The NFL season is nearing the end, but for a few die-hard fanatics, the football season will be getting under way soon.
The semi-pro football season that is.
And, in the Brainerd lakes area, that distinction belongs to the Brainerd Lumberjacks. Brainerd will open the 2012 season on the road against the Twin City Titans, who along with the Northern Terror of the north metro will join the Midwest Premier Football League this year.
Brainerd’s first game is May 12. Its first home game will be June 8 against the Terror.
According to Lumberjacks head coach JJ Kern, Brainerd’s roster will feature 25 to 30 new players, highlighted by seven former Division I players.
Kern is high on receivers Raayshaun Jeter (6-foot-4, 230) who played at Ohio State; Ra Ra Jones (6-4, 215), who played at St. Cloud State University; Seth Gilkey (6-3, 230) safety from the University of Wyoming; and Titus Cole (6-3, 275) defensive lineman, who was the All-American Bowl MVP.
Along with the expansion of the Midwest Premier League, Kern has also developed a semi-pro league in North Dakota called the Dakota Football League. It’s a four-team league with teams from Williston, Minot, Bismarck and Dickinson.
But Kern’s first priority is the Lumberjacks. He said players can call him (218-831-1400) for tryouts. He’s also looking for statisticians, someone to film games and someone to help with the marketing of both leagues.
The Lumberjacks’ web site (www.brainerdlumberjacks.com) is improved with a roster, schedule and photo package.
Lumberjacks home games begin at 4 p.m. Saturdays at Franklin Arts Center in Brainerd.
JEREMY MILLSOP may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or at 855-5856.