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Spartans Look To Put Wrinkle In Playoff Picture

May 21, 2010 - Indoor Football League (IFL) - La Crosse Spartans News Release

Growing pains happen when you're an expansion franchise in professional sports. The Spartans have gone through them in their inaugural season, but have shown plenty of promise that has generated a ton of optimism for this young team. One guarantee is that the La Crosse Spartans will not roll over and quit. They have an opportunity in these final weeks of the 2010 season to play the spoiler role and cause a huge wrinkle in the playoff picture. That begins this Friday when the team hosts the Bloomington Extreme for a 7:30 contest at the La Crosse Center. In their last contest on May 8th, the Extreme were victorious by a score of 54-18 and ever since the Spartans have been itching for a rematch.

The Extreme are currently ranked second in the Central North Division with a 5-5 overall record. Since taking over for Kenton Carr, newly appointed Head Coach Ted Schmitz has won two straight games and has his squad ready for yet another playoff run. Bloomington relies heavily on their defense to shut down opponents and are led by 2009 All-IFL First Team Linebacker Joe Bevis. The man in the middle currently ranks sixth in the league with 79 total tackles to go along with two interceptions and one sack.

La Crosse is hoping that the home crowd this weekend will give them a little advantage in this rematch. The team has had its ups and downs on offense this season, but always seem to step up their level of play at the La Crosse Center. Like the Extreme, the Spartans strength lies on the defense side of the ball. Since the departure of Linebacker Blake Freese to the CFL, Defensive Back Walner Belleus has elevated his play and become a leader on the field. He is among the league leaders in tackles with 48 and has contributed two interceptions and six pass breakups. Look for him to be matched up against Extreme Wide Receiver Johnny Grey for much of the game.

Before the game the Spartans, in partnership with Globe University, will be collecting non-perishable items that will be donated to La Crosse's local food pantry Wafer. Monetary donations will also be taken for those who wish to donate to a great cause. Representatives from Globe will be collecting from the time doors open until approximately half way through the first quarter. In conjunction with this effort, the Spartans will offer a $1 off coupon to their June 19th game, also against Bloomington, as well as a raffle ticket for a signed Gilbert Brown Football. Tickets are still available by calling the Spartans office at 608-567-4299 or by visiting the La Crosse Center box office. Discounted tickets are also available for groups of 10 or more. For more information on tickets, or for general Spartans news, visit

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