The Atlanta Steam have set their roster for the team's inaugural season in the Legends Football League, formerly known as the Lingerie Football League, and are hard at work preparing for the upcoming season.
After a series of intense workouts and a four-day combine the Steam released their final roster and Head Coach Ray Norrell, formerly of the Georgia Force, says he is excited about the team they have put together for the first LFL season in Atlanta.
The roster is a well balanced mix of LFL veterans like Shanae “Tokyo” Thomas (OL/DL player with tremendous strength) and Ericka Smith (a shut-down cover corner), and first year players that include local talent like wide receiver Ashley Johnston, a 2013 Collins Hill High School grad.
The majority of the players, while not veterans of the LFL, have an extensive athletic background. Quarterback Brittany Morgan and tight end Coco Montgomery are great examples of the athletic ability the Steam will put on the field this season.
Brittany said she began playing sports when she could walk. The Atlanta native started playing football her freshman year of college after lettering in 8 sports in high school. She was part of a State Championship team as well as earning the State Most Valuable Player award her first season in football. During Brittany’s college years she was part of 5 State Championships, was named state MVP 4 times, made three trips to the National Championships and was named a 3-time All American.
Brittany hasn’t played much football since her college days but said she was excited when Atlanta got a team:
“When Atlanta finally got a team, I was dying to tryout,” she went on to say “I can't wait to suit up and get going for our first game! I'm so honored to be involved in bringing this sport to Atlanta!
Coco has been involved in organized sports since she was 4 years old. She started playing on an all boys tee-ball team for a few seasons and then began to play basketball for the community in a recreational league at Ben Hill Gym. Coco not only played, but was a top athlete in others sports including soccer, softball and track & field but basketball was always her first love and she excelled in the sport throughout her high school and college career.
Coco told me that her interest in women's football grew during her senior year in college after being ineligible to continue to play basketball. “I played a little flag football before I actually signed up to play women's tackle football! I played for the Atlanta Ravens, which is currently known as The Atlanta Xplosion, and I started every game in my rookie season as the Will Linebacker!” The team had a perfect season and won a world championship title. Coco received the Rookie of the Year award as well as being chosen to be a part of the Independent Women’s Football League National All- Star team.
Coco took a year off from tackle football, but is excited about being a part of the Atlanta Steam's inaugural season.
“I am back to doing what I love to do!” she went on to say that the fans “will have a lot to look forward to this season.”
The Steam will play a four-game season that begins Saturday, March 30 on the road against the Jacksonville Breeze. The Steam will then play back-to-back home games on Saturday April 13 against the Omaha Heart, and Saturday May 18 when they host the Cleveland Crush. The Steam will close out the regular season schedule on Saturday, July 13 when they travel to Philadelphia to take on the Passion.
The Steam will play home games at the 11,355-seat Arena at Gwinnett Center, located just off I-85 on Sugarloaf Parkway in Duluth.