KENNEWICK -- Let's call this the storm before the calm for the Tri-Cities Fever.
Training camp for the 2012 Indoor Football League season for the Fever kicks off this weekend, with a 2:30 p.m. practice Saturday inside the Toyota Center.
But to get there, plenty of details have to be tended to.
Fever coach Adam Shackleford left the Toyota Center on Wednesday afternoon to pick up three players at the Spokane airport.
Over the next two days, coaches and boosters will make five trips to pick up 19 players in Spokane because it's considerably cheaper to do that than pay the extra money to fly players into Pasco.
Then he and his staff have to get the players moved into their apartment complex before donning the pads.
Meanwhile, Fever owner Teri Carr looked tired while sitting in her office.
"I haven't been getting much sleep," she said. "I keep thinking we're going to miss some detail here or there."
She and her staff have been busy organizing season tickets, working with sponsors, putting together promotions, etc.
"Every year, you know it's coming," Carr said. "And in the end, it's still chaos."
Shackleford and assistants Ryan Lingenfelder and Cleveland Pratt have spent the last week organizing camp. So when camp actually begins, there will be more calm.
"We were talking that this is the first year we haven't felt overwhelmed or rushed," Shackleford said.
Today is official reporting day, and the team will have meetings and lift weights Friday before practicing Saturday.
Shackleford expects 38 players to attend camp. They will have 11 practices over the next week to show the Fever coaches they belong here.
"We've got to cut down to 25, and we want to do that by the 19th," Shackleford said.
That would get the team ready to prepare for its season opener, against the Everett Raptors at 7:05 p.m. Feb. 25 in the Toyota Center.
Shackleford is taking nothing for granted.
"Even though we have a good group of veterans back, we're still young," he said. "We have a young receiving corps, but I also like my receiving corps. I think we have a more talented roster on the first day of camp than we did last year on the first day of camp."
Shackleford will spend the first few weeks of the season tweaking the roster, making a change here or there.
"By Week 4 hopefully we're set and can get rolling," he said.
A number of players on the roster have spent time at the upper levels of pro football. DB Joshua Abrams spent the 2008 season on the Green Bay Packers practice squad. He also spent time last season with the CFL's Toronto Argonauts. ... WR Travis Cobb was in the Chicago Bears training camp last summer. ... The Fever had DL Randy Earl -- who spent time in the Minnesota Vikings camp in 2010 and played for the AFL's Arizona Rattlers last year -- scheduled to come into camp. However, Earl signed with the AFL's San Jose Sabercats on Jan. 31. ... RB Dennis Kennedy, who was a standout last season for Tri-Cities, spent some time last summer with the B.C. Lions in the CFL. ... LB Boris Lee was a final cut of the New York Jets in 2010 before the season started, and he spent a month on the Jacksonville Jaguars' practice squad later that season. ... RB Rafael Little spent time with the Tennessee Titans in 2008 on the team's reserve/non-football injury list and with a couple of CFL teams. ... DB Marquise Liverpool signed with the Detroit Lionbs last July, only to be released the next day to make room for someone else. ... WR Larrone Moore spent the entire preseason training camp last summer with the Indianapolis Colts before being cut before the regular-season began. ... WR Giovanni Stanley, who played a few games for the Fever last season, was signed last summer as a free agent for the San Diego Chargers. He was cut a few weeks later.
Those players returning from last season's team are DL Malcom Bennett, RB Dennis Kennedy, DL Jake Killeen, QB Houston Lillard, DB Lionell Singleton, LB Joseph Thornton, WR Steven Whitehead and LB Brandon Wilson.
Carr said season-ticket sales are above where they were last year, although she couldn't give a firm number. She said people continue to come in and purchase tickets. "And until there are no orange seats left, I won't relax," she said.
Shackleford signed a kicker this week, picking up Michael Taylor from Troy University. ... Shackleford said he expects 10-15 players to compete in the open tryout on Saturday night. ... The Fever practices at 9 a.m. and 4 p.m. Sunday, then at 9 a.m. Monday. All practices are in the Toyota Center. ... Former Fever LB Ismael Ameer, who played for the team in 2010, has signed with the Bloomington Edge. ... Bloomington visits the Chicago Slaughter on Feb. 19 to open the IFL season.