 during his past four seasons in a Pioneers uniform. Davis led the Pioneers in scoring with 136 points. He was an almost automatic 115-124 (92.7%) on extra points for one of the highest scoring offenses in the af2 and was 7-12 on field goals.
All-af2 First team member Beau Elliott signed with the Chicago Rush. Elliott anchored one of the best offensive lines in the league. A strong leader in the locker room and a mauler on the field, Elliott has been one of the top Pioneers in the last two years.
Multiple US Army Ironman award winner Larry Kendrick has signed with the Philadelphia Soul. Kendrick was everywhere on the field for the Pioneers in 2007. Kendrick was tremendous at the Jack linebacker spot where he snagged five interceptions returning two for touchdowns and he returned a fumble for a touchdown. Larry also returned 24 kicks with a 19.4 yard average and a touchdown. And of course he was one of the most consistent and reliable receivers for Ryan Vena all season with 15 touchdown catches.
The af2 Spalding Rookie of the Year Chris Royal will join Kendrick in camp with the Philadelphia Soul. Royal was a ball hawk for the Pioneers, tying the arenafootball2 all-time interception record with 14 interceptions, led the league in interception return yardage with 185 yards, and tied for the league lead with three returns for a touchdown. He was also the Pioneers leading tackler with 117 tackles (111 solo).
"I'm very pleased to see these guys get their opportunity in the AFL, it's well deserved. We try to create an environment on and off the field for our players to succeed. It is great to see them rewarded for all of the great things they have done for the Pioneers organization," said Head Coach Rich Ingold.
Pioneers owner Cosmo Denicola had this reaction, "Seeing our players move up is an extremely emotional experience, on one hand they will be sadly missed, yet at the same time we take great pride in their professional advancement. They are five quality football players and great ambassadors of the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Pioneers."
The Wilkes-Barre/ Scranton Pioneers will be kicking off their seventh season in the arenafootball2 league with the start of the 2008 season. Season tickets for the Pioneers 2008 season are now on sale! For more information call (570) 970-4232 or visit the Pioneers Web site at www.wbspioneers.com.
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