Manchester Wolves Fan Fest and Scrimmage Saturday
MANCHESTER, NH-Manchester Wolves fans will get a first look at their 2008 team and the new coaching staff at a special event and scrimmage on Saturday, March 22nd.
Fan Fest, which will be held at the Hampshire Dome in Milford from 3:00 to 6:00 p.m., is open to the public without charge. Fans are invited to watch the team play the last intra-squad scrimmage before new Head Coach Danton Barto makes the final roster cuts.
"This is the most talented group of players I've had overall," said Barto, who last season was the head coach of the Arena Football League Las Vegas Gladiators and won the af2 championship as the Memphis Xplorers head coach in 2005. "We've got some holdovers from the past and I've also brought in some of the guys who've played for me before."
Look for one of Barto's former players to make an immediate impact this season.
Dahneal Singfield, a 6'1", 190 pound defensive back, played in the AFL the past two seasons and was recognized as the af2 Defensive Player of the Year when he was a vital part of the Xplorers championship team in 2005. In 2006, he was selected for the AFL All-Rookie team as a starter with the New York Dragons.
"He's a special player," said Barto. "We're excited to have him with the Wolves."
While most of the players on the 2008 team will be new to local fans, some of the standouts from last year's edition figure into the mix. David Bailey, the University of New Hampshire graduate who saw duty playing on both sides of the ball on the 2006 and 2007 Wolves teams which made the playoffs, has impressed in camp.
"David has had a good camp so far," explained Barto, who won honors as the af2 Coach of the Year in 2005. "While he played in the past at both wide receiver and defensive back, we've had him practicing more on offense and he is picking up the new system."
All of the quarterbacks in camp are new to the team and the coaches hope to find the one who can emerge from the pack in Saturday's scrimmage. James Pinkney from East Carolina University, Jon Grant from the University of California-Davis, and Mike Orihel from Rowan University have the opportunity to prove who deserves to be the starter when the Wolves open their fifth season in franchise history on the road against division rival Mahoning Valley on April 5th.
"We're looking for the guys who can step up when the lights are turned on," he said. "A lot of guys can make plays in practice. This scrimmage will let us know who can step up when it counts."
In addition to the intra-squad scrimmage, Fan Fest will also feature the new-look 2008 Lady Wolf Pack, an 11-member promotional team of talented young women specially chosen for their community service and outreach, along with popular team mascot Blitz.
The Lady Wolf Pack and Blitz will mingle with the fans, sign autographs, and pose for photos.
The fifth season of the Manchester Wolves is "The Year of the Fan" and events will be held throughout the season to recognize and honor the loyalty and dedication of the fans to New Hampshire's af2 franchise. As a way of rewarding the younger faithful, for the first time specially priced season ticket packages of only $25 will be available for children aged 12 and under.
The Wolves play their home opener on Friday, April 18th against East division rival Albany on Brady Sullivan Field at the Verizon Wireless Arena in Manchester. Season tickets, individual game tickets, and group sales packages are still available and may be purchased by contacting the Wolves at email@example.com or 603-627-9653.
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