Ding, Ding, Ding... Round 1
Round one of the NIFL Playoffs begin this week. The Everett Hawks have locked in the #1 seed and will be paired off against the eighth seeded Billings Mavericks, a team the Hawks faced just a couple weeks ago. The Hawks officially have earned home field advantage throughout the playoffs with their 14-0 record. The game will take place on Friday, July 8 at the Everett Events Center with kickoff taking place at 7:05pm.
The Hawks had a much deserved bye week last week, giving them a nice break heading into the playoffs. "The break was great for our team," said Head Coach Dan Maciejczak. "It gave our players time to recover from injuries and get their legs fresh." A lot of the players used the break as a chance to go home and visit their family and friends. The team began practicing again last Thursday and is focused for their upcoming game.
"Going 14-0 on the season was great, something I'll always remember, but we got four more games to go. This is the most important time of the season. We need to get focused and play even better than we did in the regular season because everyone is looking to knock you off when you're on top" said Coach Majic.
The winner of the match up will have to wait until Sunday to find out who they are going to play in the second round of the playoffs. They will face the winner of the Tri-Cities/Wyoming game. Permitting the Hawks win this week, the second round is scheduled for Friday, July 15 in Everett.
Although Billings finished the regular season with a 5-9 record, they have been playing good ball as of late. Everett and Billings have already met twice this season, but the Mavericks have played the Hawks close in both encounters. The last match-up between the two teams was on June 24, when Everett defeated Billings 34-25. The game was filled with a lot of excitement. The bad blood between the two teams led to the ejection of four players, including Everett's Jaquwan Brackenridge. Also, before the game Billing's coach Joe Curtiss was suspended for the game by the league for not sending game film to the Hawks prior to them arriving in Everett.
Info About Everett Hawks Upcoming Opponent:The Billings Mavericks
Former Head Coach Joe Curtiss
Joe Curtiss announced his resignation as head coach of the Billings Mavericks on Tuesday and will be replaced by player/coach Bob Bees for Friday night's National Indoor Football League playoff game in Everett, Wash.
Curtiss, who has directed the Mavericks to a 5-9 record this season, is headed to Shorter College in Georgia next week to begin work as the teams inside linebackers' coach for the coming season.
He said Tuesday that he needed to take care of some "personal matters" this week before moving to Georgia, and that he wouldn't have been able to travel to Everett in time for the game. "I just really don't have any more time," said the 34-year-old Curtiss. "I'm out of time with my other job and need to get going."
Curtiss called that one-game suspension "bogus," but added that it didn't figure in his resignation. I'm still not happy about that suspension," he said. "When that kind of stuff happens it makes you feel like it's not an even playing field."
Curtiss was the head coach of Billings for the 2002 and 2003 seasons. Curtiss had a successful campaign in 2002 when he led his team to the Indoor Bowl in which his team lost to the Ohio Valley Greyhounds. The loss did something to the morale of the team for the 2003 season; Billings had a disappointing 5-9 record and missed the playoffs. Then Billing's Owner, Duane Anderson, was unpleased with the sudden drop in production by his team and replaced Curtiss with Dan Maciejczak for the 2004 season. Maciejczak brought the team back up to Anderson's standards by guiding the team to an 11-3 record and leading them to the Conference Championship.
With new ownership in Billings this season, and Maciejczak in Everett, the team turned back to Curtiss this season to run the helms as the head coach. Curtiss also served as the team's defensive coordinator, a responsibility defensive end Anthony Bonner will take over. Quarterback Bob Bees will continue to serve as the team's offensive coordinator. Brian Arthun will also help on special teams and defense.
Key Players for the Billings Mavericks
WR Chris Stallworth
College: Utah State University
Stallworth is in his first year of professional football after a productive career at Utah State University. He started almost every game in his four year career at Utah St. and was considered the team's top wide out. He earned second team All-Conference honors and Freshmen Player of the Year award. Stallworth is trying to showcase his talent on the field in hopes to make it to the next level, like his cousin Donte Stallworth, who is a starting wide receiver in the NFL for the New Orleans Saints.
QB Bob Bees
College: Rocky Mountain College
Professional Experience: Bees was a backup to Danny Ragsdale last year with the Billings Outlaws before joining the Tulsa Talons of AF2...Played two seasons in the AFL...Spent the prior three seasons with Richmond of af2...Was with the Saber Cats in 1999 but did not play...Selected off San Jose's roster by Oklahoma in the 2000 Expansion Draft...Played sparingly in 2000 with the Wranglers...Signed as a free agent on January 14, 2003....Played three seasons (2000-02) with the Richmond Speed of af2...Completed 262-of-502 attempts (52.2%) for 3,579 yards and 73 TDs leading the Speed to the 2001 ArenaCup title game...Had his most productive af2 campaign going 293-of-481 (60.9%) for 3,650 yards with 64 TDs...Joined Richmond midway through the 2000 season and guided team to a 7-2 record after the Speed had gone 0-7...Was under center for all 34 wins in Speed history and owns a 34-13 record as Richmond's starter...Attended a San Francisco 49ers tryout following his senior year at Rocky Mountain.
College Highlights: Bob Bees was an All-America quarterback at Rocky Mountain College in 1996. Bees passed for 4,315 yards and 36 touchdowns in guiding Rocky to a 6-4 record during his one season with the Bears. Rocky had gone 0-10 in football in 1995, and before Bees arrived the Bears had lost 41 consecutive games. In gaining NAIA Division I All-America status in his one season at Rocky, Bees led the nation in passing offense and total offense. His average of 431.5 passing yards per game is an NAIA record, and his 685 yards in one game against Carroll College is also a record. Bees' 4,315 passing yards in 1996 is the fourth-highest single-season total in NAIA history.
DL Anthony Bonner
College: Mississippi Valley State University
Bonner played college football at Mississippi Valley State as a defensive tackle. He was All SWAC for three consecutive years and was named New Comer of the Year as well as Preseason All American. Bonner started his pro-football experience with the Grand Rapid Rampage of the AFL. While playing for the Bismarck Roughriders in 2002, Anthony racked up 74 total tackles and 15 sacks. He played last year with the Billings Outlaws and went through training camp with the Hawks this year before returning to Billings.
• Discuss this story on the National Indoor Football League message board...
National Indoor Football League Stories from July 6, 2005
- Ding, Ding, Ding... Round 1 - Everett Hawks
- Rage head for Savvis Center and conference quarterfinal against Cincinnati - RiverCity Rage
- NIFL All Stars Named For First Annual All Star Game - NIFL
- Drillers ready for playoffs - Beaumont Drillers
- Chisholm Champion in Maulers Reading Competition - Montgomery Bears
- Dayton's Maurice Lee appreciates opportunity, sets marks - Dayton Bulldogs
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.