Jacksonville Sports Day

ARENA NOTES: Veteran NAL Defensive End Returns to Sharks

JACKSONVILLE – The 2019 National Arena League Champion Jacksonville Sharks have announced the signing of defensive backs Ken Walton II, Jamaal Burgess and First Team All-NAL offensive lineman Jabari Buckley.

Walton enters his sixth season of arena football and second with the Sharks. This will be Burgess’ third season of arena football and first with Jacksonville. Buckley signed for his fifth season of arena football and second with the Sharks.

Walton last played for the Carolina Cobras where he spent the last two seasons as a defensive back. During the 2019 season Walton played in eight games racking up 10 tackles, seven pass breakups, and one interception before being released.

In 2018, Walton began the season with the Jacksonville Sharks, where he played in five games before finishing the season with the Cobras. Walton ended up being a part of Carolina winning its first ever NAL Championship title.

Overall, Walton combined for 26 tackles, seven pass breakups, one tackles for loss, and three interceptions in 2018.

Prior to his championship season, Walton played for the Wichita Falls Nighthawks during the 2017 season where he totaled 27 tackles and one interception.

In 2016, Walton played for the Lehigh Valley Steelhawks where he totalled 25 tackles, nine pass breakups, and nine interceptions. Walton also helped the Steelhawks in a record season, leading them to a playoff berth.

Starting his career in 2015, Walton earned a roster spot with the Nashville Venom of the PIFL after an open tryout.

Burgess joins the Sharks after spending the 2019 season with the Philadelphia Soul of the Arena Football League (AFL) while on the injury reserved list.

Prior to Burgess joining the Soul, he spent the latter half of the 2018 season with the Nebraska Danger of the Indoor Football League (IFL). While part of the Danger, he recorded 16 tackles and averaged 3.3 tackles per game.

Burgess attended Bethune-Cookman University for his junior and senior year. During his senior season, Burgess recorded a total of 22 tackles and produced a career-high during his junior season with a combined 29 tackles.

Before BCU, he attended West Hills College Coalinga for two years where he played as a defensive back. In his 10 games as a sophomore, Burgess totaled 17 tackles and two interceptions.

1st Team All-NAL Offensive Lineman Jabari Buckley Returns
Buckley Looks to Win Another Title with Sharks

Buckley played a key role with the Jacksonville Sharks in 2019, serving on the best offensive line in the National Arena League. Buckley helped the Sharks to a 13-1 regular-season record, 15-1 overall record, and a NAL Championship victory.

He was named a First Team All-NAL offensive lineman as he helped pave the way for a Sharks offense who rushed for 25 touchdowns (1st-NAL) and 315 yards (3rd-NAL).

The Sharks were also the fewest sacked team in the league only allowing 11 sacks last season while Sharks opponents were sacked 40 times against Jacksonville in 2019.

Prior to the Sharks, Buckley played in the Arena Football League (AFL) with the Albany Empire in 2018. During the 2017 season he signed with the Sioux Fall Storm of the IFL.

Buckley finished his college career at Belhaven University where he started in eight games as an offensive lineman. Prior to Belhaven, Buckley transferred from Bethel University, a NAIA school in McKenzie, TN. During his college career at Bethel, Buckley helped the team to a conference championship and blocked for running back that gained over 1,500 yards in a single season.

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