Ten Former Wolves Will Grace Opening Day AFL Rosters
The Manchester Wolves, New Hampshire's professional arenafootball2 team, are proud to announce that 10 of their former players, Greg Krause, Jake Eaton, Matt D'Orazio, Nick Myers, Carter Warley, J.J. McKelvey, Brian Mance, Steve Gonzalez, William Haith and Steve Bellisari have all made their team's respective opening day roster for the 2007 Arena Football League season which starts this Thursday March 1.
"As much as I'd like to have these guys on my current roster, that'd be extremely selfish, so I'm very happy for them," said Wolves Head Coach and AFL Hall-of-Famer Ben Bennett. "Having all these guys in the AFL just shows how well we train and prepare our players for the next level of play. It's great for the Wolves organization as a whole."
Former Wolves players Krause, D'Orazio, Myers, McKelvey and Eaton will all enter this year's AFL season with at least one year of playing experience under their belts, while Warley spent 2005 on the practice squad of the National Football League's Cincinnati Bengals.
Krause (6'4, 290, OL/DL), who played for the Mohegan Wolves in Connecticut in 2003, will enter his fourth year in the AFL this season. After spending his first three years with Orlando (13.5 total tackles, one forced fumble, one fumble recovery), Krause has decided to part ways and head west to play for the Los Angeles Avengers for the 2007 season. The Bedford, N.H. native also owns Gym USA in Goffstown, N.H. and is a former University of New Hampshire and West High School graduate. At UNH Krause was a four-year starter at left guard and was a member of "The Chain Gang" in 1997, which was considered one of the best offensive lines ever to play for the Wildcats.
D'Orazio (6'4, 215, QB), who played for the Mohegan Wolves in Connecticut in 2003, will enter his fifth year in the AFL this season. D'Orazio has bounced around in the AFL playing for teams in Buffalo, Columbus and Milwaukee before landing in Chicago in 2005. D'Orazio had a break out season for the Rush last season as he helped lead them to an ArenaBowl XX championship as their starting quarterback.
Myers (6'3, 285, OL/DL), will enter his second year in the AFL with the Chicago Rush this season. In 2005 Myers played in nine games with Manchester, he collected 12 tackles, two sacks (second highest on the team), one forced fumble and a quarterback hurry.
McKelvey (6'4, 225, WR/LB), will enter his second season in the AFL for the Philadelphia Soul where he'll serve as one of their main weapons on offense. In 11 games last season during his rookie campaign McKelvey recorded 36 receptions for 589 yards and 12 touchdowns. During his career for the Wolves (2004-2005) McKelvey played in 22 games, recorded 162 receptions, 1,720 receiving yards and 47 touchdowns. The Clemson standout currently holds seven different Manchester Wolves all-time records.
Eaton (6'2, 200, QB) will enter his second season in the AFL for the Predators where he'll again serve as the team's backup quarterback. Eaton had an impressive rookie campaign for Orlando , seeing action in 10 games, completing 37 of his 54 passes (68.5%) for 434 yards and eight touchdowns for a passer rating of 114.27. The right-handed signal caller also saw time in the Predators ArenaBowl XX loss, throwing for 30 yards and a touchdown on a perfect 4-of-4 attempts. The Rutland, VT native shined in 2005, as he led the Wolves to their first-ever East Division Championship on a 12-4 record, throwing for 4,066 yards and a team-record 88 touchdowns (T-3rd in af2) on his way to earning Second Team honors on the American Conference All-af2 team.
Warley (5'11, 190, K), will enter his first season in the AFL for the New York Dragons. Warley played in one game for Manchester in 2005 as their kicker and converted 3-of-4 of his PAT's during the Wolves last regular season home game.
Mance, Gonzalez, Bellisari and Haith will all be on AFL rosters in 2007 after leading the Manchester Wolves to the second round of the af2 playoffs last season.
Mance (5'11, 185, DB), will enter his first season in the AFL for the Philadelphia Soul. Mance, a rookie from Clemson, had a stellar 2006 season with the Wolves in which he collected 69.5 total tackles (19th in the league), four interceptions, 10 pass breakups and one fumble recovery in just 13 regular season games played. In the Wolves' two playoff contests Mance recorded 8.5 total tackles and one interception.
Gonzalez (6'0, 190, WR) will enter his first season in the AFL for the Philadelphia Soul. Gonzalez had a stellar 2006 season with the Wolves, in which he tallied a total of 2,525 all-purpose yards (4th in the league) and finished second in the league in scoring (276 points). In 15 games played on offense he collected 1,355 receiving yards (5 th in the league), 118 receptions (5th in the league), and 45 touchdowns (2nd in the league). The New Jersey native was on pace to break all of McKelvey's offensive records for the Wolves before suffering an ankle injury that kept him out of the last two regular season games and all of the playoffs.
Bellisari (6'1, 222, QB), will enter his first season with the New Orleans VooDoo and second season in the AFL after playing on the Kansas City Brigade's practice squad for part of 2006. The rookie, from Ohio State University, led the Wolves to an impressive 5-1 record in 2006 as their starting quarterback. In five regular season games Bellisari completed 81-of-123 ( 65.9%) passes for 984 yards and 25 touchdowns, where he was 4-0 as a starter. In the Wolves' two post-season contests Bellisari completed 34-of-62 (54.8%) passes for 554 yards and 12 touchdowns, where he was 1-1. The Boca Raton , FL native also contributed on special teams with 10.5 tackles before locking up the starting quarterback position in July.
Haith (5'11, 190, DB), will enter his first season with the New Orleans VooDoo and second season in the AFL after appearing in two games with the Dallas Desperados in 2006. In 34 games played for the Wolves during the 2005-2006 seasons the Liberty University star recorded 218.5 total tackles, 11 interceptions, 68 pass breakups, four fumble recoveries and three forced fumbles. Haith currently holds three Manchester Wolves all-time records.
This year's AFL season is already geared up to be one of the biggest in the league's 21years of existence as they have a brand new national television deal with ESPN as well the league's second video game made by EA SPORTS entitled Arena Football: Road to Glory.
ESPN will have a regular Monday night slot in which it will televise 14 games from March through June. The ArenaBowl title game in New Orleans will be July 29 on ABC, which also will show two regional season openers on Sunday afternoon, March 4. In all, 26 regular-season and nine postseason games will be televised on ESPN/ABC outlets. Road to Glory, which hit stores nationwide on Thursday February 22, has more than 40 teams made available and for the first time the user can play as their favorite AFL or af2 team. In addition, players can take the af2 circuit by storm by winning the ArenaCup then export their players into the AFL and set their sights on an ArenaBowl championship.
"Arena Football has really established itself as a main sport in America and this deal with ESPN helps to prove that, I'm excited about the partnership," said Wolves General Manager Angelo Mazzella. "In regards to having the af2 in this year's video game, that's really big in this day and age as it helps market yourself and your product. I think this will only help solidify the AFL and af2's brand awareness to more fans."
Don't miss another exciting year of Manchester Wolves football in 2007! For information on season tickets or merchandise, fans can contact the Wolves at 603.627.WOLF (9653) or visit them online at www.manchesterwolves.com.
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