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Ninjas' Training Camp to Kick Off Monday

March 14, 2002 - arenafootball2 (af2) - New Haven Ninjas News Release

New Haven, Conn. - After nearly a year of preparation, New Haven's arenafootball2 team, the New Haven Ninjas, will begin training camp Monday evening, March 18, at the New Haven Coliseum. The preseason roster of forty will be narrowed to 21 players - 19 active and two inactive.

"On paper, we look like we have a solid squad," commented Head Coach Rick Buffington. "But we'll know a lot more the first week of training camp."

Highlighting the training camp roster is Phil Stambaugh, who was the starting quarterback of the Rhein Fire of NFL Europe in 2001, and the number three quarterback for the Jacksonville Jaguars upon his return. Defensive specialist Andre Dixon is another Ninja with NFL experience, having played with the Detroit Lions in 1999.

The 40 also contains nine Connecticut natives and nine players who played their collegiate football in state. Victor Benson was a member of this past season's undefeated Sacred Heart team, and Chris Ortiz, a New Haven native and 1997 graduate of Southern Connecticut State, has been in the camps of several NFL teams and brings Arena experience, having spent the 2000 season with the New England Seawolves (AFL). Ortiz joins former Southern teammate Tom Madigan in the Ninjas' camp.

"We're looking for big things from Tom Madigan," said Buffington. "He heads up the list of players with ties to the state who we expect big things from."

Ninjas training camp will run March 18-20, with the first round of cuts occurring on the 20th. A second week of training camp will run March 25-27. The roster must be finalized by April 1.

Season tickets are on sale now. They are reasonably priced, starting at $72, and are available by calling 203-503-6011. For additional team news and information, fans should visit the Ninjas' website at

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