Indoor football has taken root in Wichita and Salina, and soon Dodge City will be added to that list.
A press conference is scheduled for Thursday morning to make the announcement official.
KWCH sports reporter Andrew Lovelette will be in attendance, and will have more updates after the media event. Below is the press release from the football league, the CPIFL.
James Bain, Commissioner for the Champions Professional Indoor Football League (CPIFL) will be on hand to announce the newest team to join the league for the upcoming 2014 season. The, as yet, un-named team will be playing all of their home games at the United Wireless Arena located at 4100 W. Comanche Street in Dodge City, Kansas.
The CPIFL will be entering its second season of play, and is one of several indoor football leagues throughout the United States bringing hard-hitting, fast-paced, “so close you can FEEL it” action to your hometown. Teams within the CPIFL are regionalized to the central and mid-west states and currently consist of the following members – Bloomington Edge (Bloomington, Illinois), Kansas City Renegades (Kansas City, Missouri), Kansas Koyotes (Topeka, Kansas), Lincoln Haymakers (Lincoln, Nebraska), Mid-Missouri Outlaws (Sedalia, Missouri), Oklahoma Defenders (Tusla, Oklahoma), Omaha Beef (Omaha, Nebraska), Salina Bombers (Salina, Kansas), Sioux City Bandits (Sioux City, Iowa), Wichita Wild (Wichita, Wild). Dodge City will become the 11th team to begin play starting in February of 2014.
Ricky Bertz, General Manager and Owner is one of the newest residents to call Dodge City his permanent home. However, Bertz is no stranger to the indoor football game having been a previous owner and general manager of the Fairbanks Grizzlies of the Indoor Football League (IFL). In addition to winning the 2009 IFL executive of the year award in his first season, his teams have made the playoffs each and every year. But just as important to the successes of the team on the field, the success off the field is equally as significant. Bertz promises that in addition to bringing affordable, fast-paced, and exciting entertainment to Dodge City, having a team that is involved in the community will be one of the highest priorities of the organization. It is Bertz’s belief that the team in itself will become an extension of the community, and will represent the morals, characteristics, and qualities of Dodge City and the surrounding communities.
There is a unique opportunity for fans to participate in helping with naming the city’s newest professional team. For one week, fans can either stop by the team office, or visit the team website at www.dodgecityfootball.com and fill out the name-the-team submission form. The team’s official name and logo will be announced on Wednesday, October 2nd.
In other news, Sean Ponder will be head coach during Dodge City’s inaugural season as they make their debut in the CPIFL. Ponder brings with him a record-holding, offensive powerhouse coaching mentality with a long history of recruiting quality individuals and creating winning team dynamics. Ponder has 16 years of coaching experience, 9 years as a head coach. In addition to his coaching experience, Ponder was also a former college football quarterback at Emporia State, in Kansas, where he earned NCAA Div II All American honors to go along with 2 years of professional football playing experience. As a Coach, Ponder has sent 35 players to the AFL, CFL and NFL combined with 8 playoff appearances and 4 division championships.
In addition to Coach Ponder's on-field accomplishments he is also heavily involved in supporting local community programs and charities. Coach Ponder sets the expectation that all players are to be involved in community events for things such as players going to local schools and participating in reading classes for children. In addition he expects players to participate in local organizations such as the Boy's and Girls clubs, Boy Scout's of America, and local youth football organizations just to name a few. Coach Ponder expects the players to acknowledge how privileged they are to be where they are and expects them to help give back to the community that helps and supports the team. Coach Ponder has also been a member of the Fellowship of Christian Athletes for over 20 years.
Sean and his wife, Joi, live in Moline, Illinois and have 6 children; Nick 21, Shelby 16, Hannah 14, Alec 10, Irelyn 6 and Kasen 4.
The Dodge City Football office is located at 4100 W Comanche, Dodge City, Kansas inside the United Wireless Arena. Season tickets are available to purchase immediately and can be reserved today so be sure to call the office at 620-371-7248. You can also visit their website at www.dodgecityfootball.com.