Fire Assigned Six Players
Louisville Fire head coach Tommy Johnson announced today the Fire has been assigned six more players for the 2004 season by the arenafootball2 (af2) league. Among the six players are former University of Louisville receiver Damien Dorsey, former Kentucky Wesleyan star Anthony Payton, former University of Kentucky standout Alfonzo Browning, James Scott from the University of Cincinnati, Sam Crenshaw from Penn St. and Derrick Shepard from Georgia Tech.
Damien Dorsey, 57 170 Wide Receiver/Defensive Back (WR/DB), joined the Fire last season in time for the last game of the season against Tulsa. In that game Dorsey caught two passes for 11 yards and scored a touchdown. Dorsey made a name for himself at U of L as an undersized receiver with speed and good hands. While at U of L Dorsey had 80 receptions for 1173 yards and eight touchdowns and 34 punt returns for 517 yards and a touchdown. Dorseys best year at U of L came his senior year when he caught 53 passes for 753 yards and seven touchdowns. Damien brings a much needed spark to the team, commented Coach Johnson, He is a good leader and pushes his teammates to play harder every play. While at U of L Dorsey was named the teams Most Inspirational Player following the Cardinals 2001 season when Dorsey battled two injuries and came back in the Liberty Bowl catching three balls for 40 yards in the Cardinals victory over BYU.
Anthony Payton, 62 220 Wide Receiver/Line Backer (WR/LB), was with the Fire during the 2001 and 2002 seasons and with the Cincinnati Swarm in 2003. Payton had also spent time in the Arena Football League with the Buffalo Destroyers (now located in Columbus, OH) and the New Jersey Gladiators (now located in Las Vegas). Payton has his most productive year in the af2 in 2002 catching 102 passes for 1450 yards and 21 touchdowns. Payton has 2812 receiving yards on 222 receptions with 45 touchdowns in his three year af2 career. Anthony is like having another coach on the field. He has an understanding of this game that cannot be taught, said Coach Johnson. On the defensive side of the ball Payton has 99 tackles and four interceptions with one touchdown all-time. In the off-season Payton is also an offensive coordinator at Fern Creek High School in Louisville.
Alfonzo Browning, 62 205 WR/LB, has been with the Fire since 2002. Alfonzo has played in both the NFL with the San Francisco 49ers and the CFL, with the Toronto Argonauts and Montreal Alouettes. Browning has also played in NFL Europe with the Barcelona Dragons and the AFL with the San Jose Sabercats. Browning played in just three games with the Fire in 2002 before suffering a season ending back injury. In 2003 Browning came back and caught 45 balls for 666 yards and 9 touchdowns including a record setting 49 yard touchdown reception. On defense Browning has 29 tackles and an interception in 2003. Alfonzo is a sure handed veteran who will get us the first down or touchdown when we need a big play, remarked Coach Johnson. Alfonzo also spends his off-season coaching at Jeffersontown High School.
James Scott, 62 200 Offensive Specialist (OS), is an af2 veteran having spent time with the Carolina Rhinos and Cincinnati Swarm. In 2003 Scott had his coming out party in af2 with 108 receptions for 1501 yards and 31 touchdowns for Cincinnati. Over his three year af2 career Scott has amassed 54 touchdowns receiving and one kick return for a touchdown. James finds ways to get open. He can not only play the OS position but also the WR/LB, said Fire assistant coach Chris MacKeown, He is a dominate blocker, he can really do it all.
Derrick Shepard, 63 300 Offensive Lineman/Defensive Lineman (OL/DL), has spent time with both the Miami Dolphins and the New England Patriots of the NFL and the Arizona Rattlers of the AFL. Shepard spent time with the Tennessee Valley Vipers in 2002 and in 2003 he was with the Cincinnati Swarm. Derrick has potential to be the best lineman in this league, commented Coach Johnson. Shepard, a natural center who can also play tight end, has recorded 21 tackles and 4 sacks in his two year af2 career. Derrick will bring us a much needed pass rush and great on the field leadership, said Coach MacKeown.
Sam Crenshaw, 63 225 WR/LB, made his af2 debut in 2003 with the Peoria Pirates. After being cut by the Pirates the Cincinnati Swarm were quick to scoop him up. Crenshaw came along slowly on offense with the Swarm, but quickly made a name for himself on the defensive side of the ball recording 14 tackles, one interception, and one fumble recovery for a touchdown in 2003. While Sam is still progressing on offense he is very dominate on defense, said Coach MacKeown, He is also a good character guy who will only make this team better.
The Fire will open the 2004 regular season on April 10 in Freedom Hall. Season tickets are on sale now starting at $49 and can be purchased by calling 368-0009.
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