The Tri-Cities Fever’s home opener is at 7:05 p.m. Friday at the Toyota Center against the Nebraska Danger.
The Indoor Football League is stressing quality over quantity this season, as the Fever and Danger are among nine teams still in the league.
The IFL had 23 teams in 2011 and 16 in 2012.
What that means is there will be no weak sisters on anyone’s schedule, as players vie for just 225 jobs.
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The postseason also will be shortened. The playoffs will take place in the two weeks that follow the June 15 regular-season finale.
Here’s a look at the IFL teams (the Fever preview will run Friday):
Cedar Rapids Titans — The team is loaded with veterans, a reason the Titans already are 4-0. Last year’s top RB, LaRon Council, moved from Green Bay to Cedar Rapids. So did WR Carl Sims from Sioux Falls. Both were first-team All-IFL last season. ... Former Everett QB Charles McCullum is the starter here. ... On the defensive side, DL Xzavie Jackson and DB TJ Simmons are back after being second-team All-IFL in 2012. ... DB Cashmin Thomas played at Everett last season.
Chicago Slaughter — The team already had a standout linebacker in Lenny Radtke, a first-team All-IFL player last year. It added another first-team LB in Ameer Ismail, a former Fever player who starred for Bloomington last season. ... Veteran kicker Chris Nendick returns.
Green Bay Blizzard — Robert Fuller, the IFL Coach of the Year in 2011 in Fairbanks and again last year at Green Bay, is back for another season with the Blizzard. ... Biggest name on the roster has to be B.J. Hill, an All-IFL second-teamer last season as a defensive back and a kick returner. ... Donovan Porterie returns as the starting quarterback, making him Fuller’s QB for three consecutive seasons.
Sioux Falls Storm — Head coach Kurtiss Riggs will be without quarterback Chris Dixon, who has moved on to the Arena Football League. In Dixon’s place is Martevious Young, who played at Omaha last season. ... There still is a lot of firepower here: All-IFL first-teamers Charlie Sanders and Myniya Smith man the offensive line with longtime mate Gerald Davis. ... Mike Tatum, the league’s top return man last year at Everett, also will play receiver. ... Defensive line veterans Rachman Crable, Cory Johnsen and Jeremiah Price (last year’s United Bowl MVP) all return, as does kicker Parker Douglass.
Texas Revolution — This is the old Allen Wranglers, although there are not many players from that team. New coach Billy Back’s best player might be DB Frankie Solomon Jr., who earned first-team All-IFL honors last season.
Colorado Ice — Heron O’Neal is back for his second season as head coach. ... Willie Copeland is the team’s quarterback. ... Kicker Aric Goodman was a first-team All-IFL pick, while OL Michael Trice was a second-teamer. ... DB Michael Eby played college ball at Eastern Oregon, while WR Justin Helwege played at Central Washington.
Nebraska Danger — Coach Mike Davis has his team quickly out of the gate, going 2-0 with wins over Sioux Falls and Colorado entering Friday’s game against the Fever. ... The Danger picked up WR Andre Piper-Jordan, a first-team All-IFL standout last season with Everett. ... WR Kayne Farquharson returns. He was a second-team All-IFL player last season. ... QB is Jameel Sewell, who played college ball at Virginia. ... DB Pig Brown was a standout last season at Omaha.
Wyoming Cavalry — Biggest news here is that a familiar face to the Fever, former defensive coordinator Ryan Lingenfelder, is the Cavalry’s head coach. ... DB George Kelly is a former Fever player.