Destroyers' Cecil Doggette to retire at end of 2006 season
COLUMBUS, Ohio - Columbus Destroyers defensive specialist Cecil Doggette has announced that he will retire at the end of the 2006 Arena Football League season, the team announced today. Doggette will play his final home game, and the 118th game of his career, this Saturday, May 6, against the Tampa Bay Storm, where the team will honor him prior to the 7 p.m. kickoff.
"I have gone back and forth with this decision, but I just think it's time," Doggette said. "It's time to move on and pursue other opportunities that have been presented to me. It's time to pass the torch, so to speak, to the younger guys. I have been doing this for so long, and I have been blessed to do this for so long. I just want to spend more time with my family and pursue these business opportunities that I do have."
Doggette (5-8, 180, West Virginia), who is in his 12th season in the AFL, will play his final home game against Tampa Bay coach Tim Marcum, who was Doggette's first head coach in the AFL when his career began in 1993 with the Detroit Drive.
Doggette is the AFL's all-time leader in pass breakups with 152 to his credit. This season, his first with the Destroyers, Doggette ranks second on the team in tackles with 56.0 (47UT-18AT) and has added seven pass breakups, an interception and a fumble recovery. For his career, Doggette ranks fifth all-time in tackles with 546.0 (492UT-184AT), and has intercepted 28 passes, forced 13 fumbles, recovered eight fumbles, and added eight tackles for a loss.
"Since 1996, Cecil has filled a duel role to me as a son and a player; he is that close to me as a person," Destroyers head coach Doug Kay said. "I have a tremendous amount of respect for what he stands for on and off the football field. He will always be an integral part of my family."
Doggette's career began in 1993 with the Detroit Drive and continued in 1995 with the Arizona Rattlers. He spent seven seasons with the Rattlers, and, along with Kay, won ArenaBowl XI in 1997. In 2003, Doggette joined the Grand Rapids Rampage, where he spent three seasons prior to joining the Destroyers.
In addition to playing in two ArenaBowl's, his list of awards includes being named First Team All-Arena in 1999 and Second Team All-Arena in 2002 and he played in two ArenaBowl's. He also spent time in the World League, where he won a World League title with the Frankfurt Galaxy in 1995 and was named to the all-World League Team in 1996 and 1997.
Tickets for Saturday's game start as low as $10 are on sale now by calling (614) 246-HITS or by visiting www.ColumbusDestroyers.com. In addition, high school and college students (23 years and under) with a valid student ID may purchase a specially priced $7 ticket beginning two hours prior to the game at the Nationwide Arena Ticket Office only.
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