Football is football12/9/2015
After six seasons in Webster City, Iowa’s own Midwest Rampage is moving to Carlisle.
“The main reasons we are moving to Carlisle has to do with location, location, location,” said John Elkin, team owner and linebacker of Midwest Rampage. “While we had a roster of 39 players last season, only five players lived in Webster City. Many players drive from all over — Omaha, Nebraska; Chicago, Illinois; Burlington, Iowa — so moving to central Iowa is actually better for a majority of our players.”
In addition to the move, a new team out of Guthrie Center will also be a member of the Southern Plains Football League (SPFL). So, along with the North Iowa Bucks in Mason City, of the eight regular season games, six of them — including the four home games — will essentially be in this area, Elkin said.
Along with the move, the Rampage will be holding open tryouts on Dec. 13 for anyone interested. The Rampage will retain about 15 of its core players from the 2015 squad, but some will be lost to retirement, as well as the move to Carlisle.
“We are looking for all positions, especially in the offensive and defensive lines,” said Elkin. “One major position we are looking to replace is at quarterback. Ben Jass, who was the 2015 SPFL Quarterback of the Year, is retiring. The past two seasons Ben has thrown for over 3,700 yards and 45 TDs (touchdowns), so replacing him will be vital to our success, although our main running backs, Ross Haren and Kris Schult, and two star receivers, Gunnar Wyatt and Jeromy Keehn, return.”
But no matter how good you are, if you don’t have sportsmanship, it’s unlikely you’ll find a spot on Elkin’s roster. Elkin said they are looking for class acts on and off the field. Over the course of five seasons, the Rampage has had more than 100 different players on its roster, and all but about five made the grade of being a class act.
“We want team-first players. Put the team first and leave egos at the door. Of course, we want great athletes and players, but being a good person is first. We play football for the love of the game, and the thing to remember is we do this for fun,” said Elkin. “If a player works hard and has a great attitude, there will be a spot for him on the field.”
Elkin values sportsmanship and, at the same time, wants to put together the best team he can. Last year’s roster boasted a variety of top-notch players including Chuck Tack, a former Nebraska Cornhusker kicker who has played professional football in Canada, the Arena Football League and the National Football League (NFL). Tack made a 63-yard field goal last season. Another notable Rampage player was Eric Rothwell, a former Iowa Hawkeye offensive lineman who played for the Kansas City Chiefs. Former S.E. Polk prep Joe Cason — who also played for Ole Miss and Northern Iowa and who is a professional MMA fighter — is on the roster as well.
“We’re the real deal, and if you love playing or watching football, we feel that we’re pretty entertaining as well,” Elkin said. CV
Open tryouts for Midwest Rampage
Sunday, Dec. 13 from 11 a.m. – 1 p.m. at Carlisle Middle School.
Register online at www.midwestrampage.com/2015registration