WICHITA FALLS, TX (KAUZ) - Wichita Falls Nighthawks Owner Drew Carnes and Head Coach Billy Back held a news conference Thursday morning, talking about recent changes to the Indoor Football League.
The IFL added 5-time AFL Arena Bowl champions the Arizona Rattlers last week, signaling a seismic shift in the indoor-football landscape in the United States.
After nearly 30 years as the dominant league in the nation, the AFL is down to only four members at the time, and seems to be on its way out. That leaves the IFL as the premiere league in the US, outside of the NFL, Back said Thursday.
"Realize that in the United States of America, it's the NFL and it's the IFL," Back said. "There's nothing between us and the NFL. The AFL is the not dominant league anymore; the IFL is."
"That just signifies and tells us that what we our doing in Indoor Football League is exactly the right strategy," Carnes said. "It's the right way to conduct business. We do it in a way that is profitable, we do it in a way that benefits communities, and we do it in a way that doesn't lack any talent."
With the shift in landscapes, Back said it's likely the level of play in the league will go up.
"That caliber player coming in, he's not your amateur player," Back said. "It isn't your semi-pro guy. There's light years' difference between semi-pro and the league we're in now.
One example of the new players headed to Wichita Falls is a former Denton Guyer Wildcat who starred collegiately in Stillwater, Oklahoma.
"Big 12 fans know a kid, Josh Stewart, receiver out of Oklahoma State we signed," said Back. "[Stewart] was with the Titans. He tore his Achilles and needs the film to get back where he was. We're excited about him coming in. Angelo Pease, a running back we signed from Kansas State, with the Green Bay Packers. He's a guy we're excited about as well."
The team said that the IFL schedule is expected to be released in the next week.