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Chris Royal Named Spalding Rookie of the Year

August 17, 2007 - arenafootball2 (af2) - Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Pioneers News Release

(Wilkes-Barre, PA) The Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Pioneers are excited to announce that Chris Royal has been named the af2 Spalding Rookie of the Year, as selected by a vote of arenafootball2 head coaches and members of the media.

Royal has been a playmaker all season for the Pioneers. During the regular season he tied the arenafootball2's all-time record for most interceptions with 14 (tied 2007 season league high), led the league in interception return yards with 185 yards and tied for the top spot in the league in interceptions returned for touchdowns with three. Royal's 14 interceptions also broke the Pioneers all-time record of seven that was previously held by former Pioneer Matt Forbes during the 2006 season. In addition, he tied a Pioneers record with teammate TuTu Ferguson for having the most interceptions in a game with three.

Royal led the Pioneer defense in tackles with 117.0 (111.0 unassisted) and pass breakups with 29.0. His 111 unassisted tackles placed him third in the arenafootball2 league during the regular season and he was tied for second in the league for most passes defended with 43. During the Pioneers two post-season games Royal has accumulated one interception, three pass breakups and 18 tackles.

"Chris Royal has tremendous skills at defensive back. I'm not surprised a player of his caliber was selected for an award like this," stated Pioneers Defensive Backfield Coach Jake Grande. "I know his hard work and determination will pay off at the next level."

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