Tennell, Spencer rose above in tough Shock season
It has been a forgettable season in many respects for the Spokane Shock, but the record books will remember the performances of receiver Adron Tennell and kicker Kenny Spencer.
Tennell has established single-season franchise records for receptions (147) and yards (1,670), and he has one more game to add to his totals. Spokane (9-8) closes the season against visiting Tampa Bay (8-9) on Saturday night.
“I didn’t have a clue (about the records),” Tennell said. “I found out after the (Kansas City) game. I was surprised.”
Tennell, who has 36 touchdown receptions, is closing in another record. Huey Whittaker had 37 TD catches in 2010, the single-season mark for the Shock’s three years in the Arena Football League. Antwone Savage holds the franchise record with 40 TD receptions in 2007 when Spokane was dominating arenafootball2.
Spencer, a rookie, has made 129 PATs, breaking former San Jose kicker A.J. Haglund’s AFL record 128 in 2007. The AFL played 14- and 16-game regular seasons for most of its 25 years before going to 18 in 2011.
Spencer leads the AFL in PAT accuracy at 94.2 percent, followed by Arizona’s Chris Gould and Philadelphia’s Connor Hughes, both at 90.8. The AFL doesn’t list a single-season record, but Carlos Huerta holds the career mark at 96.4 percent (minimum 160 attempts), followed by Don Silvestri at 93.6.
Tennell, a University of Oklahoma product, has put his name alongside an accomplished list of Shock receivers, including Savage, Whittaker, Charles Frederick, Raul Vijil, Markee White and Greg Orton.
“I know a lot of those guys, especially Raul,” Tennell said. “I still look up to Raul. He’s still my favorite player. A lot of guys, Raul, Markee, Greg, Shaun (Kauleinamoku) and Emery (Sammons), helped teach me the game. I give them credit.”
Tennell has battled knee and hamstring issues for most of the season.
“I just told him a half hour ago on the field that’s probably the quietest excellent season I’ve seen from a receiver,” Shock general manager Ryan Rigmaiden said. “And he hasn’t been playing at 100 percent. He just plays big and he does everything, (including) special teams.”
Spencer, who played at North Alabama, has missed just four PATs, but his official stats list eight, counting blocks.
“With 9 feet (between uprights), there’s no room for error,” Spencer said. “I knew I had the ability, I just try stay focused on every PAT and go in with the mind-set that it’s a 50-yard game-winner.”
Spencer usually practices at Gonzaga Prep or at the Spokane Arena. When he kicks at the Shock practice facility, he has to put marks on the low ceiling to indicate if his PATs are on target.
Family tragedy: Head coach Andy Olson missed practice Tuesday to be with family in western Washington following the death of brother-in-law Ryan Mumm. The 20-year-old Mumm was shot Saturday night at a park in Arlington and died the next day. The Snohomish County sheriff’s Major Crimes Unit is investigating the case as a homicide, according to the Everett Herald.
Mumm graduated from Weston High in Arlington. He apparently had moved to Spokane and was attending Spokane Community College.
Olson was expected to return for Shock practice today. Travis Crusenberry, assistant head coach and defensive coordinator, directed practice Tuesday.