Would-be Colts get new squad

As an Augusta Colts signee, wide receiver Courtney Singleton had put in several hours of work a day preparing for the 2010 season.

 

"I get up at 5 a.m. to work out with (athletic trainer) Ryan (Bowers) to get ready," Singleton said. "Work hard or go home. That's my philosophy."

All the preparation and effort nearly came crashing down Friday when Augusta Colts owner John Sisson released a statement saying the team was once again suspending operations.

"I didn't know what was going on with the people in the front office," Singleton said. "I just kept saying this doesn't need to happen at a time like this. We were just coming together as a team."

A call from Colts coach Cedric Roach eased Singleton's mind and revealed the truth: The Colts did shut down, but Singleton and the remaining Colts players will still have a place to play this spring. Atlanta businessman Erick Moore, whose ownership group pulled out of a deal to buy the Colts, intends to create a new team and bring back the Colts players and Roach.

"We still want to have all the players as a part of this team," Moore said. "There may be some others who come in, but you've got to give (Roach) a chance to win with his players."

The unnamed team will play in the Southern Indoor Football League, which is scheduled to begin play in late March. SIFL president Thom Hager said the league still supports Moore's efforts with or without the Colts.

"It looks like Mr. Moore has a different approach for the Augusta market, and maybe that's what it needs," Hager said. "Augusta fits into our footprint perfectly, and we really want this to work."

Part of the different approach will come in the hiring of a general manager. Moore said he considered at least one local candidate but plans to bring in a general manager from out of town with indoor football experience.

"It might work better to bring in some new blood," Moore said. "We've interviewed three (candidates)."

Moore said he hopes to introduce a general manager, new team name and logo by the end of the week.

The SIFL's owners meetings will take place this weekend in New Orleans, and Hager said he expects the new Augusta franchise to release a 2010 regular season schedule, a move that would require a lease to play games at James Brown Arena.

Reach Billy Byler at (706) 823-3216 or billy.byler@augustachronicle.com.

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