Valor approach end of training camp, roster cut day
Today, the Valor began their second and final week of training camp, presented by API. The last day of training camp is this Friday, April 19, after which the active roster will be cut from 35 players to 24.
DB Svante Davenport on the focus during week one of camp:
"It's more alignment and assignment and knowing what you're doing. If you know what you're doing, you limit your mistakes and you're on the same page. It cuts out a lot of mishaps and miscommunications and a lot of busted coverages on defense, specifically. The main thing is just getting everyone on the same page and then you go from there."
WR Jared Dangerfield on where the team is after a week of camp:
"I think we're more advanced than we expected to be. We've done a good job implementing the new guys and bringing them along with the playbook."
Valor single-game tickets on sale now
Single game tickets for the 2019 Washington Valor regular season, presented by Capital One, are on sale now. Fans looking to purchase single game tickets may visit the team website or call 202-661-5005. The Valor will play six regular season home games, all at Capital One Arena, including the team's home opener on Saturday, May 11 at 7 p.m. against the Atlantic City Blackjacks and the regular season finale on Saturday, July 20 at 3:30 p.m. against the Columbus Destroyers.
Gordon lays foundation for post-football physical training career
Since 2016, Valor linebacker Jimmy Gordon has spent each of his offseasons in Tampa Bay, Florida, at D1 Tampa, training daily for wherever his football journey took him next. Shortly thereafter, Taylor Scott, who heads the training program at D1 Tampa, saw something in Gordon and brought him on board to help work with the facility's fast-growing roster of clientele with professional football dreams of their own.
"We created a program called the Trench Academy, which focused mostly on offensive and defensive linemen," Gordon said. "We work with players ranging from middle school to right out of college and preparing for combines and pro days."
In the past three years, both D1 Tampa and Gordon have seen results - in the past few months, the facility prepped over 20 college athletes for pro days and other professional workouts and worked with current NFL players, including the Griffin twins, Shaquill and Shaquem, who both play for the Seattle Seahawks. In the process, Gordon found his calling.
"I got to a point where I knew I was going to do this after football," Gordon said. "I was offered the position of President of Product and Performance, which is what I have been doing that last two years. The next step, probably in the upcoming offseason, is to become part-owner."
Mackey aims to empower inner-city youth through mentorship
Valor defensive lineman Leon Mackey, who is set to begin his third season in the AFL and his first in the nation's capital, has left his mark on football fields all over the country. Mackey was raised in Wilmington, Delaware and attended Hargrave Military Academy in Virginia before enrolling at Texas Tech University. After college, Mackey spent a season with the AFL's Arizona Rattlers before earning a roster spot with the NFL's Minnesota Vikings at a tryout in January of 2015. The journeyman has seen about every level of competitive football there is but recognizes that life after football will arrive one day, and that his years on the field have provided him a platform to make an even bigger impact off it.
Mackey has spent the last 10 years working with Stay Real Inc., an organization started by his uncle, Martin Newton, that works with inner-city youth to offer advice, education and life skills to kids who grow up without an exposure to those lessons.
"One day football is going to be over," Mackey said. "Those are some of the things I try to teach the kids. I teach them about reading. I teach them about business. Things that aren't necessarily common conversations amongst families, but things that are important."
Mackey says the first time he felt compelled to get involved with the program was at Texas Tech, when he realized that many of the important life lessons children need to succeed as adults aren't offered until college.
"When I went to Texas Tech, they had programs that teach you who to hang around and not to party so much," Mackey said. "They teach you about taking care of your body. It was confusing to me because in high school, I had never heard that stuff."
Mackey continues his work to this day. Just this offseason, he took the Stay Real program out West and spent time working with students at Horizon High School in Scottsdale, Arizona.
Season Opener: at Baltimore Brigade (April 26 at 7 p.m. at Royal Farms Arena)
Home Opener: vs. Atlantic City Blackjacks (May 11 at 7 p.m. at Capital One Arena)
Full season ticket memberships are currently on sale for the 2019 season and start as low as $15 per game. For additional information about joining the Gridiron 365 full season ticket membership club, as well as other group and all-inclusive ticket packages, please call the Valor Ticket Sales office at 202-661-5005 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
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Washington Valor training camp
Washington Valor training camp
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