The Lima Warriors are looking for a few good football players.
After having to cancel last season due to the pandemic, the Warriors are hoping to resume playing games this spring and have scheduled to begin practices Sunday to prepare for the year.
The Lima-based semi-pro squad was established in 2001 and began practices last year in hopes of getting in a season but Covid-19 quickly put an end to any hopes of getting a chance to play but this year Kory Edwards, a member of the team’s board and running backs and special teams coach, is optimistic they will be hitting the gridiron this year.
“I’m thinking hopefully they will do it like the colleges and pro teams where they will allow players and staff but not fans, possibly,” Edwards said.
The Warriors play their games at Allen East High School.
“It was mainly the high school,” Edwards said. “We play at Allen East High School and the state shut them down and said you can’t have any activities on high school property so they kind of cut us out.”
Edward admits due to the uncertainty of everything because of the pandemic it was somewhat disorganized and chaotic but now the team is ready to get things back in order.
Edwards said they have already cleared the way to play at Allen East again this year.
“We have guys come from Toledo, Columbus and Mansfied that play for us and it is kind of hard to coordinate with them and it was very tough,” Edwards added.
The team already has a core group of players such as Al Barnett, Bowling Green, and Joe Horn, Ashland University, both of whom played for the team in the past, along with Justin Henderson, Lima Senior and Central State, Nathan Williams, Van Wert and Bluffton University, along with Lima Senior graduates Marc Johnson, Marquis Graham and David Johnson.
In addition to these players, Edwards added that Juniel Lyles, a standout running back for Lima Senior in 2015, may join the team. He is expected to tryout for an indoor arena football team in Baltimore.
“As far as this year getting players it is usually just word of mouth and that has been kind of tough in the past,” Edwards said. “A lot of people don’t know we are actually a team. I tell people the Lima Warriors and they say ‘the midget football team,’ and say no the semi-pro team.”
The qualifications to play are simple. An individual must be 18 years of age.
The team practices once a week on Sunday, beginning Jan. 17 at the Apex Sports Zone on Elida Road from 9:45 a.m. until noon.
Players must wear tennis shoes and not cleats to practice and a fee of $5 is required. The $5 fee is to pay to rent the Apex facility,
Once the season begins, there is no practices and games are played Saturday nights. The team provides game pants and jerseys. Players must provide their own cleats, helmets, shoulder pads but Edwards added that the team tries to assist individuals with equipment needs.
“W try to help first year players,” Edwards said. “We may have a guy who has a helmet and he may someone use his helmet or rent it or sell it to him and I think we have some shoulder pads that was donated to us from one of the high schools so I think we may have shoulder pads for those just getting started.”
Edward points out the team has not joined a league but are expected to hook up with an established one in Toledo.
Individuals interested in playing for the Warriors can contact Ashley Brownlow at 419-371-7691 or Edwards at 419-204-7660.