Barracudas working into shape for season
BELTON - Now that the 2008 version of the CenTex Barracuda professional indoor football team has been trimmed down to a 35-man roster, it's time for first-year head coach Chris Duliban to begin fine tuning his squad for prime time.
And even though the Barracudas are still more than a week away from their Intense Football League season opener, there is a lot of excitement in the air at the Bell County Expo Center as the team prepares to hit the road for a scrimmage against Odessa Roughnecks Saturday.
"Our wide receivers and defensive back are at mid-season form," said Duliban, beginning his second stint as an indoor football head coach. "But we have lots of talent to work with, they are working hard, and we are progressing well. Even though we've had to fight the weather a bit, I think we're right on schedule."
In addition to signing some experienced indoor football veterans, such the Barracudas' talented wide receiver Olan Coleman, the Barracudas held two combines in which they invited college football players and opened it up to walk-ons to tryout.
Through that process, the coaching staff trimmed more than 50 players down to a 35-man roster after an intra-squad scrimmage on Saturday. But the Barracudas must reduce that number down to 25 players before the first regular season game March 21 at Frisco.
"The final combine was filled with local talent," Duliban said. "They really made our job as coaches tough, but that's a good problem to have. I was pleased with the talent, but even more pleased with the work ethic, which is definitely the most important factor of the two. I'm excited about the potential I see in this group of guys."
With experience at just about every level of high school, college and professional football, Duliban should know what he's talking about.
As an outside linebacker with the Texas Longhorns, Duliban was selected as second-team all-Southwest Conference in 1985. After being drafted by the Dallas Cowboys in 1986, he played two season as a linebacker and on special teams before signing as a free agent with the Buffalo Bills in 1988.
Following his playing career, Duliban spent some time in the private sector before starting his coaching career at Hyde Park Baptist in 1996. In the meantime, he ventured into indoor football arena, working as a defensive coordinator for the IPFL Texas Terminators in 1999 before being hired as the head coach of the National Indoor Football League's Austin Rockers in 2002.
For Duliban, the opportunity to become a professional head coach again came at just the right time for him and his family.
"I'm excited about leading this team to the next level," Duliban said. "It's important to have all the right pieces and that they all fit, and I know this is the best fit for me. I'm going to do everything I can to bring the best quality players to the Barracudas so that we can put a championship caliber team on the field."
NOTES - Individual ticket sales will go on sale at the Bell County Expo Center ticket office on Friday. Tickets will be available Monday through Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Adult ticket prices start at $10, while children begin at $5 per game.
"We are excited about being able to work with the Bell County Expo Center to make it easy for our fans to pick up their tickets," said Barracuda general manger Barney Welch. "There is a lot to be excited about this season. It's coming - Barracuda football."
Season tickets and corporate partnerships are still available. Call 254-939-3941 for more information.
• Discuss this story on the Intense Football League message board...
Intense Football League Stories from March 12, 2008
- Roughnecks Training Camp Update - West Texas Roughnecks
- Time for Wild Road Trip after First Win - Alaska Wild
- Barracudas working into shape for season - CenTex Barracudas
The opinions expressed in this release are those of the organization issuing it, and do not necessarily reflect the thoughts or opinions of OurSports Central or its staff.