The Continental Indoor Football League is proud to announce it has come to terms with the reigning CIFL Champion Erie Explosion to return for the 2014 season.
"The CIFL has been a good fit for the Erie Explosion," said Explosion owner Bill Stafford, "We are looking to defend our championship in 2014. The CIFL front office staff and other teams have been a pleasure to work with."
The Explosion, led by CIFL Coach of the Year Shawn Liotta, will play next season at the newly remodeled Erie Insurance Arena. The arena is currently in its final stages of an over $40 million dollar renovation and is set to reopen in August.
"The CIFL has tremendous stability, professionalism, and a vision to provide a platform for players and coaches to advance their professional careers," said Liotta, "We look forward to the challenge of defending our championship against top level competition each week during the 2014 season."
Yesterday the Explosion received a proclamation from Erie Mayor Joe Sinnott, recognizing them as only the fifth indoor football franchise to have an undefeated season in the history of the sport.
Along with the Explosion, the CIFL has come to terms with the Dayton Sharks, Port Huron Patriots, Detroit Thunder and Saginaw Sting.
The Dayton Sharks will return to Hara Arena for the 2014 season under the guidance of newly appointed General Manager LaVar Glover. Glover, a Dayton native and University of Cincinnati grad was drafted by the Pittsburgh Steelers in 2002 and later signed with the Cincinnati Bengals. He also spent time with the Detroit Lions and Denver Broncos before making his way into the arena world as a member of the AFL's Columbus Destroyers and Orlando Predators. Most recently Glover played in the CFL for the Edmonton Eskimos. The Sharks are owned and operated by managing partner Corwyn Thomas. Thomas founded the Sharks in late 2012 and they finished the 2013 season with an 8-2 record led by CIFL Offensive Player of the Year Tommy Jones.
The Port Huron Patriots will continue their rebuilding process under its new ownership group lead by Jude Carter inside the McMorran Place for the 2014 season. Carter purchased the Patriots from its previous owners midway through last season and significantly improved the level of product both on and off the field including the CIFL's only 2013 OT thriller against the Dayton Sharks.
The Detroit Thunder, the CIFL's most recent expansion team completed a successful 2013 season under the guidance of co-owners Terrence and Lawrence Foster. The Thunder completed their ten game regular season schedule with a record of 4-6. They are currently in negotiations to locate a permanent home having played last season's contests at Taylor Sportsplex.
The Saginaw Sting, coming off a one point loss to the Explosion in the CIFL Championship earlier this month, will once again play host to opponents inside The Dow Event Center on Draper Auto Field. The Sting look to capture a fourth championship title in 2014, having won championships in three of their five seasons of play.
Additional members of the CIFL's contracts are still being reviewed and expansion teams are being accepted. For further details regarding the 2014 CIFL season follow the league on Twitter at @CIFL or on Facebook at CIFL-Continental-Indoor-Football-League or visit www.ciflfootball.com.
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