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Waco joins national league

Jan. 22, 2004

By Whitney Long, reporter

A spokesman for the National Indoor Football League announced the newest addition to the league Jan. 15 at the Heart O' Texas Fair and Rodeo Complex. The Waco Marshals will be added to the Atlantic South Division and will play a 14-game schedule for their initial season. The season will begin on March 12 at the H.O.T. Complex.

'Waco is a prime location to establish a professional football team such as this,' head Coach John G. Bronkhorst said. 'Waco is close enough to Austin and San Marcos to prospect college graduates from Baylor University, The University of Texas and Texas State University.'

The co-owner and director of operations, Garmez Parks, said the team name and logo accurately depicts the nature of the city of Waco and the spirit of the state of Texas.

The Marshals are searching for talented players, preferably those who have completed a college football career. The team will hold its first-ever open tryouts at 2 p.m. on Jan. 31 at the H.O. T. Complex.

'We are looking for players who have experience on the battlefield,' Bronkhorst said. 'We are working on contacting these college athletic programs and creating awareness among the coaches and athletic department staff.'

The NIFL is entering its fourth year with the kick off of the 2004 season in March. The league currently has 25 teams in 18 states. The Marshals will play all their home games at the H.O.T. Complex. The NIFL regular season play continues through June with playoffs in July, and it all culminates into the NIFL championship game - the Indoor Bowl IV.

'We basically want people to know that there is another option besides the NFL - 11-man football - and arena football when it comes to having a football career outside of college,' Jon Young, the Marshals' public relations and marketing coordinator, said.

Indoor football differs slightly from the more commonly known Arena Football League. The AFL has a total of 19 teams, including two teams from the state of Texas, the Dallas Desperados and Austin Wranglers. The rules for indoor football state that there must be eight players on the field at one time, three players in motion in the backfield, only one player can blitz at a time and there is no punting. In arena football, there must be eight players on the field at one time as well, but only one player in motion in the backfield. The ball is playable off the nets in the arena. But there are no nets in indoor football, and the ball is lost if kicked into the stands.

Though slight differences make up the two leagues, indoor football is the closest to true football - the NFL - Young said.

Young also said the NIFL Waco franchise is looking for any student or graduate who may be interested in a business/marketing internship in the professional sports world. The intern would participate actively in the public relations and marketing of the Waco Marshals. For more information on the internship position, contact the Baylor Career Center.