October 11, 2011 - Professional Indoor Football League (PIFL) - Knoxville NightHawks
KNOXVILLE -- Experience at quarterback won't be a problem for the Knoxville Nighthawks when they open the 2012 Professional Indoor Football League season in March.
The Nighthawks announced Tuesday that veteran quarterback Tony Colston has become the first official signee of the franchise. In addition, Colston, who earned a degree in sports management from Tusculum in '04, will also serve as an account executive in the Knoxville front office.
Colston spent last season with the Bolzano Giants of the Italian Football League after a successful four-year run in arena football with the late Tennessee Valley Vipers. In '08, he scored the game-winning two-point conversion in overtime to lead the Vipers past Spokane in the Arena Cup championship game.
"I've been playing football a long time and the opportunity to play here in Knoxville in front of my family, friends, former coaches, teammates, and everyone else that has supported me over the years is a true blessing," Colston said.
"Knoxville is a football town! I hope that the community embraces not only our brand of football, but the things we are trying to achieve within the community with our Youth Indoor Football League and Summer Skills Camps. Its an exciting time to be home, and I look forward to this season more than any other season I've ever played."
After a record setting career at Tusculum, Colston had a cup of coffee in Tennessee Valley before finishing '06 with the IFL's Centex Barracudas. He threw for 1,133 yards and 29 touchdowns in leading Centex to a 9-2 mark before rejoining the Vipers and posting a 17-6 record the next four seasons as a starter.
He earned MVP honors for his performance in the '08 af2 championship game, completing 20 of 30 passes for 288 yards and seven touchdowns before diving in for the OT game-winner. That 56-55 victory for the Vipers before a crowd of 10,000 in Spokane Arena was voted the "Greatest Game Ever Played" by the late af2.
"Arena football is a quarterback-driven game,'' Nighthawks coach Chris Mackeown said.
"So it is very exciting to sign a quarterback with Tony's experience, knowledge and passion for playing the game of football."