September 13, 2011 - Southern Indoor Football League (SIFL) - Columbus Lions
Columbus, GA, September 12 -- For the first time in decades, Fort Benning is about to field an all-post football team, thanks to the efforts of Columbus Lions Head Coach Jason Gibson and staff. The final squad of 50 players (almost twice that many tried out) debuts Sunday, October 2 (kickoff 2:00 p.m. EDT) against the LaGrange College Junior Varsity at historic Doughboy Stadium on the local Army installation.
"It's a distinct honor and great community activity for the Columbus Lions to prepare and train this squad of determined and athletic soldiers for a five-game schedule this fall'" said Gibson. "We love our association with Fort Benning, which is united behind this team - and naturally, our colors match the Army's traditional black and gold."
Gibson said his staff, since Sept. 12, has and will conduct practice every weekday evening from Monday, Sept. 11 at 1800-2000 hours (6-8 p.m.). All practices are at Doughboy Stadium and are open to the public. Assisting Gibson are Lions Defensive Coordinator Brandon Reed (coaching the defensive line and secondary), WR Gerald Gales (receivers), LB Ryan Babb (linebackers), Medical Director Scott Lunato (running backs) and Jeff Gonos (quarterbacks).
Dr. Jay Brodwyn, Gibson reminded, is volunteering his time and expertise as the official chiropractor of the Doughboys, operating from his new location in the Ranger Joe's plaza on Victory Drive in Columbus. Dr. Brodwyn has served as the Lions' team chiropractor since the team's inception in 2007. The rest of the Doughboy schedule will be announced in coming days.
The Lions' website, www.columbuslions.net, is undergoing a transformation as the team strives to add new features and make the site friendlier and more fan-interactive.
"We encourage Lions fans to check out our new weekly Coach's Blog on the site, and for starters, vote for their favorite all-time Lion," said Gibson. "Results of the balloting will be announced Friday. In time, fans will be able to submit their own thoughts by blogging, and in the meantime, can access Twitter updates on our site. We'd like to get as many followers as possible, much as we have on our Facebook page."
Gibson also touted the "Lions TV" feature, introduced for videotaped interviews during last season's run to the Southern Indoor Football League conference championship game. "At our player tryouts last Saturday at the Columbus Civic Center," said Gibson. "one of the `diamonds in the rough' we found is Michael Figgers, a wide receiver from Atlanta. Watch his promotional video "Speed Kills" on Lions TV and let us know if we should invite him to March training camp!"
The Lions' 2012 season ticket count is up to 263, based on deposits made to date, said Vice President, Sales and Marketing Rick Jacobson. Team goal is 1,200 (last year's total was 750). "I think with sustained hard work now through March we might hit 1,500," said Jacobson.