The Tacoma Cobras begin their second season in the Professional Developmental Football League, with their league opening game coming on June 12 in Portland. The Cobras will be defending their league championship, an achievement that came with their 36-31 victory over the Bellingham Blitz last August.
Area football fans can catch them in action in three exhibition games beginning with a May 15 game against the NW Terminators at Curtis High School, where the Cobras will play all of their home games this season. The team will also have games on May 22 against the Pierce County Bengals and May 29 against the Inglewood Blackhawks.
This year's team will be without two of its biggest contributors from a season ago, quarterback Adam Kruse, who is playing in Europe, and running back Jarvis Dunn, who is playing in the Indoor Football League. Offensive lineman Tony Grote also moved to the indoor league this season.
"The Cobras took some solid hits this year, but we also made some solid pick-ups also," team President Theo Hall said.
"I think these players will help us in a big way this year because it is always harder to win twice. But, we are going to work hard to keep the championship here in Tacoma."
Returning for the Cobras will be wide receivers Bernard Blosser, Joey Coverson and Ryan Kimbrough, running backs Marcus Reed and Danny Morales and fullback William Evans. Robert Simpson will be back to anchor the offensive line.
On the defensive side of the ball linebackers Mario Haley and Hayden Greiger will be back, as well as a lot of experience in the defensive backfield with safeties Joe Jordan and Trevor Hansen and cornerbacks Mory Keita, Nate Hale and Gilbert Sandoval.
The Cobras will also see the return of kickers Pavel Panchenkov and Clayton Rushmeier.
"These players are setting the tone and working hard in camp this year," Hall said. "They know it takes twice the work to win two years in a row."
Head coach Dave McEachern is expecting contributions from several of his new players to make an impact and make the Cobras very competitive in their hopes of winning another championship.
Some of the new players include former PLU tight end Nick Caraballo, middle linebackers Ke'Andre Magee and Elijah Davis, who played at the University of Texas-El Paso.
Other new players include wide receivers Tay Proctor-Mills and Larry Winston. Justin Jordan, arriving via Oklahoma State and the U.S. Army, will be competing for one of the cornerback positions and Duane Bowen, who played with the Seattle Stallions, will join the defensive backs.
Cornelius Wineberry III, a 6'5, 290-pound defensive lineman who played with the Seattle Stallions, Kenny Jackson, who comes over from the Kent Predators and Larry Flowlar, a 6-3, 330-pound offensive lineman from the Stallions, are all welcome additions to the roster.
This season the league will consist of franchises in Portland, Bellingham, Boise and Tacoma.
For more information about the Cobras, visit www.tacomacobras.com.