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Fri., Nov. 6, 2009, 9:54 a.m.

Shock roundup

I put together a roundup of everything Shock related, including Ben McCombs' return, Raul Vijil's possible return, the departure of four Shock players to a rival team, Adam Shackleford talking jobs with Tri-Cities and more details about the new arena football league.

Read on.


By Jim Meehan

Staff writer

As the Spokane Shock continues forming their roster, the new arena football league it is joining is ironing out details for the 2010 season.

Spokane announced the return of defensive lineman Ben McCombs and receiver Terry Moss, who played for New York in the Arena Football League in 2008. They join four players whose signings were announced earlier this week.

Meanwhile, Shock general manager Adam Nebeker has returned from Board of Directors meetings in Chicago and the new league appears to have firmed up the number of teams, divisions and player pay scale.

“Things are pretty much finalized, but not set in stone,” Nebeker said. “One of the biggest stumbling blocks is the AFL’s bankruptcy situation and that could be cleared up in the next month. A lot of the details are contingent on the results of the bankruptcy proceedings.”

Eleven teams are expected to form the upper tier of the new league. Spokane will probably play in the North with Utah, Milwaukee, Chicago and Iowa. The South would consist of Arizona, Tulsa, Dallas, Tampa Bay, Orlando and Jacksonville. Arizona has signed four former Shock players – quarterback Nick Davila, defensive back Sergio Gilliam and offensive linemen Kyle Young and John Booker.

The six lower-tier teams are expected to be Tri-Cities, Central Valley, Bossier-Shreveport, Oklahoma City, Arkansas and Tennessee Valley. Those six, along with Spokane, Tulsa, Iowa and Milwaukee, were members of arenafootball2 last season.

Playoffs for the upper tier will likely consist of six teams. North and South division winners would earn first-round byes. Second-place teams in each division would qualify. The final two qualifiers would be on the basis of best record. The league is considering neutral site venues for the championship game.

Teams would carry 20 players on the active roster, three on practice squad. There won’t be an exemption for international players, one of the few rules that won’t carry over from af2. Players will make $400 per game, but teams will be allowed to sign a maximum of three ‘showcase’ players, who will make $1,000 per game. Quarterback figures to be one of the ‘showcase’ positions, along with receiver and middle defensive back.

Attempts to contact league commissioner Jerry Kurz were unsuccessful.

McCombs, in his first season with the Shock, led af2 with 15.5 sacks in 2009.

“I feel comfortable with the coaching staff and I know the program will be put together well as far as the professionalism,” McCombs said.

Receiver Raul Vijil, the only member of the first four Shock teams, said he’s undecided about returning. After Spokane won the ArenaCup in August, Vijil sounded as if he’d played his last game. Now, the door is slightly more open.

“We’ve talked quite a bit and Rob (Keefe, Shock head coach) and I are really good friends,” Vijil said. “I definitely have a decision to make in the near future.”



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Jim Meehan
Jim Meehan joined The Spokesman-Review in 1990. Jim is currently a reporter for the Sports Desk and covers Gonzaga University basketball, Spokane Empire football, college volleyball and golf.

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