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Monday, 16 May 2016 10:38

Steam eager for LFL season opener against Heart

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The Atlanta Steam are ready to take on the Omaha Heart in their LFL opener on June 3. (Pictured at a meet-and-greet last Saturday).

The Atlanta Steam (0-0) still have 18 days to wait before they play their first game of the 2016 LFL season which will come on June 3 when the Omaha Heart (1-0) visit the Infinite Energy Arena looking to end two years of Atlanta domination. While the revamped Omaha team already has more wins (1) than they have managed over the last two years, look for the Steam unleash a pent up fury that has been building over the last two months while preparing for the season and scoreboard watching.

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Third-year Steam QB Dakota Hughes says she is more excited about this season than ever. Image courtesy Tony Villatoro/Toro Photo.

While very aware that Omaha will be coming to town with a new confidence after a one-sided 26-6 victory over New England (0-2), one of three new teams in the league this season, Atlanta Head Coach Dane Robinson is focused on his squad’s preparation rather than the “new” Heart. Robinson believes the Omaha win has helped keep his players focused during this long wait to take the field for the first time this season.

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Third-year head coach Dane Robinson says he has worked this team harder in practice than he has previous seasons. Image courtesy Tony Villatoro/Toro Photo.

“The Omaha win has forced our ladies to prepare as if they are playing the reigning Legends Cup champions.” The third-year head coach went on to say that “We are not taking this game lightly by any stretch of the imagination. I am pushing this team harder in practice than previous seasons. We are not overlooking this game, and the Heart will see that we are not New England.”

Star quarterback Dakota Hughes says she hasn’t been “this excited to hit the field” before. The third-year QB points out that the team has been working as a unit since December 2015, and some have been working in smaller groups since September.

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Pictured from left to right are veterans Adrian Purnell, Leanne Hardin, Dakota Hughes, and standout rookie Brittany Demery.

Hughes is excited about the mix of veterans, both Steam returning players and new players coming from other teams, and rookies on the roster this year.

“Fortunately, we have a good bit of veterans on our team that have helped the rookies quickly improve their level of play.” The signal caller known as the Gunslinger across the league went on to say “We work hand in hand, and we’ve really come together as one unit.”

Hughes has a deep belief that this is the year the Steam will bring the Legends Cup back to Atlanta. “I thought the previous Steam groups were special, but this one takes the cake. We haven’t done much talking, and we are going to keep it that way until we play our last game of the season. Last year did not end the way we wanted, so we have worked on being a better team, and we will be.”

Robinson discussed the “quiet focus” that this team possess and acknowledged that in the past “We’ve been known as a team with a lot of bark but no bite, which was very humbling for our ladies because it was a result of our mediocre 3-3 record, but this year’s team has made a point of letting their actions speak for us.”

The two previous seasons in the East have consisted of Atlanta beating Omaha and losing to Chicago (0-1), but this year has the potential for the Steam to establish themselves as the division power because of personnel changes that have weakened the Bliss on both sides of the ball. The East now consists of Omaha, Chicago, and New England in addition to Atlanta.

Austin Acoustics GSR

The Austin Acoustics are one of two new teams in the West this season.

Dallas Desire GSR

The Dallas Desire join Austin as the new teams in the West.

Look for Atlanta to deliver a big win against Omaha that will serve as a statement game that will put the league on notice that the Atlanta Steam will be a serious threat to take the Cup this season.

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Mike Delrio

After six seasons covering pro sports as a credentialed writer/photogrpaher in the Atlanta area, Mike began covering Gwinnett County High School sports in 2013 which led to the launch of Gwinnettsportsreport.com. GSR is a site that highlights prep and youth sports in Gwinnett County. While baseball. basketball, and football receive the majority of the attention, GSR will include updates and news on a variety of sports across the county.

GSR coverage of pro teams in the county began in June 2015.  

With many of the top athletes and teams in Georgia calling Gwinnett home, there is a never-ending stream of news and Gwinnettsportsreport.com looks forward to becoming one of your favorite sports blogs for updates on the outstanding athletes in our county.

 

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