Tampa Bay Storm Begins To Strengthen Before AFL Home Opener

Nick ShortsContributor IApril 14, 2010

Just six days before the Tampa Bay Storm's home opener vs. the Dallas Vigilantes, I noticed an alert from my Tweetdeck:

TBStormRadio: Hmmm....Is that a #22 I see in that huddle? http://twitgoo.com/nvp0z

Really? Could it be? Confirmed by Monday's press release, the Storm have acquired Lawrence Samuels, as well as James Bear and Cleannord Santil. Yes, my prayers have been answered!

"Law Dogg" Samuels, the AFL's all-time reception leader will bolster this team's offense with solid catches, agility and speed. Also in his trophy case are most consecutive games with a catch (135), and most fumble recoveries (34), among other top 10 records.

Cleannord Santil, a Middle Tennessee State alum, began his AFL career with the San Jose SaberCats, setting a SaberCats record in Week Four of the 2008 season with 18 Catches for 217 yards. Overall, he played in 21 games for the SaberCats and caught 136 receptions for 1,684 yards and 42 touchdowns.

James "Dusty" Bear, from Western Kentucky, had been playing for the Florida Firecats last year in AF2, playing in 16 games and providing 26.5 tackles (four of which were for a loss), two sacks and a fumble recovery.

When asked about Bear, Coach Tim Marcum had this to say: "We are looking for a spark on the defensive side of the ball and we think Dusty can add that for us."

With these key additions, this is shaping up to be a great season! Moves like this show us that the Storm front office is taking notice and is proactive about keeping the Storm active and the AFL alive.

Don't forget: the Storm home opener is at the St. Pete Times Forum, Friday, April 16 at 7:15 pm. The game will also be on 1250-AM WHNZ with Jack Harris and Jason Dixon.


(Photo Credit: Provided by permission of Ted Fleming, TBSN1.com)