Jacksonville Sports Day

ARENA: Jacksonville Sharks Kickoff 10th Year Saturday Against New York

JACKSONVILLE – The Jacksonville Sharks (0-0) are set to kick off the season this Saturday, April 13, 2019 against the New York Streets (0-0) in the National Arena League Season Opener.

The stage is set for a historic night as the Sharks witness their first season opener at home in team history as well as begin their 10th year as a franchise. The Sharks week one opponent will also make history as the 2019 NAL expansion team the New York Streets will play their first inaugural game in team history right here in Jacksonville this Saturday.

This season, the Sharks will have a new QB at the helm after signing former Mammoths star Jonathan Bane.

With him, former Maine Mammoths All-NAL Wide Receiver and 2017 National Arena League Champion Devin Wilson returns to the Sharks for 2019. Wilson finished last season with the Mammoths as one of the top three receivers in the NAL. Joining Wilson in the receiving core are the other two top receivers Jarmon Fortson and Durron Neal both coming from the Columbus Lions who finished last year with a loss in the National Arena League Championship.

Fortson and Neal both look to finally win that NAL title with the Jacksonville Sharks in 2019. The Sharks arguably now have the best passing game in the National Arena League, at least on paper. Also returning to Jacksonville are two starting Sharks receivers from 2018, both Cody Saul & Chris Gilchrist will be a part of this stacked receiving core.

On defense the Sharks have two returners on the defensive line All-Arena linemen Damien Jacobs and Keith Bowers look to wreck havoc on the Street’s 230 pound Quarterback David Legree, who is an in-state product for New York playing his college ball at Syracuse.

Sharks QB Jonathan Bane will reunite with former receiver Edgar Poe who will be playing for the Streets in 2019 and expects to continue to be a star NAL player in the Big City of New York. In addition, brother Christian Poe will be joining the Streets at the receiver position.

Together the two Poe brothers will definitely draw attention and possible a sibling rivalry if they both find early success with Streets this year.  Poe, is also a Army grad and now enters his rookie season in the National Arena League.

The Sharks secondary will feature all new names this season, 2018 Sharks secondary unit struggled in the second half of the season with big upset loses in both Maine and in the playoffs against the Carolina Cobras and with the loss of star defensive back Marvin Ross to the AFL’s Atlantic City Black Jacks it’ll be interesting to see if Burley’s re-build in the secondary will prove to be enough on Saturday night.

The Sharks offensive line will also feature new faces but will return one of the biggest faces from the Sharks 2018 season First Team All-NAL Lineman Derrick Ziegler who will play a major role on Bane’s success or failure this year along with the success of the Sharks All-NAL receiving core.

The return of Ziegler may be the final piece and the most vital piece in this making this All-NAL dream roster into a NAL Championship contender.

The Sharks decided this season not to shake things up with the kicking game by returning kicker Brandon Behr, the former Jacksonville University and USF product who finished 40 for 54 in PATs and completed six field goals and two deuces for the Sharks.

In 2019, the Sharks decided to go in a new direction as All-AFL and All-NAL fullback Derrick Ross will not be joining the Sharks for 2019.

Fullback’s Alstevis Squirewell (Newberry College) and Zack Brown (Ferrum College) will have big shoes to fill as the legendary “lawnmower” was the Sharks all-time leading rusher Jacksonville and a record breaker in both the NAL and AFL; not to mention his ability be to an undisputed fan favorite on game days.

Entering week one the Sharks look to have one of the most impressive rosters, voted #1 by the “Inside the Arena” as the favorite to win the NAL title in 2019. With high expectations, Coach Burley and the Sharks will be forced to attempt to live up to the offseason hype that surrounds this sensational 2019 Sharks roster.

Kickoff Saturday is 7 p.m.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *