Niagara Gazette


April 1, 2007

FOOTBALL: Semi-pro football returns to Lock City

They came from all walks of life — roofers, teachers, businessmen and factory workers — and they came in all shapes, sizes and colors with backgrounds as diverse as you could find in any bigger city.

They had work, then many had wives and families to attend to — but they still found time to play football and play it very well.

That was 15 years ago, when Lockport’s semi-pro football team, the Invaders, were the talk of the town and a national powerhouse.

Today, with the same level of talent, love of the game and entrepreneurial spirit as the Invaders and the Lockport Essos before that, the “Lockport Rage” will make their New York American Football League debut this summer.

“We know we have some big shoes to fill. Lockport is a football town and there’s still a lot of young talent throughout the area,” said Rage general manager Joe Speer of Gasport.

“We’re already a contender. Everyone is talking about us in the league because of Lockport’s reputation state-wide for playing smash-mouth football. One of Lockport High School’s longest winning streaks is from my era, in the years 1987 through 1993. That’s pretty much the main group of guys so far who have expressed interest in playing.”

The NYAFL, whose players must be 18 or older, will jump from eight to nine teams this year. Other teams are the Buffalo Gladiators, Lyndonville Tigers, Northern Tier Bruins, Southern Tier Diesel, Central New York Express, Glove Cities Colonials, Mohawk Valley Vikings and Monroe County Sting.

Rage head coach Carl Stiles said that tryouts for the team are slated for 3 to 5 p.m. April 14 at Dolan Park in Lockport. Practices will begin the following Wednesday at 6 p.m. Practices will continue to run every Wednesday and on weekends.

Speer said the Rage does own some equipment, but players in need of equipment will be assisted by the organization in finding places to purchase it cheaper.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Featured Ads
House Ads
AP Video
Captain of Sunken SKorean Ferry Arrested Raw: Fire Destroys 3 N.J. Beachfront Homes Raw: Pope Presides Over Good Friday Mass Raw: Space X Launches to Space Station Superheroes Descend on Capitol Mall Man Charged in Kansas City Highway Shootings Obama Awards Navy Football Trophy Anti-semitic Leaflets Posted in Eastern Ukraine Raw: Magnitude-7.2 Earthquake Shakes Mexico City Ceremony at MIT Remembers One of Boston's Finest Raw: Students Hurt in Colo. School Bus Crash Raw: Church Tries for Record With Chalk Jesus Raw: Faithful Celebrate Good Friday Worldwide Deadly Avalanche Sweeps Slopes of Mount Everest Police Arrest Suspect in Highway Shootings Drought Concerns May Hurt Lake Tourism Vermont Goat Meat Gives Refugees Taste of Home Calif. Investigators Re-construct Fatal Bus Cras Mayor Rob Ford Launches Re-election Campaign Appellate Court Hears Okla. Gay Marriage Case
House Ads
Night & Day
Twitter News
Follow us on twitter
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
Front page