Storm sign two former All NCC performers, Kender and Blackburn
02/17/03 Storm Press Release
The Sioux Falls Storm of the National Indoor Football League (NIFL) is pleased to announce the signing of two former All-North Central Conference (NCC) athletes in Augustana College (SD) offensive lineman Matt Kender and the University of South Dakota linebacker Mark Blackburn.
A native of Mukwongo, WI, Kender, at 6’3’’, 320 lbs., was a NCC honorable mention and finished his collegiate career in 2002 at Augustana College. Kender received an invitation to and played in the 2003 Cactus Bowl, the Division II all-star game. “Matt is a big and aggressive kid. He will fit right into our offensive scheme and we are excited to have him with us,” says head coach Kurtiss Riggs.
Blackburn, of Moreno, CA, was a 2001 first team NCC linebacker selection. With 9 quarterback sacks, he finished fourth in the conference. He had a total of 59 tackles, including 34 solo stops in nine games. Blackburn played in the all-star Cactus Bowl game in 2002. “We will look to Mark to fight for that strong safety position. He has tremendous feet and is always around the ball. Mark will make an immediate impact to our football team,” says general manager Colin Steen.
The Storm will head to Sioux City, Iowa on March 6 for a preseason game against the Bandits. The Storm’s home opener is April 5, when the Storm will face Casper, Wyoming. All seven of the Storm’s homes games are Saturday night with kickoff at 7:05 p.m. For more information, including season ticket options and a complete 2003 schedule, please contact the Storm’s front office at 605-332-4225 or visit the teams website at www.siouxfallsstorm.com.