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West Michigan Thunderhawks Announce Opening Night Festivities

January 29, 2010 - Indoor Football League (IFL) - West Michigan Thunderhawks News Release

Grand Rapids, Michigan - The West Michigan ThunderHawks of the Indoor Football League have announced a trio of special events highlighting their season-opening contest on February 26th at the DeltaPlex Arena.

The ThunderHawks, along with the Grand Rapids Area Chamber of Commerce (, will present a ribbon-cutting ceremony at 3:30 p.m. in the afternoon, in anticipation of the 7:00 p.m. kickoff. The Thunderhawks are inviting local dignitaries to officially welcome the professional indoor football franchise to the Grand Rapids area after moving from nearby Muskegon for the 2010 season.

The team has also partnered with Wounded Warrior Project, a nationally-based nonprofit organization established to provide tangible support for severely wounded U.S. soldiers and help them on the road to healing, both physically and mentally.

The mission of the WWP ( is to honor and empower wounded warriors by raising awareness and enlisting the public's aid for the needs of severely injured service men and women, helping severely injured service members aid and assist each other, and providing unique, direct programs and services to meet the needs of severely injured service members.

The ThunderHawks will donate a block of tickets in the premium seating area to the WWP. In addition, the team will also offer special group rate tickets to all active-duty service men and women. Additional details are available by calling the DeltaPlex box office at 616-364-9000.

Rounding out the opening-night festivities will be the appearance of the award-winning country music trio J3 ( The Michigan natives were winners of Ed McMahon's Next Big Star Competition (Star Search) and appeared on the "Fearless" tour with Taylor Swift and Kellie Pickler in 2009. The J3 sound is a unique blend, intertwined with three vocal harmonies, alternating lead vocals. The talented group, consisting of Jill, Janel and Jenny, writes, sings and plays its own original music and will perform at halftime and then be available for fans to meet afterwards.

Meanwhile, the ThunderHawks learned this week that head coach Rod Miller would be stepping down for personal reasons. Miller's departure means assistant Terry Foster will be named interim head coach while a search continues for a permanent replacement.

"Although we will certainly miss Coach Miller, we are equally excited to welcome Coach Foster," said Mike Emerson, co-owner and Director of Football Operations. "Coach Foster has played and coached the indoor game at the highest level and brings a wealth of experience and enthusiasm to the position. We are moving forward and anticipating a sensational first game at the DeltaPlex next month."

Foster played defensive back at Grand Valley State University from 1997-2001 and was a three-time All-Conference selection. He then played for the AFL's Grand Rapids Rampage and for the Green Bay Blizzard of the af2. Foster's indoor coaching career includes an internship with the Rampage and a role as the defensive coordinator for the Muskegon Thunder of the Continental Indoor Football League. Foster will be a candidate for the permanent job.

Foster will be present at this weekend's final open try-out on Sunday at MVP Sports Spot, 3701 32nd Street SE, in Kentwood. Prospective players for all positions are invited to attend the session which costs $50 and runs from 7-9 a.m. Further details, including an interactive map to the try-out facility, are available on the team's website at

Tickets for all seven ThunderHawks home games, including the season-opener on February 26th, are available through the team's website, at the DeltaPlex box office (616-364-9000) and all Ticketmaster outlets. Season tickets, featuring seven games for the price of six and many additional exclusive benefits are also available by contacting the box office.

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The opinions expressed in this release are those of the organization issuing it, and do not necessarily reflect the thoughts or opinions of OurSports Central or its staff.

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