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Burn Fans Have Lots to be Excited About for the Upcoming Season

Thursday, January 15th
Burn Fans Have Lots to be Excited About for the Upcoming Season

The Boise Burn finished the 2008 season with an identical record to its inaugural season the year before, 8-8. It was a second opportunity to compete in the playoffs and a second opportunity narrowly missed. With a growing fan base that had an increasing desire to see a winning product on the field, the Burn decided to go in a new direction for the 2009 season and hired a new head coach. On Oct. 30, 2008, the Boise Burn announced that Brent Winter had been named the arenafootball2 team?s new head coach. A ten-year coaching veteran in the Arena Football League, Winter comes to Boise after seven years as Assistant Head Coach/Director of Player Personnel/Offensive Coordinator of the Los Angeles Avengers. He had also coached with the Chicago Rush (Director of Player Personnel/Special Teams Coordinator) and the now-defunct New England Seawolves (Assistant Director of Player Personnel). Coach Winter got to work immediately. He put his coaching staff in place and began talking to players. Within days of his hire, he had signed six returning players who he said would be the ?foundation? of the 2009 team. Mark Weivoda, an original member of the Burn, led the team with 13 tackles for loss (-58 yards) last season; Ahmad Harris, the team?s leading rusher, also back for a third Burn season; Ernest James; Eric Price; Zach Tune; and ?Iron Man? Demond Williams. Next came the announcement that two former Boise State Bronco Stars would suit up for the 2009 season: lineman Alex Guerrero and quarterback Taylor Tharp. Both have previously attended NFL camps and, with their local celebrity status, are sure to be crowd-pleasers in 2009. Soon after that announcement, the Burn announced that two years after scoring the game tying touchdown in Boise State?s miracle win against the University Oklahoma Sooners in the 2007 Fiesta Bowl, Jerard Rabb would play football in front of the Boise fans once again. The roster really took shape when the Burn announced that their offensive and defensive captains would each return for their third seasons: FB/LB Levi Madarieta and wide receiver Casey Allen. Madarietta, a local kid from Weiser Idaho, played his first af2 season with the 2006 af2 champion Spokane Shock and is the Burn?s all-time leading tackler with 82. Allen is the Burn?s career leader in receptions (186), yards (2,163), receiving touchdowns (44), and total TD?s (51). Both Madarieta and Allen are the only players to play in all 32 games in the Burn?s two seasons. With many more players already signed on the dotted line, Coach Winter continues to recruit to put the best possible product on the field. He held a tryout camp in Boise in early December and another in Los Angeles in January. Fans will have a lot to be excited about when Boise opens the 2009 campaign on Friday, March 27 at Tri-Cities. The Burn will host its West Division rival and defending National Conference Champion Spokane Shock for its home opener on Saturday, Apr. 18 at Qwest Arena. Season tickets are currently on sale. Call the front office at 208.383.0080 or check online at www.boiseburn.com for more information.

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