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Firebirds Sign Former AFL Player of the Year

November 12, 2003 - Arena Football League (1987-2008) (AFL I) - Albany/Indiana Firebirds News Release

INDIANAPOLIS - The Indiana Firebirds announced today that they have signed one of the top scoring threats in all of the Arena Football League, coming to terms with offensive specialist Mike Horacek. Horacek, who began in 1997 with the Iowa Barnstormers, is entering his seventh season in the AFL. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

In 2000, Horacek was named the AFL's Offensive Player of the Year and was a First-Team All-AFL selection. That season, he caught 119 passes for 1,880 yards and scored 46 touchdowns for Iowa.. His touchdown total is the most ever in a single season, while his receiving yards ranks as the third best single season performance in league history. He spent 1998-2000 with the Barnstormers before being acquired by the New Jersey Gladiators on January 30, 2002. While with the Gladiators (2002-03), who moved to Las Vegas prior to last season, Horacek recorded 245 receptions for 2,866 yards and scored 67 touchdowns. He has scored 128 career receiving touchdowns and caught passes for 5,907 yards.

Last season, Horacek again led the AFL in receptions (127), finished 4th in receiving yards (1,585), 5th in receiving touchdowns (36) and 6th in scoring (216 points). He has played offensive specialist for the past two seasons, but was a significant contributor on the defensive side of the ball through the first four years of his career. He has recorded 85.0 total tackles, three interceptions (two returned for touchdowns) and four fumble recoveries (one for a touchdown) as a defensive back.

"Mike Horacek is one of the biggest free-agent signings the Indiana Firebirds have had in our 14-year history", stated General Manager John Kolner. "He is consistently one of the most dominating receivers in the Arena Football League and our fans should be very excited about the direction this team is going. Coach DeBerg and his staff have worked hard to improve our team on the offensive side of the ball, and with the addition of Mike along with Eddie Brown, Brett Bech, and Tony Simmons we should be a very solid team on offense."

The 6-1, 203-pound Iowa State alumnus previously was a member of the Green Bay Packers' practice squad for three weeks during the 2000 season. He rejoined the team for training camp in 2001 and was waived in the final roster reduction for the regular season September 2. He subsequently was re-signed to the practice squad October 17 and remained on its roster until his contract expired Jan. 28, 2002. Horacek was again re-signed by the Packers on August 13, 2003, but was released at the conclusion of training camp.

Firebirds' season tickets for the 2004 season are on sale now and can be purchased by calling a Firebirds' ticket representative at 317.472.8080. Firebirds merchandise is also available at Home Court Gift Shop. For merchandise information, please call 317.917.2755.

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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.

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