Next month the Indoor Football Association will kick off its third season as teams have been gearing up, hoping to do what only one team will and that’s to win the crown. After taking off 2018 to rebrand, the Illinois Renegades are looking to be square in the mix for a title.
“This season looks to be a lot like our championship season,” Renegades General Manager Gread McKinnis told Developmental Football USA. “Our players are focused and hungry to get back on the field together this season.”
The Renegades won the Midwest Professional Indoor Football Championship in their first year in 2016, but sat out last year to rebrand after a sub .500 season in 2017. While their roster isn’t yet 100 percent finalized for 2019, some returning players are certain to be a force once again.
Offensively, expect 6-foot-1, 230-pound bruiser Kerry Lewis to quickly introduce himself to opposing defenses.
“He is a power back with great field vision,” McKinnis said. “Kerry brings experience and leadership to the team. He has been with us since Year 1 and was vital to our success in that first year too.”
Defensively, the Renegades are led by middle linebacker Luke Kling, who stands at 6-foot-2, 215 pounds.
“He has great field vision as well as being that vocal leader on the field,” McKinnis said. “He has great sideline-to-sideline speed. Luke joined the team two years ago and instantly showed he had what it took to be a leader on and off the field.”
No win comes easy in this league and if the Renegades look to once again stand on top of the mountain holding a trophy, they will have to hand two teams a loss that were unbeatable in 2018.
“Our biggest contenders this year are the defending league champions, the Rockford Rams, and the Southland Power, who were undefeated throughout last season,” McKinnis said.
While every man straps up his helmet and shoulder pads, wearing a logo of a team that has plans to win a championship, the IFA’s vision is much bigger than wins and losses.
“The purpose of the league and team is to provide an opportunity for guys to play professional indoor football and get the opportunity to advance to higher tier teams,” McKinnis said. “It is a professional league, but because we are a Tier 3 team, we are also a platform to send players to Tier 1 or 2, or overseas teams.”