Week 4 games bring familiarity

8 05 2009

A freelantz contribution, written by Jessica Lantz

sifllogoThe Southern Indoor Football League enters Week 4 of the inaugural season with two games that are sure to be hotly contested matchups … and have a sense of familiarity for those involved.

The first game tomorrow night will feature the Austin Turfcats (1-1) hosting the Louisiana Swashbucklers (2-0) at the Travis County Expo Center at 6:05 p.m.

Austin is looking for their first home win of the season, after falling just short in their first attempt in the season opener against Acadiana, a 37-29 loss. Coach Chris Duliban is looking toward the Swashbucklers as a benchmark game.  “This game will be the toughest test for our team, and it will serve as a measuring stick as far how far we still need to go as a new franchise,” Duliban said.

Meanwhile, Louisiana coach Darnell Lee feels that the Turfcats match up well against his team.  “They’re very athletic,” said Lee. “Our organization does not underestimate anybody in the league.”  Lee is quick to point out the prior knowledge each team has of one another, primarily due to the large number of players and coaches who were part of the CenTex Barracudas in the Intense Football League and “a lot of our guys know a lot of their guys.”

This familiarity could lead to an intense battle between players and coaches alike as the Bucks work to earn their 21st consecutive win and the Turfcats seek the opportunity to end this streak. Read the rest of this entry »


Patterson’s character a plus for Houma

7 05 2009

A freelantz contribution; by Jessica Lantz

Although the Houma Conquerors are starting out the season without a victory, the team has not been without the strong play and strong character shown by defensive back Derrick Patterson. 

hc_logo_61fbPatterson, playing on his first indoor football team, returned an interception for a touchdown in the Conqueror’s first contest, scooped up a fumble recovery in the second and has amassed 82 yards on six kickoff returns.  These numbers put Patterson solidly at the top of the leaderboard, with one of two team interceptions, the only fumble recovery and the most kickoff yardage by any Houma player.

Patterson, who graduated high school in 2003, has gone down a winding path to get to Houma.  Following high school in New Orleans, he entered the workforce and started playing semi-pro football for the Louisiana Hurricanes, where he garnered Rookie of the Year honors.  After Hurricane Katrina made landfall in 2005, Patterson moved to Baton Rouge and began playing football with the Louisiana Eagles – making the All-Star team.

He then decided to try his luck at the college game, and played briefly at Victor Valley College in California before an ankle injury and an impending addition to his family prompted him to return home to Louisiana.  Meanwhile, at Conqueror tryouts on January 10th, the coaching staff noticed the spry 5’8”, 165 lb. defensive back who prides himself on “playing like he’s 6”3’”. 

Head coach Franklin Thomas Jr. is quick to praise Patterson’s humble and gracious character, saying he “plays at a high level and we’re blessed to have a player like him” on the team and that he “hasn’t disappointed us yet”.

Patterson focuses on trying “to bring a lot to the team, to be a playmaker and to go hard every play”, all while training to “be the best” at what he does.  He hopes that his recent football successes with Houma will propel him even further in the world of professional football, with dreams of playing in the Arena Football League, the Canadian Football League – or someday – the National Football League.