Grab your foam fingers, because your defending Arena League Champions are back! And this time, they want YOU! That’s right, the Philadelphia Soul will be hosting an open tryout on Saturday, November 12th, at Total Turf Experience, located at 614 Lambs Road in Pitman, NJ. Registration opens at 8 a.m., and the action begins at 9 a.m. with events like the 40 yard dash, short shuttle, and then position-specific drills and one-on-ones. I spoke with Jerry McGough, Principal of Total Turf Experience (and manager of day-to-day operations) on this important event. The owners “met with the Soul in 2011,” and built Total Turf Experience specifically for the Soul “in the hopes that [they] would be able to do something with them.” He elaborated on the building’s design and intent, saying “we built a 52 foot tall building to kick the ball in, and throw passes, just for those guys.” Mr. McGough, and the entire TTE team, told me that they “are very pleased to have them, and look forward to a future partnership with them.”
The Soul are coming off their second ArenaBowl win since 2008, over their rival Arizona Rattlers with a score of 56-42. The Rattlers had defeated the Soul in the ArenaBowl in 2012 and 2013, but revenge was on the side of the Soul last season. Now, team owners Ron Jaworski and Marques Colston, along with GM Phil Bogle, Head Coach Clint Dolezel (an Arena League Hall of Famer), Assistant Coach Bernie Nowotarski, and a collection of current Soul players, are looking for more great athletes and people to help fuel another championship run.
Last season was one for the ages for the Soul. Former AFL MVP Dan Raudabaugh threw for over 100 touchdown passes, and star wide receiver Shaun Kauleinamoku won ArenaBowl MVP and Playmaker of the Game. Now, the Soul look to claim another title over the fierce competition they will face this season, matching up with the Cleveland Gladiators, Tampa Bay Storm, and the brand new Washington Valor.
The Soul are not only a great football team, but a great franchise as well. They are heavily involved in community outreach, as well as spreading the game of football. The Philadelphia Soul Foundation opened its doors in 2006, and has since been dedicated to helping the community of Philadelphia. The Soul’s ownership group also started the Chinese Arena Football League, a new initiative to help catalyze the growth of the game overseas.
Come out on Saturday, November 12th, to one of the area’s most beautiful facilities, where your Philadelphia Soul are searching for the next Arena Football League stars. And who knows, it might just be you.
Piece by Hunter Gallo.