Football

The Georgia Fire of the Professional Indoor Football League (PIFL) will open their first training camp later this week with quarterback Chris Mitchell as their leading gunslinger. It may be a fresh start for most, but the expansion Georgia Fire has something that only a few other clubs in the PIFL have — a proven starter at quarterback.

After serving as a backup in Albany, Mitchell got his time to shine as starter with the Louisiana Swashbucklers in 2013. Before an abrupt end to their season, Mitchell had the Swashbucklers on a path toward clinching a playoff spot, completing 169 passes on 282 attempts for 2,242 yards and 41 touchdowns, leading Louisiana to a 5-6 record.

Coming into the season there were some question marks as to whether Mitchell could develop into an indoor pocket passer as he was mostly known as a running quarterback. In at least 10 games played, Mitchell finished third among quarterbacks in completion percentage (59.9 percent) and tied for first with former teammate Cecil Lester in pass attempts to interceptions ratio (35.3). He also punched in a team-high eight rushing touchdowns.

“Mitchell is really a great quarterback who I saw first-hand what he can do on three occasions last season,” said Georgia Fire head coach Cosmo DeMatteo.

Other roster moves before the start of camp include the signing of defensive back Alan Strong (5’9 190, Vanderbilt) and defensive back Kieron Jones (5’10 180, SE Louisiana). Strong previously signed with the Columbus Lions back in 2012, while Jones spent the early part of this month in camp with the AFL’s Jacksonville Sharks.

The Georgia Fire kick off their inaugural season April 5 against the defending PIFL Champion Alabama Hammers. For single-game ticket information, call The Forum Civic Center box office at 706-291-5281.

For more information about the Fire as they prepare for the upcoming season, go to www.georgiafire.us.