Monthly Archives: October 2001

Shark Tryouts

The football player hopefuls came early on Saturday morning to Cow Meadow Park in Freeport, Long Island. They followed the signs to what they hope would get them a spot the 2002 New York Sharks roster. Click on the image to the right to watch a video of the tryouts.

It was a clear and cool day, with a bit of wind in the air. Actually a perfect day to run around a field trying to impress the Sharks’ braintrust.

After registration, the hopefuls were put through a series of drills. These drills were designed to show what basic talents (like speed, coordination, and strength) they had. The players had to do push-ups, sit-ups, run the 40 yard dash, and run through obstacles. All the while, Sharks’ staff were watching and timing the players trials.

After evaluating each players based on their raw talents, the staff looked at football specific skills, such as passing receiving, and kicking. In some instances, it was the very first time a player had tired to punt a football. Sometimes the player would be surprised by their ability and sometimes not.

After the tryouts, the Sharks’ owner, Andra Douglas addressed the hopefuls. Decisions on who will make the team would not be made until after the other 2 tryouts are held over the next 2 months. Those that make the cut will be invited to a mini-camp in February. Until then, they should all continue to work out and brush up on the finer points of football. All were also invited to join the New York Sharks Red-Shirt Team which is an open practice each week, where players can work on their football skills supervised by Sharks staff. If you would be interested in joing the Red-Shirt team, contact Crystal Turpin.

Among the players trying out was one who came all the way from Ohio and two players who are professional boxers. Pictured to the right are middleweight Veronica “Vicious” Simmons, ranked #3 and heavyweight Keisha Snow, ranked #2. Both players love the sport of football, but more importantly to them, they loved facing another challenge. Click on the image to the right to watch a video of these boxers.

Coach’s Corner


Many people either forget or just don’t know how essential special teams are to a team’s success. One out of every five plays in a football game is a special teams play. Offense and defense constitute the foundation of a football team but special teams bring it to the next level. Aside from the physical importance special teams play in a game, they also have a tremendous psychological importance. A single play on special teams can swing momentum to one team or another. A blocked kick, fumble recovery, or a good kick/punt return are morale killers for the players, coaches, and fans.

The first rule of special teams is to go all out all the time. Some players feel that a punt, kickoff, or field goal is a play during which they can rest. Nothing can be further from the truth. This is the time to pick it up. Players must sprint down the field on kickoffs and punts. They can leave the opposing team in poor field position, or better yet, force a turnoverdeep in the enemy’s territory.

The second imperative for special teams success is teamwork. It only takes one defensive player to make a tackle. A quarterback or running backcan carry an offense. A special teams unit, however, must all work together and be on the same page. A punter cannot punt and a returner cannot run without blocking.

The last rule for special teams is one that I hold myself to – keep it simple. There is no need to run reverses or complex blocking schemes onspecial teams. Players already have to study their offensive or defensive play books. Special teams is a time when you should flat out beat youropponent with superior technique and desire.