By John L. Pitts/NEMS Daily Journal
The latest pro franchise to test the waters in this market, the Mississippi Hound Dogs indoor pro football team, will open its inaugural season at home on March 3 at BancorpSouth Arena.
The Rome (Ga.) Rampage, another Ultimate Indoor Football League expansion team, will be the opening opponent for the Hound Dogs.
The Hound Dogs and Rampage will be very familiar with each other by season’s end, as the teams will square off four times during the 14-game season.
The UIFL rolled out its 2012 schedule on Friday. It will be the second year for the league, which is expanding from six teams last season to 16.
As expected, the Hound Dogs will play seven home games at BCS Arena. Due to a scheduling quirk, however, a month will pass between the team’s opener on March 3 and its next home field appearance, on April 7 against another division rival, the Lakeland (Fla.) Raiders.
The opener is followed by two road games, but then the team has back-to-back bye weeks (March 24, 31) before resuming play. Those dates have been reserved by BCS Arena for other events.
Another oddity of the schedule: The Hound Dogs play nine division games, but in an unbalanced fashion – four games against Rome, three against Lakeland and two against the Florida Tarpons.
Six players signed?
The team’s website is still under construction, but the Hound Dogs’ entry on Wikipedia – the online encyclopedia – indicates that the team has six players under contract. That roster was last updated on Oct. 4.
Quarterback Bart Gloyd, a backup for the defunct Mississippi MudCats, was introduced at the team’s introductory press conference as the first player under contract.
Other signees include a pair of defensive backs, Desmoine Ware and Tupelo native Quinton Meader, both of whom played at ICC.
The Rome Rampage website lists 18 on its 2012 camp roster, while the Florida Tarpons list 21 players and the Lakeland Raiders list four players.
The new Tupelo team has slated a tryout camp for Saturday, Oct. 22 at Robins Noble Park. The workout starts at 1 p.m.
Note that participation entails an entry fee -$50 in advance by credit card or $75 for walkups. For more information, the Hound Dogs website offers this contact phone number – 239-225-6374 – which is based in south Florida.