Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Semipro football: Ice Storm seek perfect finish

Semipro football: Ice Storm seek perfect finish

By Dan Hausermann

January 16, 2008
While the New England Patriots have garnered front-page headlines for their undefeated season in the NFL, the semiprofessional Vermont Ice Storm have been waiting for their chance at perfection.

Three months after completing an unbeaten run through the Empire Football League, the nationally second-ranked Ice Storm will play for the American Football AAA national championship Saturday in the USA Bowl against the No. 1 Detroit Black Ravens in Hollywood, Fla.

"This has never happened in history," head coach Doug Perez said. "No team from a rural state, or a non-inner city team, has ever even played for a national championship at this level, so we are making history."

The Ice Storm (15-0) will field a squad with all but one player hailing from Vermont when they take on a speedy Black Ravens team that features 14 former Division I players and finished the season 13-1.

While the Ice Storm will be considered the underdogs when they step onto the field for the first time since beating the Watertown Red and Black 9-8 in the EFL title game Oct. 13, five-year veteran quarterback Brad Ruderman said the team is prepared for Detroit.

"They are definitely athletic, faster and stronger than us at many positions, but we think that we bring good team chemistry to the table," Ruderman said. "We are a well-coached, balanced team and at all positions everyone is fundamentally sound. We are ready to play against anybody."

According to Ruderman, the Ice Storm are going to need to light up the scoreboard with their West Coast offense to hang with the aggressive, high-scoring Detroit squad.

Vermont will rely upon Ruderman's experience and the running of speedy back Jason Young to carry a well-balanced offensive attack.

On the other side of the ball, third-year linebacker Kevin Fournier said the Ice Storm's defense has been successful all year and they aren't planning on altering their game plan in the championship.

"This season has just been amazing and it seems like we just can't lose," Fournier said. "We have the tools offensively and defensively, and our linebackers corps is just intense. We've brought it to teams all year and they just don't know what to do about it."

Despite the perfect run throughout the regular season, Perez won't be satisfied unless the Ice Storm return to Vermont victorious.

"It's extraordinary to go undefeated in football, so when we go to Florida we have to ignore the tendency to be too happy with the season as it is," Perez said. "We are a damn good football team and somebody has got to win, so why can't it be us?"

Start the year off right. Easy ways to stay in shape in the new year.

<< Home

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?

Free Web Site Counter
Free Website Counter