TAMPA – The world of adult amateur football can be perceived in many ways.
Yes, it’s American football at its most primitive form. But it can also serve as an extra avenue for former high school and college players to showcase their skills as they try to advance to the next level. Others just play for the pure love of the game.
Enter the Tampa Bay Thunder. The new team comes in ready to provide a platform for players in the city Tampa and the surrounding area.
The new start-up team is led by Jake Moore and head coach Rey Riveros and has made quite the splash since entering the scene. Moore is a former Jesuit High School and University of Dayton graduate and the son of former Tampa Bay Buccaneers tight end Dave Moore. He’s always wanted to run his own football team and saw a chance when he looked at the Football Federation Alliance 2.0.
Tampa Bay has already run two tryouts, both of which took place at the University of South Florida’s Fowler fields, and Moore reported great numbers for the team in each showing. The Thunder has already signed over 50 players to date and some great players have joined the first-year club. The team is loaded at the wide receiver position with players like Marcell Williams, Cyle Kurina, James Everett, Kendrick Battle, Alvin Bailey and D’aundre Johnson.
The quarterback position looks to be an area of strength for the newly founded club, as well, with former area signal callers Gavin DenBoer, Brian Waiters and Cody Colbath signed up to battle for starting snaps.
At the running back position, the team has some great depth with former Rutgers standout Josh Hicks and Jontavious Johnson looking to be the primary ball handlers.
On the defensive side of the football, the team has a plethora of players joining that have experience on the adult amateur level. Linebacker Sean Arrington and defensive backs Miguel Myles-Moore, Kenny White and Ty Scott all have experience. Many of the faces on the Thunder formerly played for the West Coast Soldiers, who left the Football Federation Alliance this past offseason.
The team enters its first-ever season as a part of one of the toughest adult amateur football leagues. The FFA 2.0, which is a coalition of clubs based as far north as Pooler, Georgia and as far south as Miami.
The Thunder are slated to play in the FFA 2.0’s West Division, which would include the defending league champion Southwest Florida Gladiators, Dunedin Pirates and Gainesville Patriots. The Thunder have not officially announced where they will be playing their home games for the 2022 season, but have several options in mind, according to Moore.
Andy Villamarzo can be reached at email@example.com and follow him on Twitter @avillamarzo.