Knights start season on road with several familiar faces in tow

03/23/02 American-Statesman
The game may be a little different, but when the Austin Knights take the field at the Travis County Exposition Center next month for their first home game, the expansion indoor football team will have some familiar faces.

Many of the players on the roster played high school, college or minor pro football in the Central Texas area.

Tonight, as the Knights visit the Houma (La.) Bayou Bucks in their first game in the National Indoor Football League, players such as former Texas Longhorn receiver Jamel Thompson and former Westwood Warrior Brad Ericson will be back in uniform.

The majority of the 21-player roster is made up of former Southwest Texas State Bobcats, Texas Longhorns and Austin Rattlers.

"For most of these players indoor football is about keeping a dream alive," said Knights Coach Bucky Godbolt, a former University of Texas assistant coach.

Ericson, the team's quarterback, has played in two other developmental football leagues. He led Austin's first indoor football team, the Texas Terminators, in 1999. He also played on the 2001 Rattlers team that won its second straight North American Football League title.

Thompson is joined by fellow Texas ex Michael Boudoin, a linebacker who heads the defense.

The Knights begin the season with three road games while renovations continue at the Expo Center for the team's April 20 home opener.

The team has reconfigured Northcross Mall's former ice rink into an indoor football practice field -- dubbed "Knights Arena" -- where they hold nightly practices.

In his only stint as a head coach, Godbolt guided the Rattlers to an undefeated season and a championship in 2000.


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