Originally created 05/19/00

arenafootball2 notes: Defensive specialist playing full time



Even though the Augusta Stallions are in their seventh week of the season, Nick Rawls participated in his first full week of practice last week.

That's because Rawls was busy completing his classes at Bethune-Cookman. So for the first five games, the defensive specialist had to travel from Daytona Beach, Fla., to Augusta to meet the team. With four games on the road, Rawls had additional wear and tear put on his body.

"My biggest thing was adjusting to the motions," Rawls said. "Practice is really helping me a lot. Plus I'm getting in better shape."

Through six games, Rawls has a team-leading three interceptions along with a team-high 29 tackles.

"He's got all the potential in the world, and this is only going to help him," head coach Mike Neu said. "He was really playing before on pure athleticism. Now, he's starting to know the field a little bit."

SIGNINGS:

Two players were added to the Stallions' roster this week.

John Gulyas and Dedric Parham are the newest additions to the team. Gulyas, a 6-foot-4, 290-pounder from Valdosta State, will play offensive-defensive lineman. Parham, who played wide receiver for last season's Georgia Southern championship team and caught 22 passes for 391 yards and two touchdowns, will be a wide receiver-linebacker.

IN-STATE RIVALRIES:

The Stallions could have at least one in-state rivalry as soon as next season. Both Macon and Columbus are bidding for an arenafootball2 franchise.

The league is looking to add another 13 to 17 teams by next year and already has selected four cities -- Memphis, Tenn.; Lafayette, La.; Fort Myers, Fla.; and Bossier City, La.

Fayetteville, N.C., is competing with the two Georgia cities for one of the two remaining Southeast expansion slots.

WEB CHAT:

The arenafootball2 league began its first of a series of bi-weekly chats on cnnsi.com on Thursday.

Quad City quarterback Billy Dicken was the featured guest, and he fielded questions relating to the league, his alma mater Purdue and his family for more than 20 minutes.

The next af2 chat on cnnsi.com will be at 3 p.m. June 1 and will feature the league's executive director, Mary Ellen Garling.

KURT WARNER UPDATE:

After winning the NFL Most Valuable Player trophy and Super Bowl MVP trophy last season, Kurt Warner is being honored by the Arena League.

During halftime of the Tampa Bay Storm-Iowa Barnstormers game May 25, Iowa will retire the No. 13 jersey worn by Warner during his playing days in the mid-1990s. The game will be televised by TNN at 7 p.m.

TWO TICKETS TO ARENA FOOTBALL:

Rocker Eddie Money is working on a new theme for the Arena Football League.

Money, whose hits include Take Me Home Tonight, Two Tickets to Paradise and Baby Hold On, has the song listed on his Web site.

Fans can listen to part of the song by visiting Money's Web site at www.eddiemoney.com.

NEW RICHMOND COACH:

Richard Davis has been named coach of the Richmond Speed, inheriting a team that was 0-5 under Durwood Roquemooe. Four of the five losses were by a touchdown or less.

Davis' coaching experience includes stints at College of the Desert in Barstow, Calif., Langston (Okla.) University, Connecticut and the London Monarchs of NFL Europe.

Coming in with Davis is his brother Chad Davis, who will work as offensive coordinator. Chad Davis played two seasons in the Arena Football League with Memphis and Portland.

Reach Chris Gay at (706) 868-1222, Ext. 114.