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Portland Thunder Season Preview

Thursday, April 02, 2015


Portland welcomes back its recently added arena football team, the Portland Thunder, for its second official season in the AFL. Last year’s new kid on the block, is now the league's force to be reckoned with. Following a disappointing inaugural season, the Thunder took advantage of their time off in order to transform themselves. Needless to say, this is a different team.

Last season seemed to be a trial-and-error year for the new-born team, but the Thunder learned the rudimentary lessons of what it meant to be in this league. It meant getting stomped on, humiliated, and constantly beaten to prepare this team for a future in the AFL. The pent up anger last year’s returning players hold with them is now supported by skill. This year’s team will be seriously overlooked, but that only puts the Portland’s hard hitters in a position of strength. The AFL is in for a nice surprise.

The recent addition of new coach, Mike Hohensee, was just what the doctor ordered. Hohensee understands the league, and is any new-comers teenage heartthrob when it comes to understanding the x’s and o’s. 28 seasons as both a player and coach give Hohensee some credibility, only to be overshadowed by his impressive track record. Portland’s fearless leader has four division titles and arenabowl xx under his belt, not too shabby.

Also, the Thunder’s roster has been slightly tweaked to better fit the team’s new playstyle. The addition of Lineman Ty Geiser, and Cornerback Andre Martin have given this Portland team a new edge. However, the new additions also means new loses. Portland lost two of their best players to the NFL. Varmah Sonie and Douglas Mcneil III were brought up to the big leagues after last season.

Portland still has the majority of their weapons from last year. Returning players include QB Kyle Rowley, former U of O quarterback Darron Thomas, and Receiver Jamar Howard. Rowley’s debut season was shaky to say the least, but throwing for 2060 yds, and throwing 39 TD’s is not any easy task. Thomas lead the team in rushing with 82 rushing yards and 10 TD’s. Out wide, Howard finished the first season totalling 662 receiving yards. The Thunder should still feel confident with the men that stuck around for round two.

Following the Thunder’s two and a half week training camp, the final 24 man roster was agreed upon earlier this year. This is one of the most diverse team’s in the league, and one that shows strength in every area of play.

Portland’s season opener against the Los Angeles KISS went better than most critics predicted. The Thunder played like that held a personal vendetta against any and all who had disregarded them prior to this season. They took apart the KISS, walking away with a 42-37 victory against their league rivals. Their next game is tonight against the Tampa Bay Storm at 7.

After a long summer of adjustments, training, non-stop practice the Thunder are finally ready to make an impact on the league. New faces look to take this team for past expectation, and the veteran's look to put a flashy arenabowl finger on their hand. One team, with more to prove and nothing to lose, play to take this league by surprise. The Thunder are ready to write the next chapter in the book of Portland history. Luckily, when it's all said and done we will be able to get away with calling ourselves "fans" amidst the team's newfound glory.


Related Slideshow: 5 Sports Teams With Offensive Mascots

Native American activists see the logo of the Portland Winterhawks as offensive and are demanding the team make a change. Here a some other mascots certain people find offensive. 

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The Portland Winterhawks

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